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The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Malaysia

Research project: Experimental investigation and numerical modelling of adhesively-bonded composite joints

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PhD studentship in Mechanical Engineering.

Adhesively-bonded joints are widely being used nowadays in joining aerospace composite components due to their light weight, good fatigue performance and high corrosion resistance. Most importantly their do not compromise the integrity of the load-carrying fibre reinforcement in the composite structures compared to the traditional mechanical fasteners. Depending on the joint design, the adhesive layer, together with the anisotropic nature of the composite adherends, is subjected to complex 3D stresses with stress concentrations that can lead to joint failure. To predict the failure in complex adhesive configuration of actual aero-structural elements is not straightforward the problems have to be solved by finite element modelling. This is in line with the long-term vision of the aerospace industries to gradually replace actual experimental testing with virtual numerical testing to reduce cost and design time. Accurate and reliable modelling of adhesively bonded is still a difficult task. Currently there is a lack of universally applicable failure models for all joint designs.

 

This PhD project aims to identify the main failure parameters and to develop an experimentally validated numerical tool to predict both the load response and progressive failure in complex joint configurations.

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