A new cold worked, penetrative mechanical reinforcement method was evaluated for its potential to enhance joining between 2024-T3 aluminum matrix and glass fiber reinforced polymer (GFRP) for aerospace and automotive applications. In this study, the aluminum substrate surface was modified using a new cold working process which formed hooks directly from the substrate material. This surface was then treated with grit blast and Sol-Gel surface treatment before it was co-cured to both side of a GFRP, forming a single lap joint for testing. This type of joints was compared to a baseline bonded joint without mechanical reinforcement using the same surface treatment. The joint strength and fatigue performance of these sets of samples were experimentally evaluated under quasi-static and fatigue loading conditions. The bonded joints with penetrative mechanical reinforcements withstood greater peak load and higher strain prior to failure, as compared to non-reinforced bonded joints. Fatigue testing on the other hand showed better performance of non-reinforced joints over the reinforced ones. The failure surfaces of both quasi-static samples and fatigue samples were evaluated using a scanning electron microscope to determine failure mode(s). It was determined that the stress concentration at the base of reinforcements could be the main underlying cause for earlier onset of fatigue failure of reinforced samples.

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Composites Part B: Engineering
Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Fawcett, A. (Andrew), Chen, X. (Xiaohu), Huang, X, & Li, C. (Chun). (2019). Failure analysis of adhesively bonded GFRP/ aluminum matrix single composite lap joint with cold worked penetrative reinforcements. Composites Part B: Engineering, 161, 96–106. doi:10.1016/j.compositesb.2018.10.051