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Science and Technology 57 (1997) 35-45 0 1997 Elsevier Science Limited



Printed in Northern Ireland. All rights reserved 0266-3538/97/$17.00


Glyn Lawcock, Lin Ye,a* Yiu-Wing Mai & Chin-Teh Sun

Center for Advanced Materials Technology, Department of Mechanical and Mechatronic Engineering,
University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia School of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana 47907-1282, USA

(Received 20 September 1995; accepted 25 July 1996) Abstract

The role of adhesion between aluminum sheets and fiber composite prepreg on the mechanical property projiles of carbon-fiber-reinforced metal laminates (CFRMLs) has been investigated. Differences in adhesive bonding were achieved by using two different aluminum surface treatments, one with a standard P2-Etch procedure and another with a modified FPL-Etch procedure with the subsequent application of a silane coupling agent. Double-cantilever beam (DCB) tests were conducted to measure the interfacial fracture energy, and an increase in interfacial fracture toughness by up to six times was achieved by using the latter method. Optical and scanning electron microscopy were used to study the failure behavior and fracture mechanisms of the CFRMLs. No clear differences were found in laminate mechanical properties such as tensile strength and Youngs modulus. A reduction of 10% in the relative value for the interlaminar shear strength (ILSS) was observed for the laminate with poor interfacial adhesion associated with the P2-Etch method, in both three- and five-point bend tests. However, the residual strength of the notched CFRMLs is, in general, almost independent of the adhesion status between aluminum sheets and composite prepreg, although a slight increase in residual strength for laminates with weak interfacial adhesion was observed in the presence of small holes, because of the difference in delamination growth. 0 1997 Elsevier Science Limited Keywords: fiber-reinforced metal laminates, adhesive bonding, mechanical properties, residual strength, fracture mechanisms

1 INTRODUCTION Fiber-reinforced metal laminates (FRMLs) are hybrid composites consisting of alternating layers of * To whom correspondence should be addressed.

aluminum-alloy sheets and fiber-reinforced epoxy prepreg. Developed for their enhanced fatigue-crack resistance, FRMLs also offer substantial improvements in strength, stiffness and weight saving over their monolithic aluminum counterparts. Much work has been done on the fatigue properties of these novel metal fiber laminates and their property profiles.2-6 In FRMLs, high fatigue resistance comes from bridging fibers in the crack wake. If fatigue cracks occur in the aluminum sheets, the strong fibers can remain intact and bridge the crack, which results in a reduction of the crack-opening displacement and the stress intensity factor at the crack tip;7 hence, the reduction in the crack growth rate. In structural applications, another important design parameter is the residual/blunt notch strength, i.e. the strength of a material in the presence of holes or saw-cuts. Holes and geometrical notches that cause disturbances to the stress field may not be avoided by the designer due to technical assembly of structural components. These, plus other defects such as cracks and accidental damage from impact, can lead to premature failure of a material at loads well below its ultimate failure load. It has been found that FRMLs are relatively sensitive to the presence of discontinuities,8-1 whether they be blunt notches or sharp cracks. To date, much of the knowledge and understanding for monotonic loading failure of FRMLs in the open literature is predominantly quantitative. Very little attention has been given to the failure characteristics of FRMLs such as crack growth in both the aluminum and composite layers and delamination between them. Such an understanding is necessary for accurate predictions of lifetimes and residual strengths of FRML structural components containing cracks and blunt notches for high-performance applications such as aerospace industries. Some work has already been performed by the authors in an attempt to get a deeper insight into the blunt notch properties of FRMLs.-l3 Teply et a1.14


G. Lawcock et al. the application of a silane coupling agent to improve adhesive bonding. Method II involved degreasing with methyl ethyl ketone (MEK), water break test for inspection of cleaning procedure, hand abrasion with 320 grit aluminum-oxide paper, dry tissue wipe to remove contaminants caused by hand abrasion, an alkaline rinse at 60-70C a hot-water rinse, etching in a sulfo-chromic solution (FPL-Etch) and air drying, then followed with a treatment of A-187 yglycidoxypropyltrimethoxy silane (y-GPS) from Union Carbide, applied as a 1% aqueous solution by brushing for 10 min. The silane solution was allowed to hydrolyse for 1 h and then used within the next 2 h. After the silane treatment, the aluminum halves were dried in an oven at 60C for a minimum of 1 h to minimize the void content in the bondlines.17 Within 1 h of the aluminum surface preparation, bonding between the aluminum sheets and the composite prepreg was achieved using an autoclave through co-curing under a pressure of 300 kPa at 120C in accordance with the manufacturers approved curing cycle. In order to characterize the adhesion between the aluminum sheets and the composite prepreg, doublecantilever beam (DCB) specimens were prepared from two aluminum halves approximately 160 mm in length, which were cut directly from an aluminum alloy (2024-T3) bar 23 mm in width and 19 mm in height. The aluminum halves were machined down to a height of 12 mm. Bonding was achieved using the same procedure as for the laminate panels. After bonding, the DCB specimens were machined down to a width of 20 mm by removal of equal amounts from both sides. The edges of the DCB specimens were then polished and holes of 5 mm in diameter were drilled near the end of the adherends for pin-loading. An initial film-induced crack approximately 53 mm in length from the loading point was induced by the placement of a Teflon film of 25 pm thickness between the composite prepreg and one of the aluminum adherends before bonding. Figure 2 schematically shows the specimen configuration for the DCB specimens. were determined from Mechanical properties dogbone tensile specimens cut from the laminate
P + .

investigated the residual-strength behavior of a 2/l ARALL-1 laminate in which fatigue cracks were grown from pre-machined slots. It was reported that the delamination zone size caused by fatigue loading has no influence on the residual strength of the laminate. However, in this study the fibers remained intact within the delamination zone and would contribute to the residual strength of the laminate. Delamination may still have an effect if it were to occur under the tensile loading cycle and not be present prior to loading. metal In this study, a carbon-fiber-reinforced laminate containing centrally located through cracks and holes, subjected to uniaxial tensile loading, was studied. Carbon FRMLs utilizing an improved aluminum surface preparation are characterized under identical conditions to the previous FRMLs,r1-r3 to evaluate the effect of adhesion between aluminum sheets and fiber composite prepreg. 2 MATERIALS AND PROCESSING

The material used in this study is a carbon-fiberreinforced metal laminate (CFRML) with a 2/l lay-up, shown schematically in Fig. 1. It consists of two layers of 2024-T3 aluminum alloy sheets in the clad condition and one layer of unidirectional carbon-fiber-epoxy composite with 59.4 wt% of carbon fibers, which is composed of two plies of ICI Fiberite T300/7714A UD CF/epoxy prepreg. The thickness of the aluminum alloy sheets and the composite layer are 0.38 mm (0.015 in) and 0.30 mm (0.012 in), respectively. The composite layer is sandwiched between the two aluminum sheets with the fibers aligned in the aluminum rolling direction. To induce differences in interfacial adhesion between the aluminum alloy and the composite layer, two methods of surface preparation were applied. The first method (method I) involved hand abrasion, an acetone solvent wipe, washing in an alkaline solution at 60-70C a hot-water rinse, etching in a sulfo-ferric (P2-Etch) solution at 60-65C and air drying.i5 The second method (method II) follows a procedure proposed by Baker and Chester16 for adhesive bonding of composite aircraft repairs, which suggests

Teflon Film Starter Crack \, 160

Mode 1 Crack Path

Composite Layer I d

9 a Garbo 2024-T3 Aluminium Sheet 0.38 mm (0.015 in.)

\, ._ Aa


12 12

\I Aluminum Adherend

I) P

Fig. 1. Schematic

illustration of a 2/l lay-up, reinforced metal laminate.


Fig. 2. Schematic illustration of a DCB specimen evaluate interfacial fracture energy.

used to

Effect of adhesive bonding in CFRMLs panels in both the longitudinal and transverse fiber directions. Tensile test coupons were 300 mm long and 12.5 mm wide with a gage length of 100 mm; no tabs were used. Interlaminar shear strength (ILSS) specimens were 50mm long and 10mm wide, cut in the longitudinal fiber direction. To evaluate residual strength, blunt-notch specimens were produced with saw-cuts or circular holes ranging in size from 10 mm up to 40 mm centered in laminate specimens of 90 mm in width and 300 mm in length. Specimen preparation was achieved with the use of an NC milling machine, and saw-cuts were made with a 200 ,um jewellers saw blade. Specimen configurations are shown in Fig. 3. 3 EXPERIMENTAL
3.1 Evaluation of interfacial fracture toughness


Fracture toughness tests of the DCB specimens for studying adhesion between the aluminum and composite layer were performed at room temperature on an Instron 4302 testing machine. The specimens were loaded continuously at a cross-head speed of 0.1 mm min-. Specimen edges were coated with typewriter correction fluid to enable crack growth monitoring and a traveling microscope of 0.001 mm resolution was used to observe crack growth along the bond line. The load displacement curves were recorded continuously, and the crack lengths were marked every 5 mm on these records. Figure 4 illustrates typical load/displacement curves for the

0.5 I I.5 2 25 3 3.5 4 Cross-Head Displacement [mm]

I 1

Fig. 4. Typical load/deflection curves for crack growth in DCB specimens with two different aluminum surface treatments.

DCB tests with two different procedures of the aluminum surface treatments. Because the composite layer is very thin compared with the aluminum adherends, it is acceptable to assume that the fracture toughness, Gc is calculated by

Tensile Specimen

g$& [3a2 + h]

1 T


112.5 R500 *

f 20

ILSS Speeimea

where P, is the critical load for crack growth; a is the crack length; and E, B and h are the Youngs width and height of the aluminum modulus, adherends, respectively. Optical and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) studies were conducted to investigate the crack growth path and fracture mechanisms after testing. Sections around the crack tip and along the crack path were studied. 3.2 Evaluation of fiber/metal laminate properties The laminate mechanical properties were determined from tensile tests conducted at room temperature on an Instron 5567 universal testing machine at a crosshead speed of 5 mm min-. Strain was monitored with an extensometer 25 mm in gage length, and a minimum of five specimens were tested for each case in accordance with the tensile testing procedures for fiber/metal laminates.lY The ILSS of the laminates was determined from three-point and five-point bend tests with a span of 10mm and was conducted at a cross-head speed of 1.3 mm min- m . accordance with the procedure from Mattousch. The ILSS is calculated as follows:

Residual Strength Specimen



Fig. 3. Schematic illustrations of specimen configurations used to evaluate properties of CFRMLs.


G. Lawcock et al.

1. three-point

bending ILSS = 3Pmx 4Wt


five-point bending ILSS = 33Pmx 64Wt

where Pmaxis the failure load and W and t are the width and thickness of the specimens, respectively. To allow for the layers within the laminate of different elastic properties, a correction is applied to the laminate thickness, t, so t is given byz2
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70

t=(yy~+ty+(g (5)

Aa i-1

Fig. 5. Fracture energy versus crack extension.



The subscripts lam, al and fl refer to the laminate, aluminum and fiber layers, respectively. The residual strength of center-cracked/notched specimens was determined in uniaxial tension at a cross-head speed of 1 mm min-. All tests were video monitored to record crack growth in the aluminum layer. To facilitate characterization of damage growth in the notched specimens, both C-scan and destructive testing techniques (i.e. chemical removal of the aluminum layer) were employed, as described in a previous report.13 For each test specimen, the normalized residual is evaluated according to the strength, u-,/a,, procedure described in a previous report;i3 (T, is the unnotched strength determined from tensile tests. The finite-width gross strength, (TV, is defined as the maximum value of the stress that a notched specimen is capable of sustaining without regard to the notch length/geometry. The gross strength for the infinitewidth specimens is calculated by multiplying the finite-width gross strength by a finite-width correction function determined by Tan2 and Irwinz4 for the holes and saw-cuts, respectively. 4 RESULTS
4.1 Interfacial AND DISCUSSION

fracture energy

Stable crack growth was observed for all specimens with the two different aluminum surface treatments. As shown in Fig. 4, discrete load drops are associated with rapid crack growth through the specimen with the most noticeable difference being the critical load required to cause crack initiation from the film-

induced crack. Figure 5 shows variations of fracture energy, Gc, versus crack extension, Au, obtained using eqn (1). For the specimens produced by method II, the average Gc,i,i (initiation fracture energy) amounted to 350 J m-2, while it was only about 50 J me2 for the specimens produced by method I. Hence, an increase in the initiation fracture energy (or interfacial fracture toughness between the aluminum and composite layer) of seven times was obtained from the specimens prepared with method II compared with those prepared from method I. The difference in fracture energy during crack propagation is essentially due to the different crack propagation paths caused by the two surface preparation methods. Because of the poor interfacial bond strength between the composite and the adherends in method I, the crack path was predominantly along the interface between the composite and the aluminum adherend, resulting in an almost constant fracture energy. The relatively strong bond strength resulting from method II produced interlaminar crack propagation within the composite layer and hence the increase in fracture energy with crack extension due to significant fiber bridging, as shown in Fig. 6. Figure 7 shows the differences in crack initiation. Optical micrographs of the specimen sides show the interface and cohesive failure in the composite layer associated with methods I and II, respectively, which can be confirmed by fracture surfaces of the DCB specimens shown in Fig. 8. The aluminum adherends prepared by method I exhibit a relatively clean surface, almost free of epoxy, while the adherends prepared by method II show areas of carbon/epoxy pieces bonded to the aluminum surface. Figure 9 shows SEM micrographs of high magnification in the regions of the film-induced crack. Fibers


Fig. 6. Crack growth paths in the DCB specimens: (a) method I, (b) method II.

are exposed

in the composite layer of those specimens by method II which further confirms

cohesive failure in the composite layer. All of these results indicate that method II clearly produces a better bond between the aluminum sheets and the composite prepreg. 4.2 Laminate mechanical properties Table 1 lists the mechanical properties of the CFRMLs prepared by the two different aluminum surface treatments. No substantial difference can be found in the laminates in-plane mechanical properties such as strength and stiffness. However, both the three-point and five-point bend tests show a 10% drop in the ILSS of the laminates prepared by method I. This is attributed to the fact that the aluminum/ composite interface is loaded in shear, which amplifies poor interfacial adhesion in this case. Figure 10 shows the load/deflection plots for the ILSS tests. For the three-point bend tests, large-scale plastic yielding is evident in the aluminum layers prior to interlaminar failure. This would have an effect on the value obtained for the interlaminar shear strength. The five-point bend tests show a much smaller amount of plastic yielding prior to interlaminar fracture, and hence the result is much closer to the true ILSS of the laminate. Figure 10 also shows that there is deviation in the load/displacement plots soon after loading. This

Fig. 7. Crack initiation in the DCB specimens at Ithe film-induced crack: (a) method I, (b) method II.


G. Lawcock et al.

Fig. 8. Fracture surface morphology of the DCB specimens: (a) clean surface of aluminum adherend prepared by method I, (b)

epoxy and fibers bonded to the surface of the aluminum adherend prepared by method II.

indicates that slipping occurs early on in the test and the large variation in the load/displacement curves for the specimens prepared by method I further highlights the weak interfacial bond strength. Complete interlaminar failure is observed at the point on the load/displacement plots at which the load drops sharply. However, both tests still allow a relative comparison of the ILSS of FRMLs based on different aluminum surface treatments.

4.3 Residual-strength/blunt-notch


The results obtained for the circular hole and saw-cut specimens are listed in Tables 2-5. Figure 11 shows plots of the average values of the normalized residual strength versus defect sizes for the circular hole and saw-cut specimens. Some differences in failure strength can be seen for both defect types based on the two methods of aluminum surface treatments. However, there is a slight increase in residual strength for the small hole specimens with the weaker interfacial bond strength.

Similar crack growth behavior is observed for the specimens prepared by the two different aluminum surface treatments. For both surface treatments, the saw-cut specimens exhibit stable crack growth in both the aluminum and composite layers and delamination between the layers prior to fracture, while the circular hole specimens showed plastic yielding in the aluminum layers together with delamination growth and crack growth in the composite layer. Video monitoring of the failure process showed no signs of stable crack growth in the aluminum layer of the circular hole specimens prior to fracture and C-scan images show distinct delamination patterns associated with the two specimen types, with the circular hole specimens exhibiting a larger delamination zone due to the larger stress field.13 Chemical removal of the aluminum layer allows a visual inspection of the damage in the composite layer (Fig. 12). The delamination zone is seen as a bright area on the prepreg surface. For the circular hole specimens, crack growth with fiber breakage/pull-out and matrix cracking/splitting are evident. For the

Effect of adhesive bonding in CFRMLs


1000 z 3 3 600






..:, 1.5


Fig. 10.


Displacement [mm]

Load/deflection curves for ILSS tests of CFRMLs.

Fig. 9.

Fracture surface morphology near the film-induced crack in the DCB specimens: (a) method I, (b) method II.

saw-cut specimens, crack growth occurs to a greater extent in the composite layer than in the aluminum layer and the crack growth in the composite layer is non-coplanar locally. The presence of delamination allows greater plastic deformation in the aluminum layer which reduces the stress intensity at the crack tip and delays stable crack growth.13 Delamination is

believed to be induced by cracking in the composite layer. As the crack grows in the composite layer, the stress in the composite layer is transferred to the aluminum sheets which induces shear stresses at the interface and causes delamination growth.13 Figure 13 shows C-scan images of the 10mm circular hole specimens prepared by methods I and II, respectively, at the same applied load. For the specimen prepared by method I, the delamination area is slightly larger than that in the specimen prepared by method II. The shear stresses at the interface caused by crack growth in the composite layer and the weak interfacial bond strength associated with method I causes increased delamination zone size. No discernible difference is observed in the delamination patterns associated with the saw-cut

Table 1. Tensile mechanical


Tensile modulus (GPa) 2024-T3

CF/epoxy CFRML, CFRML, method method I II

Ultimate tensile strength (MPa) 437.8 450.9

1490.0 883.4 304.0 888.7 304.0

Tensile yield strength at 0.2% offset (MPa) 322.1 307.9

337.1 238.6 329,4 237.3

% Strain to failure

ILSS (MPa) 3-Pt 5Pt

Density (g cm-?

(0) (90)
(0) (90) (0) (90) (OY (90)

63.7 70.0
114.0 85.2 53.9 83.0 53.0 data sheets.

1.10 1.90 1.73 -

10.52 11.41

12.89 14.05

1.59 2.45 2.45

From manufacturer-supplied


G. Lawcock et al.
Table 2. Residuai strength results for circtdar hole specimens prepared by method I

d (mm>
10.26 10.08 9.96 9.88 10.12 10.23 19.92 20.16 20.11 19-99 20.07 30.26 30.11 30.07 29.83 40.08 39,94 40.06

W (mm)
90.04 90.06 90.24 90.22 89.90 89.94 89.94 90.16 90.10 90.20 89.86 90.02 89.90 90.00 90.00 90.10 90.10 90.10

0.1139 0.1119 0.1104 0.1095 0.1126 0.1137 0.2215 O-2236 0.2232 0.2216 0.2233 0.3361 0.3349 0.3341 0.3314 O-4448 0.4433 0.4446

t (mm)
l-05 1.05 1.05 1.07 1.08 1.08 1.05 1.04 1.06 1.08 1.10 1.07 1.07 1.07 1.09 1.07 1.08 1.07

46 160 47 620 43 330 46 840 47 240 44 120 38 185 40 800 37 850 42 900 42 650 33 000 32 765 32 205 32 620 28 180 29 670 26 940

551.04 567.05 514.03 54744 550.80 514.88 519.38 560.44 510.18 565.76 558.11 518.51 512.15 504.58 497.37 526.52 547.69 503.15


0.553 0.570 0.518 0.552 0.553 0.517 0.458 0.493 0449 o-499 0.491 0.389 0.386 0.380 0,376 0.331 0.345 0.316

0.560 O-578 0.524 0.559 0.561 0.524 0.484 O-522 0.475 0,528 0.520 0.449 o-443 0.437 0.431 0.431 0.449 0.412 0.551

488.25 503.58 457.30 487.49 488.81 456.32 404.34 435.12 396.31 440.38 433.45 344.21 340.62 335.99 332.52 292.30 304.91 279.44




Table 3. Residual strength results for saw-cut specimens 2a (mm) 10.29 10.03 19.97 19.81 30.08 29.45 30.04 29.41 29.38 39.99 40.21 40.07 W (mm) 90.02 90.10 89.94 89.94 90.00 90.12 90.00 90.12 90.04 90.14 90.18 90.10 2a/W 0.1143 0.1113 0.2220 0.2203 0.3342 0.3268 0.3338 0.3263 0.3263 04436 04459 04447 t b-4 1.06 1.05 l-05 1.05 1.07 1.07 1.09 1.06 1.03 1.07 1.07 1.05 P (N) 40 300 41570 34 135 34 790 27 665 29 520 29 765 28 300 28 080 23 080 22 640 22 470 ~NL?l 476.85 494.45 464.62 474,72 433,52 454.74 457.52 439.76 449.43 432.13 425.42 427.74

prepared by method I (TN UNIT 0.478 0.497 0.409 0.419 0.327 0.347 0.345 0.335 0.343 0.272 0.267 0.269 UYJlU, 0.481 0.499 0.418 0.428 0.343 0,363 0.362 0.351 0.359 0.298 0.293 0.295 (~mN/flOL, 0.490 0.423 0.356

422.34 439.41 361.46 370.16 288.63 306.13 304.81 296.25 302.78 240.42 235.73 237.51


Table 4. Residual strength results for circular hole specimens d (mm) 10.15 10.18 10.11 10.15 10.24 10.23 20.12 20.15 20.02 29.92 30.05 29.92 29.97 40.15 40.04 W (mm) 89.80 89.80 89.84 89.88 89.88 89.82 89.88 89.88 89.84 89.93 89.94 89.90 89.94 89.80 89.80 dlW o-1130 o-1134 0.1125 0.1129 0.1139 0.1139 0.2239 0.2242 0.2228 0.3327 0.3341 O-3328 O-3332 0.4471 04459 t (mm) l-08 l-07 1.07 1.07 1.07 1.08 1.09 l-09 1.08 1.08 1.07 1.08 1.07 1.09 1.10 P (N 46 850 44 120 44 240 44 505 44 505 43 455 39 530 39 670 36 745 33 600 31350 31770 32 060 27 720 27 910 UN-t 547.16 517.88 521.01 521.68 522.29 505.56 519.87 521.93 489.58 520.84 489.21 492.72 499.63 514.57 509.90

prepared by method II
~Nl~O u*NIu, (U3UL

485.32 459.17 462.38 462.77 462.77 447.96 403.49 404.92 380.47 347.56 325.76 328.74 333.14 284.50 282.55

0.549 0.520 0.523 0.524 0.524 0.507 0.457 O-458 0.431 0.393 0.369 0.372 0.377 0.322 0.320

0.557 0.527 0.531 0.531 0.531 0.514 0.484 0.486 0.456 0.451 0.424 0.427 0.433 0.421 0.418





Table 5. Residual strength results for saw-cut specimens prepared by method II

2a (mm)
9.96 9-83 10.14 20.11 19.95 30.85 30.06 40.25 40-13

W (mm) 90.05 90+0 90.00 90.02 90.00 89.98 89.96 90.04 89.98

0.1106 0.1092 0.1127 O-2234 0.2217 0.3429 0.3341 0.4470 0.4460

t (mm)
1.08 1.08 l-10 1.08 1.09 1.11 1.11 1.11 1.11

P (V
41575 40 745 42 440 34 790 35 915 29 935 29 840 23 810 23 810

480.65 470.59 485.32 460.78 472.54 45609 450.83 432.77 430.30

427.49 419.19 430.64 357.84 367.79 299.72 300.18 239.31 238.39

0.484 0.475 O-487 0.405 0.416 0.339 0.340 O-271 0.270

0.486 o-477 0.490 o-414 O-425 0.357 0.357 0.297 0.296


0.419 o-357 0.297












Hole Diameter [mm]

saw-cut Length, 2a [mm]

Fig. 11. Residual strength versus defect sizes for laminates with two different (b) saw-cut.




(a) circular


Delamination Zone
Fig. 12. Delamination patterns and damage visible in composite layers after removal of aluminum layers in the specimens with a 10 mm notch: (a) micrograph and schematic of mechanism for circular hole, (b) micrograph and schematic of mechanism for saw-cut.

G. Lawcock et al.



; 3



0 0.5 I 15 2 2.5 3 3.5

Cross-Head Displacement [mm]

Fig. 14. Typical load/displacement curves for residual strength tests of 40 mm circular hole specimens.

Fig. 13. C-scan images of damage in 10mm circular hole specimens prepared by (a) method I and (b) method II.

observed to coincide with the length of the delamination zone in the specimen width direction, which substantiates the fact that delamination is caused by cracking in the composite layer. This suggests that the residual strength of notched FRMLs is governed by crack initiation and subsequent crack growth in the composite layer. Improvements in residual strength may be gained by increasing the fracture toughness of the composite layer. This may prohibit crack initiation or reduce the crack growth rate in the composite layer, thus increasing the residual strength of FRMLs. However, any attempt to improve the composite fracture toughness must ensure that the laminates superior fatigue crack growth characteristics are retained. 5 CONCLUSIONS The effect of adhesion between the aluminum and fiber/epoxy prepreg on the mechanical property profile has been investigated for carbon-fiberreinforced metal laminates. No difference was observed in the laminates in-plane mechanical properties such as tensile strength and Youngs modulus. However, the reduced interfacial bond strength between the aluminum and composite layer leads to a decrease in the ILSS of 10%. This is due to the fact that the interface is directly loaded in shear in the ILSS test, which amplifies the reduction in adhesion strength. The results of DCB interlaminar fracture tests indicate an increase in interfacial fracture toughness of up to seven times for the specimens with stronger bonding compared with those with poor bonding.

specimens because of the very localized stress concentration at the notch tip. There is also an observable difference in the failure behavior associated with the large circular hole specimens. For the 40mm circular hole specimens prepared by method I, failure occurs by complete fracture of the composite layer followed by yielding of the aluminum ligaments. However, specimens prepared by method II showed simultaneous fracture of layers, as shown in the typical all three load/displacement plots (Fig. 14). Again the low interfacial fracture toughness produced by method I allows a higher global energy absorption through delamination growth. Crack growth in the composite layer was also

Effect of adhesive bonding in CFRMLs


For the laminates produced by two different methods of aluminum surface treatment, residual strength in the presence of saw-cuts is almost unaffected. However, there is a slight increase in the residual strength for the laminates with small-size holes and there is an observable difference in the
failure mechanisms of the laminates with largediameter holes. The bond strength between the aluminum and composite layer is shown to contribute to these results. The increased delamination caused by poor interfacial bonding reduces the stress concentration in the aluminum layer, but the residual strength of the notched laminate was only slightly affected. The increased interfacial fracture toughness allows less delamination and concurrent failure of the aluminum and composite layers in the larger hole specimens. However, the failure strength of FRMLs is virtually unaffected by the size or shape of the delamination area, which is in agreement with results of Teply et

6. Young,

J. B., Landry, J. G. N. & Cavoulacos, V. N., Crack growth and residual strength characteristics of two grades of glass-reinforced aluminum GLARE. in ARALL, a fatigue aramid composite material.

Comp. Struct., 27 (1994) 457-469. 7. Marissen, R., Fatigue mechanisms


hybrid aluminum

of metal laminates: ARALL and GLARE. TU Delft Report LR-617, Department of Aerospace Engineering, Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands, 1990. 9. Macheret, J., Bucci, R. J. & Kulak, M., Metal plasticit and specimen size effects in evaluation of ARALL & laminates notched panel residual strength. In Fracture Behavior and Design of Materials and Structures, Proc. of 8th European Co@ on Fracture, Torino, Italy, 1990. 10. Macheret, J. & Bucci, R. J., A crack growth resistance curve approach to fiber/metal laminate fracture toughness evaluation. Engng Fract. Mech., 45 (1993)
729-739. 11. Lawcock,

Fatigue 87,3 (1987) 1271-1279. 8. Vermeeren, C. A. J. R., The blunt notch behavior

Finally, it is suggested that the residual strength of notched FRMLs is controlled by the crack initiation and growth at the notch tips in the composite layer and hence the fracture toughness of the composite layer. Possible improvements in the residual strength of FRMLs may be obtained through increasing the composite fracture toughness. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS The authors wish to thank the Australian Research Council (ARC) for the continuing financial support for this project. G.L. is supported by an Australian Postgraduate Research Award and a Supplementary Scholarship from the Department of Mechanical and Mechatronic Engineering and the ARC. The use of the facilities at the Electron Microscope Unit of the University of Sydney is appreciated. REFERENCES 1. Bucci, R. J., Mueller, L. N., Vogelesang, L. B. & Gunnink, J. W., ARALL@ laminates: Properties and design update. In Proc. 33rd Znt. SAMPE Symp., Anaheim, CA, 1988, pp. 1237-1248. 2. Marissen, R., Flight simulation behavior of aramid reinforced aluminum laminates (ARALL). Engng Fract.
Mech., 19 (1984) 261-277.

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