COMPOSITES PART A-APPLIED SCIENCE AND MANUFACTURING, vol.34, no.2, pp.135-150, 2003 (SCI-Expanded)
Adhesive bonding technique is used successfully for joining the carbon fibre reinforced plastics to metals or composite structures. A good design of adhesive joint with either simple or more complex geometry requires its stress and deformation states to be known for different boundary conditions. In case the adhesive joint is subjected to thermal loads, the thermal and mechanical mismatches of the adhesive and adherends cause thermal stresses. The plate-end conditions may also result in the adhesive joint to undergo large displacements and rotations whereas the adhesive and adherends deform elastically (small strain). In this study, the thermal and geometrically non-linear stress analyses of an adhesively bonded composite tee joint with single support plus an angled reinforcement made of unidirectional CFRPs were carried out using the non-linear finite element method. In the stress analysis, the effects of the large displacements were considered using the small displacement-large displacement theory. The stress states in the plates and the adhesive layer of the tee joint configurations bonded to a rigid base and a composite plate were investigated. An initial uniform temperature distribution was attributed to the adhesive joint for a stress free state, and then variable thermal boundary conditions, i.e. air flows with different velocity and temperature were specified along the outer surfaces of the tee joints. The thermal analysis showed that a non-uniform temperature distribution occurred in the tee joints, and high heat fluxes took place along the free surfaces of the adhesive fillets at the adhesive free ends. Later, the geometrical non-linear thermal-stress analysis of the tee joint was carried out for the final temperature distribution and two edge conditions applied to the edges of the vertical and horizontal plates (HP). High stress concentrations occurred around the rounded adherend corners inside the adhesive fillets at the adhesive free ends, and along the adhesive-composite adherend interfaces due to their thermal-mechanical mismatches. The most critical joint regions were adhesive fillets subjected to high thermal gradients, the middle region of HP, the region of the vertical plate corresponding to the free end of the vertical adhesive layer-left support interface. In addition, the support length had a small effect of reducing the peak stresses at the critical adherend and adhesive locations. (C) 2003 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.