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Composites Part B 120 (2017) 103 e 117 Contents lists available at ScienceDirect Composites Part B

Contents lists available at ScienceDirect

Composites Part B

B journal homepage: www.elsevier.com/loc ate/compositesb Fatigue and reliability analysis of nano-modi fi ed scarf

Fatigue and reliability analysis of nano-modi ed scarf adhesive joints in carbon ber composites

U.A. Khashaba a , b , * , A.A. Aljinaidi a , M.A. Hamed a

a Department of Mechanical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, King Abdulaziz University, P.O. Box 80204, Jeddah 21589, Saudi Arabia b Mechanical Design and Production Engineering Department, Faculty of Engineering, Zagazig University, P.O. Box 44519, Zagazig, Egypt

Zagazig University, P.O. Box 44519, Zagazig, Egypt article info Article history: Received 28 March 2016

article info

Article history:

Received 28 March 2016 Received in revised form 29 March 2017 Accepted 2 April 2017 Available online 5 April 2017

Keywords:

Polymer-matrix composites (PMCs) Fatigue Statistical properties/methods Joints/joining

abstract

Enhancing the fatigue performance of scarf adhesive joints (SAJs) in carbon ber-reinforced epoxy (CFRE) composite structures via incorporation of nano llers into the epoxy adhesive has not yet been fully investigated and is the subject of this study. The optimum weight percentages of multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs), SiC and Al2O3 nano llers were ultrasonically dispersed in Epocast 50-A1/946 epoxy. The nanophased matrices were used to fabricate the SAJs with 5 scarf angle. Fatigue tests were conducted at constant-load amplitude, frequency of 10 Hz and stress ratio of 0.1. Result from fatigue tests showed that the gain/loss in the fatigue lives of the modi ed SAJs with MWCNTs, SiC and Al 2 O 3 are respectively 19%, 52% and 22% at fatigue limit of 36 MPa. The load-displacement hysteresis loops of the nano-modi ed SAJs showed higher fatigue stiffness compared to neat epoxy-SAJ. The stiffness of the SAJs was increased with increasing number of cycles up to about N/Nf ¼ 0.01. As the number of cycles in- creases the damage level is increased and thus the slope of the hysteresis loop (stiffness) is decreased and the hysteresis loop area becomes wider. The highest penalty paid to gain safe lives was observed for Al2O3-SAJs, which has highest scatter in the fatigue lives.

© 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

1. Introduction

Fiber-reinforced polymer (FRP) composite materials are char- acterized by their superior speci c strength, light weight, chemical and corrosion resistance, and unique exibility in design and tailoring their mechanical properties by choosing their constituent materials. These properties make FRP composites attractive not only to the military, but also to the civilian aircraft, space, and automobile industries. In these applications, adhesively bonded joints are increasingly being used as alternatives to conventional mechanical fasteners in which the drilled holes reduces the net cross sectional area of the structure and introduce localized stress concentration. Among the advantages of the adhesive bonded joints are the following: adhesives distribute stress load evenly over a broad area, reducing stress concentration in adherends, adhesives are applied inside the joint and are nearly invisible within the assembly, adhesives form a seal as well as a bond that

* Corresponding author. Department of Mechanical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, King Abdulaziz University, P.O. Box 80204, Jeddah 21589, Saudi Arabia. E-mail addresses: khashabu@zu.edu.eg , khashabu@hotmail.com (U.A. Khashaba).

1359-8368/ © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

can protect the joint from corrosion, relatively lightweight, lower fabrication cost and time, and improved damage tolerance [1] . Therefore, the demand for improving the mechanical properties of the adhesive bonded joints is required forever and is the main objective of this study. Recently, many researchers [1 e7] have focused on the improving the mechanical properties of the epoxy adhesive through nano llers infusion. They have been investigating the nano ller effects on the mechanical properties of nanophased epoxy and the overall strength of single-lap joints [1 e5] and double strap joints [6,7] . The interfacial bond strength plays a very important role in transferring the load from lower strength matrix to higher strength nano llers and thus, improving the mechanical properties of the nanophased matrix. For example, carbon nano- tubes are known to have superior mechanical properties, such as the typical Young's modulus of 1 TPa and failure stress ranging from 63 GPa [6] to 200 GPa [8] . Jakubinek et al. [1] reported that the peel and lap-shear strengths of the modi ed epoxy with 0.5 wt% single- walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNT) were unchanged while the addition of 1 wt% resulted in 30% increase of peel strength but the lap-shear strength was reduced by 10 e15%. Korayem et al. [6,7] found that the incorporation of CNTs into the pure epoxy leads to

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an increase of about 20% in Young's modulus and 30% in tensile strength, while elongation-to-failure is reduced by about 41%. Agglomeration of the nano llers in polymer matrix leads to decrease in interfacial bonding and can work as stress riser or discontinuity, which results in deterioration of the mechanical properties of the developed epoxy adhesives [9] . Therefore, in the present work, special attention has been paid to de ne all the sonication parameters and select the most suitable. The present study is a continuation of earlier work [10,11] on the static tensile behavior of developed scarf adhesive joints (SAJs) with optimum weight percentages of MWCNTs [10] , SiC and Al 2 O 3 nanoparticles [11] . The optimum weight percentages of MWCNTs, SiC and Al 2 O 3 were determined earlier by Khashaba et al. [12] as 0.5 wt%, 1.5 wt% and 1.5 wt% respectively. The ultimate tensile strength of the modi ed scarf adhesive joints (SAJs) showed enhancement up to 41% compared to neat epoxy (NE)-SAJs. The bondline and adherend-tip strains were monitored using instru- mented SAJs with 8-strain gauges. The highest strain was observed at the adherend-tip-ends-edges, which have the maximum inter- facial shear stress [10,11] . In automotive and aircraft industries the bonded joints are extensively used as a primary method for as- sembly and repairs of the structure components. The service life of the bonded structures in these applications is dominated by fatigue failure. For this reason, successful designs of the adhesively bonded structures should include fatigue analysis as a design criterion, which is the subject of the present study. The strength of scarf joints has recently attracted much interest [10,13 e16] because of the applied loads in practice are not abso- lutely perpendicular or parallel to the bonding surfaces of the adherends. Therefore, the scarf angle can play a very important role in controlling the combined peeling and shear stresses at the ad- hesive/adherend interface and thus the failure mode [13] . The interfacial shear stress in the scarf adhesive joint (SAJ) was affected by many factors such as the scarf angle, stress transformation, local stress multiaxiality and the locations experiencing the extreme shear stress along the interface. The scarf joints can be considered the weakest part of the ber composite structures due to the discontinuity of reinforcing bers at the joint interfaces [17] . The enhancing of fatigue performance of nano-adhesive joints in ber composite structures is a quite new topic and one may nd some traces on the development of lap joints in aluminum substrates [3] , composite to aluminum adherends [4] and is the subject of this study. Mactabi et al. [3] and Kang et al. [4] developed amazing tech- nique for monitoring crack initiation, propagation and delamina- tion in fatigue tests of adhesively bonded single-lap joints (SLJs) modi ed with MWCNTs through in situ measurement of the elec- trical resistance perturbation of the joints. Kang et al. [4] showed that incorporation of 2 wt% of carbon nanotubes into the adhesive of composite to aluminum SLJ leads to improving the fatigue strength and decreasing the static strength of the joint. Mactabi et al. [3] showed that the average electrical resistances of modi ed adhesive aluminum joints with 0.5 wt%, 1 wt% and 2 wt% of MWCNTs were decreased by 7, 8 and 10 orders of magnitude than that of the neat epoxy joint. The safe fatigue life zone, waning zone and failure zone were effectively detected using the developed technique. Their results also showed a high scatter in the static as well as fatigue life data of SLJ. Therefore, they cannot conclude any improvement to the static shear strengths as well as fatigue lives of the nano-modi ed SLJs. Therefore, one of the important goals of the present work is to develop theoretical model to analysis the scatter in the fatigue life data and predict fatigue lives at different reli- ability levels. The experimental results of fatigue life of composite materials always have a remarkable scatter due to their non-uniformity,

inhomogeneity, anisotropic and quasi-brittle nature compared with conventional metallic materials [18 e 20] . Selecting the suit- able distribution function to perform the statistical analysis of fa- tigue life data can play a key role in successful design with composite materials. Weibull distribution has a wide variety of shapes, for example, when the shape parameter ( a) ¼ 1 it became two-parameter exponential distribution, Rayleigh distribution is a Weibull distribution with a ¼ 2 and approximating a normal dis- tribution when a ¼ 3.2. Therefore, it has been extensively used by many investigators [18 e 22] and in the present work to describe the scatter in the fatigue life data of scarf adhesive joints (SAJs) with different adhesive materials. Recently Olajide and Arhatari [23] have investigated the fatigue performance of scarf adhesive joints with 3 -taper angle in carbon- ber reinforced composite adherends under constant amplitude as well as variable amplitude fatigue loads (VAF). They pointed that constant amplitude fatigue was used to produce supporting evi- dence of the main damage development mechanism in the joint, which is enough to study the effect of fatigue and materials pa- rameters on fatigue life or damage development mechanism. Whereas, variable amplitude fatigue was used to study damage development mechanism and hysteretic heating effect in the joint, which can be experienced during its life time. Until now, there is no research or evidence available to support the science of failure mechanisms in adhesively bonded joint under variable fatigue loading [24] . Therefore, special attention should be given to develop new life-prediction methods that take into account any VAF induced damage acceleration effects. To the best of the authors' knowledge, enhancing the fatigue performance of bonded scarf joint in CFRE composite structures via incorporation of MWCNTs, SiC and Al 2 O 3 nano llers into epoxy has not yet been fully investigated and is the main objective of this work. The optimum weight percentages of MWCNTs, SiC and Al 2 O 3 nano llers were ultrasonically dispersed in Epocast 50-A1/946 epoxy adhesive. The nano-modi ed adhesives are used to assembly tapered CFRE composite adherends with 5 o -scarf angle. The scarf adhesive joints (SAJs) were subjected to uniaxial static tensile and constant amplitude fatigue loading. Statistical and reliability models were applied to investigate the scatter in the fatigue life data and predicting the fatigue lives at different reliability levels. The most important aspects are discussed and future research topics are identi ed.

2. Experimental work

2.1. Materials

2.1.1. Adherends Carbon ber reinforced epoxy (CFRE) composite adherends were fabricated using prepreg technique with 25 layer of T300-3k plain woven carbon ber fabrics (200 g/m 2 ) and YPH-120-23A/B epoxy matrix. The laminate dimensions are 500 500 5 mm. The tensile and in-plane shear properties of CFRE composite were determined earlier by Khashaba et al. [10,11] and presented in Table 1.

Table 1 Tensile and shear properties of CFRE composites [10,11] .

Tensile Properties

Strength s t (MPa)

Modulus E t (GPa)

Poisson's ratio

In-plane shear properties

Strength t (MPa)

Modulus

G (GPa)

895.28

81.66

0.052

145.41

6.94

U.A. Khashaba et al. / Composites Part B 120 (2017) 103 e117

105

2.1.2. Adhesives The used epoxy is bisphenol A diglycidyl ether resin consists of two parts, which are epoxy part-A (Epocast 50-A1 resin) and epoxy part-B (Hardener 946) manufactured by Huntsman Advanced Ma- terials Americas Inc. The epoxy system is an un lled, solvent-free, easy-to-handle material for the manufacture and repair of com- posite structures. The mixing ratio is 100 g from epoxy part-A: 15 g part from epoxy part-B. The viscosity of the epoxy system is 2400 cP at 25 C. Details of the Epocast 50-A1/946 epoxy, MWCNTs, SiC and Al 2 O 3 nano llers are indicated in Table 2 . The epoxy resin was modi ed with the optimum weight per- centages of MWCNTs, SiC and Al 2 O 3 . The optimum weight per- centages of MWCNTs, SiC and Al 2 O 3 nano llers are 0.5 wt%, 1.5 wt% and 1.5 wt% as described earlier [12] . The nano llers were ultra- sonically dispersed in the Epocast epoxy using a high intensity Ultrasonic Processor (750 W), Cole e Parmer, Inc., with the following parameters:

The predetermined wt% of nano llers is mixed manually in 150 cm 3 epoxy part-A by adding them little by little to the epoxy for 5 min. Small diameter (50 mm) of high thermal conductiv- ities aluminum beaker was used to maximize the nano llers/ epoxy mixturee probe surface area that exposed to the acoustic waves and accordingly, de-agglomerate the nano llers owing to the van der Waals attractive interactions. Full sonication power (750 W) was applied to disperse SiC and Al 2 O 3 nanoparticles in epoxy resin for 60 min. To reduce the damage of MWCNTs the sonication amplitude and time were reduced to 50% (375 W) and 30 min respectively. The maximum temperature of the mixture was kept lower than 50 C using temperature probe that xed at the maid distance between the beaker wall and the sonicator probe (25 mm diameter). Sonication without cooling bath was applied to keep the mixture temperature at 50 C and at which the mixture viscosity is reduced and thus improving the dispersion of nano llers in epoxy resin. The sonicated mixture is put in a wide glass beaker to reduce its height and accordingly, increasing the mixture surface area. The beaker is then placed in drying vacuum oven model DZF-6050 at 133 vacuum pressure and 40 C for 1 h. Under such conditions (low viscosity and large surface area), the included bubbles were easily removed from the mixture.

Table 3 shows the tensile and in-plane shear properties of the modi ed epoxy with the optimum weight percentages of MWCNTs, SiC and Al 2 O 3 nano llers.

2.2. Preparation of the SAJs

Two CFRE composite laminates of 500 500 mm 2 were cut to eight panels each of 500 125 mm 2 .A5 tapered-scarf angle was machined on the eight panels as shown in Fig. 1 a. Two panels were used to fabricate the SAJ for each adhesive type. To avoid contam- ination from loosely held debris after the machining process, the scarf surfaces of the adherends were cleaned by wiping them with acetone-dampened cloth. To ensure drying of the mating sides of the scarf surfaces, the specimens are left 2 h in a clean, dust-free area with bonding surfaces upwards as described by ASTM D 2093. Two gauge foils were bonded at the tapered panel edges to kept constant adhesive (bondline) thickness of 0.25 mm. Enough ad- hesive layers were spread onto the mating taper surfaces of two CFRE panels. The panels placed carefully on each other and pressed between two waxed glass plates. The fabricated bonded panels were held at room temperature (23 ± 1C) for 10 days to ensure complete curing of the epoxy. The cured panels (500 250 mm) were cut into about 20 specimens with 24 mm width and 250 mm length as shown in Fig. 1 b. The tensile properties of the SAJs were determined previously by Khashaba et al. [10,11] and the results are presented in Table 4 .

2.3. Fatigue characterization of the SAJs

The 5 o -SAJs were tested in tension e tension fatigue using an Instron servohydraulic universal testing machine model 8872 (10 kN) at ambient laboratory environment. All the fatigue tests were performed under sinusoidal waveforms, constant load amplitude, frequency of 10 Hz and stress ratio of 0.1 [25 e 28] . The maximum load during fatigue tests was varied from 5 kN to 7 kN, which approximately equal 35%e 50% of the average ultimate ten- sile loads of the SAJs, Table 4 [10,11] . Therefore, the capacity of the testing machine (10 kN) is suf cient to performing accurate fatigue tests on the fabricated SAJs. Before implementing the fatigue tests, the machine was auto tuned for the specimen stiffness as recom- mended by the Instron manual. The bond line strains and the degradation of material stiffness were monitored during the fatigue tests using Instron dynamic extensometer Model 2620-604 with

Table 2 Details of the used materials.

Materials

Details

Epocast 50-A1 Resin (epoxy part-A) and Hardener 946 (epoxy Part-B)

Viscosity: 2400 cP at 25 C. Gel time: 20 min at 25 C. Mix ratio: parts by weight (Part A:Part B) is 100:15 Curing: 50-A1 resin/Hardener 946 system post cured at 77 e 93 C for two hours or ve days at 25 C after room temperature gel. Handling and machining may be done after 8 e 16 h at room temperature. Epocast 50-A1 Resin was manufactured by Huntsman Advanced Materials Americas Inc. Outer diameter < 8 nm Inner diameter 2 e 5 nm Length z 30 mm Purity > 95 wt% Density ¼ 2.1 g/cm 3 Manufactured by Timesnano, Chengdu Organic Chemicals Co. Ltd, Chinese Academy of Sciences. Spherical with outer diameter ¼ 20 nm. Purity > 99.9 wt%. Manufactured by Timesnano, Chengdu Organic Chemicals Co. Ltd, Chinese Academy of Sciences. Spherical with outer diameter ¼ 15 nm Purity > 99.9 wt% Manufactured by Timesnano, Chengdu Organic Chemicals Co. Ltd, Chinese Academy of Sciences.

Non-functionalized Multi-Walled Carbon Nanotubes (MWCNTs)

SiC nanoparticles

Al 2 O 3 nanoparticles

106

Table 3 Mechanical properties of the used adhesives [12] .

U.A. Khashaba et al. / Composites Part B 120 (2017) 103 e117

Properties

Neat and modi ed epoxy adhesives

 

Neat epoxy

0.5 wt% MWCNTs

Gain/Loss %

1.5 wt% SiC

Gain/Loss %

1.5 wt% AL 2 O 3

Gain/Loss %

Tensile strength (MPa) Tensile modulus (GPa) Poisson's ratio Shear strength (MPa) Shear modulus (GPa)

75.53

81.21

7.5

78.55

4.0

75.88

0.5

3.43

4.06

18.4

4.11

19.8

3.68

7.3

0.32

0.313

2.2

0.318

0.6

0.314

1.9

50.71

53.51

5.5

53.21

4.9

53.91

6.3

1.45

1.60

10.3

1.68

15.9

1.57

8.3

6.3 1.45 1.60 10.3 1.68 15.9 1.57 8.3 Fig. 1. Dimensions of machined adherend and SiC-SAJ:

Fig. 1. Dimensions of machined adherend and SiC-SAJ: (a) 500 125 mm CFRE adherend panel and (b) top and side views of assembled 250 24 mm SiC-SAJ with 5 scarf angle.

Table 4 Mechanical properties of the SAJs with different adhesives.

SAJs with different adhesives

UTS (MPa)

Gain/Loss %

Strain at UTS (x10 3 )

Gain/Loss %

Overall modulus (GPa)

Gain/Loss %

NE-SAJ [10,11] MWCNT/E-SAJ [10] SiC/E-SAJ [11] Al 2 O 3 /E-SAJ [11]

99.67

1.44

54.352

123.05

23.5

1.755

21.9

58.869

8.3

140.75

41.2

1.913

39.8

56.912

4.7

122.11

22.5

1.828

26.9

55.942

2.9

12.5 ± 2.5 mm travel and 50 mm gauge lengths as shown in Fig. 2 . The SAJ was loaded via WaveMatrix dynamic fatigue block-loading testing software. To construct the S-N curve, each type of the SAJs was tested at three different stress levels. The fatigue thresholds were determined as the highest load at which no damage is observed for 10 6 cycles [29,30] . The fatigue lives of the composites materials often showing considerable scatter even that the speci- mens are prepared and tested in well controlled environments, Khashaba et al. [18,19] . Therefore, at least seven specimens were tested for each stress level. Note, the MWCNT was abbreviated to CNT in the gures legends of section 3 .

2.4. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM)

The fracture surfaces of the notched specimen with 50-mm hole diameter were examined using scanning electron microscope (SEM) model Nova NanoSEM e 230. The SEM specimens were cut from the hole edges at x and y-axis and bonded to metallic support using carbon tab. To improve conductivity of the fracture surfaces,

the specimens were deposited with a thin gold layer of 3 mm using a vacuum evaporator.

3. Results and discussions

3.1. S-N curves of SAJs

Table 5 shows the experimental results of fatigue life data of the NE, MWCNTs, SiC and Al 2 O 3 SAJs. The experimental results of fa- tigue lives of SAJs were tted to two-parameter power equation, which extensively used for FRP composite materials [8,9,19,31] . The experimental results of fatigue tests and the power law equations of NE, MWCNT, SiC and Al 2 O 3 SAJs were illustrated in Fig. 3 . Based on the fact that the S-N curves of FRP composites are continues to slope downwards even after 10 8 cycles, the fatigue limits of the different SAJs were calculated by the power law equations at 10 7 cycles, JIS K 7118. The fatigue lives of the SAJs were calculated at fatigue limit (36 MPa), lower stress level (42 MPa) and higher stress level (57 MPa), Fig. 4 . This gure also shows the improvement

U.A. Khashaba et al. / Composites Part B 120 (2017) 103 e117

107

et al. / Composites Part B 120 (2017) 103 e 117 107 Fig. 2. Experimental setup

Fig. 2. Experimental setup of Instron servohydraulic universal testing machine model 8872 (10 kN) for fatigue testing of the structural bonded joint specimens.

Table 5 Number of cycles to failure and statistical analysis of SAJs at different stress levels.

SAJs

NE-SAJ

MWCNT/E-SAJ

 

SiC/E-SAJ

Al 2 O 3 /E-SAJ

s max

42.246

50.238

59.434

44.951

49.831

53.280

42.751

48.177

56.658

42.751

50.609

57.017

N f

227,234

18,907

592

101,295

17,814

6241

419,348

83,519

3027

248,334

11,413

4451

289,522

20,665

866

112,879

25,032

9105

466,665

112,795

3511

252,556

19,793

5017

320,153

22,424

916

150,972

28,277

11,562

518,615

116,532

4996

312,854

41,578

5640

497,000

23,757

953

179,952

30,504

12,964

531,329

114,675

5195

334,346

45,468

5753

543,261

25,246

1045

188,105

33,029

14,154

601,582

120,700

6195

420,311

50,352

6535

566,369

29,452

1141

248,614

35,007

15,270

650,437

135,228

7019

521,734

60,233

7122

654,258

31,543

1324

395,431

35,429

23,758

702,185

139,832

8248

837,674

89,443

8442

a

2.416

5.267

3.826

2.125

4.037

2.299

5.219

6.013

2.648

2.367

1.382

4.470

b

505,220

26,512

1078

223,307

32,221

15,196

600,343

125,880

6193

468,387

53,778

6692

M

447,925

24,416

975

197,770

29,220

13,462

552,580

116,796

5504

415,116

49,119

6105

CV%

44

22

29

50

28

46

22

19

41

45

73

25

a

n

3.881

3.020

4.442

2.190

b

n

0.9956

0.9904

1.0049

1.0012

CV n %

29

36

25

48

percentages in the fatigue lives of the developed SAJs with nano- modi ed adhesives compared to NE-SAJ. Although, Da Silva and Campilho [32] reported that the fatigue strength is generally higher for ductile adhesives, which have higher damping energy and more uniform stress distribution the fatigue lives of the developed SAJs with higher stiffness nano- modi ed epoxies were improved compared to the NE-SAJ as shown in Fig. 4 . This result was attributed to the higher improve- ment in the interfacial bonding and accordingly the interfacial shear resistance of the modi ed SAJs. The results in Fig. 4 also

showed that the maximum improvement in the fatigue lives of MWCNTs, SiC and Al 2 O 3 SAJs were respectively 42%, 133% and 160% at the higher stress level (57 MPa). The improvement percentages in fatigue life data were gradually decreased with decreasing the applied stress level i.e. longer fatigue lives. The S-N curve of Al 2 O 3 -SAJ has the higher slope ( ¼ 0.0648) compared to the 0.0554, 0.0566 and 0.0584 for NE, MWCNTs and SiC SAJs respectively as shown in Fig. 3 . Therefore, among the investigated SAJs, the Al 2 O 3 -SAJ has the higher improvements in the fatigue life (160%) at the higher stress level (57 MPa), while the

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Khashaba et al. / Composites Part B 120 (2017) 103 e 117 Fig. 3. S-N curves

Fig. 3. S-N curves of SAJs modi ed with different nano llers. ( s e is the fatigue limit at 10 7 cycles).

llers. ( s e is the fatigue limit at 10 7 cycles). Fig. 4. Gain/loss in

Fig. 4. Gain/loss in fatigue lives at fatigue limit (36 MPa), lower stress level (42 MPa) and higher stress level (57 MPa).

calculated fatigue life at fatigue limit of 36 MPa was decreased by 22% compared to NE-SAJ, Fig. 4 . The SiC-SAJ has the highest improvement in UTS (41.2%, Table 4 ) and the fatigue endurance life (52%, Fig. 4 ) at 36 MPa. When the SAJs with 5 -scarf angle is subjected to a uniaxial load of s 0 the resultant shear stress ( t sn ) is about 11.5 times higher than that normal stress ( s n ) [10,11] as shown in Fig. 1 b. For example, the maximum applied load of 7 kN ( s max ¼ 58.33 MPa) result in shear stress of t sn ¼ 5.06 MPa and normal stress of s n ¼ 0.44 MPa. Therefore, the failure of the fatigue test specimens was due to the interlaminar shear stress between the bond-layer and adherends tapered surfaces.

Based on the visual and SEM examinations of the fractured SAJs, the failure sequence is as follows: interfacial shear failure that was initiated at one stiffer adherend root and transversely propagated toward the specimen center as shown in Fig. 5 a. The bond layer peel-up the transverse (weft) bers at the thread ends of each layer of the tapered surface while the longitudinal (warp) bers at the

thread ends had sheared under fatigue loads, Fig. 5 b. The cleavage fracture surface of Fig. 5 b was due to the peeled weft bers and the fractured warp bers. The nal fracture of the SAJ was attributed to the fracture of the adhesive layer, which visually observed closed to the adherend tip-ends as shown in Fig. 5 a. This behavior was attributed to the lower stiffness of the adherends tip ends [10,11,33] and thus the higher fatigue stress. Because of the MWCNTs are randomly distributed in the epoxy matrix, some of them are normal to the bond layer surface, which can play a key role in increasing the normal and shear resistance of the SAJ and accordingly, increasing the fatigue properties compared with neat epoxy-SAJ. Pulled out MWCNTs are clearly observed on the fractured surface of the bond layer as shown in Fig. 5 c and d. The main reason for enhancing the fatigue limit of SiC-SAJ (52%) is the strong interfacial bonding as clearly observed form the SEM images of the adhesive layer, Fig. 5 e and f. The images evidently showed the strongly adhered nanophased epoxy to the carbon

bers.

3.2. Fatigue stiffness of the SAJs

The cyclic displacements in fatigue tests were measured using Instron dynamic extensometer with 50 mm gauge length as shown in Fig. 2 . The gauge length of the extensometer is centered with the bondline (5 mm/tan (5 ) z 57 mm). Fig. 6 shows fatigue displacement vs number of cycles of NE-SAJ under fatigue stress of 60% ultimate tensile strength. The gure showed sharp increases in the displacement for the rst few cycles and then gradually increased. The sharp increase of the displacement in the rst few cycles was attributed to the period required to achieve the full mean stress and stress amplitude. To illustrate the nano llers effect on the stiffness of the SAJs, a natural log t y ¼ a ln x þ b to displacement-N/N f was presented at different fatigue loads as shown in Fig. 7. The results in this gure showed that for the same N/N f , the displacement was increased with increasing fatigue load. The maximum displacement (lower stiffness) was observed for NE-SAJs while, the maximum stiffness (lower displacement) was observed for SiC-SAJs. These results were attributed to the higher stiffness of SiC/epoxy nanophased matrix compared to NE [12] . Fig. 8 shows the variation of normalized stiffness vs normalized fatigue life of MWCNT/E, SiC/E and Al 2 O 3 /E SAJs at maximum stress of 42 MPa (5 kN) as example. This gure shows that the stiffness of the investigated materials were sharply decreased after few cycles from the beginning of the fatigue tests, N/N f ¼ 10 5 . At this number of cycles, the mean stress was gradually increased up to 23.1 MPa (2.75 kN), which can interpret the initial sharply increased dis- placements in Fig. 7. As the normalized number of cycles exceeds 10 5 , the stiffness of the SAJs was increased with increasing num- ber of cycles up to about N/N f ¼ 0.01. This result was attributed to the formation of microcracks in the adhesive phase after a few cycles that result in relieving the local stress concentration owing to higher increases of exothermic reaction temperature during curing process. Some researchers [34 e 36] reported similar behavior for different FRP composites. Tanimoto and Amijima [34] found that the static strength of GFRP after cyclic loading to N/ N f ¼ 0.02 retains original value in spite of many cracks occurring in the specimen. Sturgeon [35] has pointed out that the residual static strength of carbon ber reinforced plastics subjected to cyclic load

U.A. Khashaba et al. / Composites Part B 120 (2017) 103 e117

109

et al. / Composites Part B 120 (2017) 103 e 117 109 Fig. 5. (a) Photograph

Fig. 5. (a) Photograph of the fractured surface of SAJ. (b) to (f) are SEM images for different SAJs and magni cations.

to moderate number of cycles is greater than that of virgin material. The results in Fig. 8 also showed that the incorporation of MWCNTs, SiC and Al 2 O 3 nano llers into epoxy matrix improve the stiffness of the SAJs. As described by Broughton et al. [37] the load-displacement hysteresis loops, Fig. 9 , has a lot of information, which include:

joint stiffness (dynamic and secant moduli), storage modulus E 0 , loss modulus E 00 and loss factor tan d ( ¼ E'/E 00 ), where d is the phase angle between dynamic load and the dynamic displacement. The storage modulus is proportional to the maximum energy stored during a loading cycle and represents the stiffness of the joint. The loss modulus is proportional to the energy dissipated (lost) during

one loading cycle. The enclosed area by hysteresis loop represents the dissipated energy for each cycle [38] . In the present work, the WaveMatrix software of fatigue tests was programed to record the rst 10 cycles, two cycles for multiples of 10 (10 e11, 20 e 21, .,100 e101 cycles), two cycles for multiples of 100, two cycles for multiples of 1000, … … etc. and the last ten cycles. Each complete cycle (hysteresis loops) was represented by 100 points. For example, Fig. 10 shows load-displacement hysteresis loops of NE- SAJ under fatigue stress of 42.3% ultimate tensile strength and number of cycles of 5, 10, 100, 1000, 10,000, 100,000 and 654,258

( N f ). The hysteresis loop at few number of cycles (5-cycles) has a

110

U.A. Khashaba et al. / Composites Part B 120 (2017) 103 e117

Khashaba et al. / Composites Part B 120 (2017) 103 e 117 Fig. 6. Displacement vs

Fig. 6. Displacement vs number of cycles of NE-SAJ under fatigue stress of 60% ultimate tensile strength.

under fatigue stress of 60% ultimate tensile strength. Fig. 7. Displacement vs N/N f of SAJs

Fig. 7. Displacement vs N/N f of SAJs with different adhesives under fatigue loads of: (a) 5 kN, (b) 6 kN and (c) 7 kN.

larger area, which was supported by the nding of some re- searchers [36,39] . They attributed this behavior to the damage ac- tivity during the initial phase of fatigue loading. As described before, the formation of microcracks in the adhesive phase after a few cycles result in relieving the local high stress concentration

owing to the high exothermic reaction temperature during curing

process and accordingly, the stiffness of the joint was increased.

This is clearly observed in the load-displacement hysteresis loops of

Fig. 10 in which the slope (stiffness) was increased from 26.718 kN/

mm to 27.474 kN/mm as the number of cycles increased from 5 to

U.A. Khashaba et al. / Composites Part B 120 (2017) 103 e117

111

et al. / Composites Part B 120 (2017) 103 e 117 111 Fig. 8. Normalized stiffness

Fig. 8. Normalized stiffness vs normalized fatigue life of MWCNT, SiC and Al 2 O 3 SAJs at 42 MPa.

life of MWCNT, SiC and Al 2 O 3 SAJs at 42 MPa. Fig. 9. Schematic

Fig. 9. Schematic of load-displacement hysteresis loop, A denotes the amplitude of the load and displacement.

1000 cycles. Decreasing the hysteresis loop area with increasing number of cycles up to 1000 cycles was attributed to stiffening of composites [36] . The results in Fig. 10 also showed that the stiffness of the SAJ was decreased from 27.474 kN/mm to 23.166 kN/mm as the number of cycles increased from 1000 to N f ( ¼ 654,258 cycles). This result was attributed to the damages of the adhesive joint near the overlap edges. These damages consist of interfacial debonding and micro- cracking of the adhesive [37] . As damage accumulates the slope of the hysteresis loop (stiffness) is decreased and the hysteresis loop area is increased as shown in Fig. 10 at 654,258 cycles.

Figs. 11 e13 show respectively, load-displacement hysteresis loops of MECNT/E-SAJ, SiC/E-SAJ and Al2O3/E-SAJ under fatigue load of 6 kN compared to NE-SAJ. The results in these gures showed that the modi ed SAJs with different types of nano llers have higher stiffness compared to NE-SAJ. The stiffness of the SAJs decreased with increasing number of cycles due to increasing the damage level. In addition, for the modi ed SAJs with different nano llers, the large difference in the strains between nano ller and matrix leads to interfacial slipping and developing stick e slip motion, which is responsible for energy dissipation in interfacial friction and accordingly, decreasing the joint stiffness [40 e 42] .

3.3. Statistical analysis of fatigue life data

The fatigue life data of the SAJs in Table 5 showed a remarkable scatter although they have been prepared and tested under iden- tical conditions. This result was attributed to the fact that the SAJs involve several materials (matrix, ber, adhesive and nano- reinforcements), some of which brittle, anisotropic and inhomo- geneous. Mactabi et al. [3] could not conclude any improvement in the static shear strengths as well as fatigue lives of the nano- modi ed SLJs due to the high scatter in the experimental results. Two-parameter Weibull distribution function has been successfully used earlier by Khashaba et al. [18,19] and in the present work to describe the scatter in the fatigue life data of the SAJs. The proba- bility density function f ( N f ), probabilities of failure P f ( N f ) and probabilities of survival P s ( N f ) of two-parameter Weibull distribu- tion are given as:

f ð N f Þ ¼ a

b

N f

b

a 1 exp ( N f a )

b

P f ð N f Þ ¼ 1 exp ( N f a )

b

P s ð N f Þ ¼ 1 P f ð N f Þ ¼ exp N f

b

a

(1)

(2)

(3)

where b is the scale parameter that locates the life distribution and a is the Weibull shape parameter that has inverse relationship with the scatter in the fatigue lives. The values of a and b can be deter- mined by rewriting Eq. (2) as:

@

Ln ð N f Þ ¼ a LnLn 0

1

1 P f ð N f Þ 1

1

A þ Ln ð bÞ

(4)

Eq. (4) represents a straight line in the following form:

y ¼ bx þ c

(5)

where y ¼ Ln( N f ), b ¼ 1/ a, c ¼ Ln( b) and x ¼ LnLn [1/(1- P f ( N f ))]. The variables in Eq. (4) are the experimental data of fatigue lives ( N f ), which were rearranged in ascending order and the mean rank, P f ( N f ) that was estimated from the following equation:

P f ð N f Þ ¼

i

n þ 1

(6)

where i is the failure order number and n is the total number of samples in each test. The values of a and b were estimated for each stress level of the fatigue life data of NE, MWCNT/E, SiC/E and Al 2 O 3 /E SAJs by the least squares curve tting and the results are illustrated in Table 5 .

112

U.A. Khashaba et al. / Composites Part B 120 (2017) 103 e117

Khashaba et al. / Composites Part B 120 (2017) 103 e 117 Fig. 10. Load-displacement hysteresis

Fig. 10. Load-displacement hysteresis loops of NE-SAJ under fatigue load of 42.6% ultimate tensile strength.

under fatigue load of 42.6% ultimate tensile strength. Fig. 11. Comparison between load-displacement hysteresis

Fig. 11. Comparison between load-displacement hysteresis loops of NE and MWCNT-SAJs under fatigue load of 6 kN.

Mean value and coef cient of variation of fatigue life data were calculated respectively using Eqs. (7) and (8) [43] .

M

¼ b: G 1 þ a

1

CV ¼

s

ffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffi

G 1 þ a 2 G 2 1 þ

1

a

G 1 þ

1

a

(7)

(8)

where M is the mean and CV is the coef cient of variation (direct measure of the scatter in the fatigue life data) and G is the gamma function. Table 5 shows the calculated values of Mean ( M ) and

coef cient of variation ( CV ) of the scatter in the fatigue life data of NE, MWCNT/E, SiC/E and Al 2 O 3 /E SAJs. The two-parameter Weibull fatigue life distributions were plotted in Fig. 14 a and b for SiC/E and Al 2 O 3 /E SAJs, which have respectively the minimum and maximum scatter in their fatigue life data as shown in Table 5 . The Weibull function in these gures were drawn in Weibull probability paper in which the abscissa is

Ln(N f ) and the ordinate is LnLn[1/(1-P f ( N f ))] and accordingly, it has

a linear relationship (with slope equal to 1/ a) in accordance with Eq. (5) . So, for higher slope (lower value of a) the line will be approximated by a vertical line with minimum variation (scatter) in fatigue life data (on the abscissa) and vice versa for lower value of a. Therefore, the slopes (1/ a) of the lines in Fig. 14 a and b can effec- tively represent the scatter in the fatigue life data of the SAJs. The results in Table 5 showed that the scatter ( CV% ) in fatigue

U.A. Khashaba et al. / Composites Part B 120 (2017) 103 e117

113

et al. / Composites Part B 120 (2017) 103 e 117 113 Fig. 12. Comparison between

Fig. 12. Comparison between load-displacement hysteresis loops of NE and SiC-SAJs under fatigue load of 6 kN.

loops of NE and SiC-SAJs under fatigue load of 6 kN. Fig. 13. Comparison between load-displacement

Fig. 13. Comparison between load-displacement hysteresis loops of NE and Al 2 O 3 -SAJs under fatigue load of 6 kN.

of NE and Al 2 O 3 -SAJs under fatigue load of 6 kN. Fig. 14.

Fig. 14. Weibull fatigue life distributions of: (a) SiC-SAJ and (b) Al 2 O 3 -SAJ.

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U.A. Khashaba et al. / Composites Part B 120 (2017) 103 e117

lives of NE, MWCNT/E, SiC/E and Al 2 O 3 /E SAJs respectively was not uniform at all stress levels. The fatigue life scatter tends to increase for longer fatigue lives (i.e. at lower stress) of NE and MWCNT/E SAJs. On the other hand, the lowest scatter in the fatigue life data of SiC/E-SAJ was observed at longer fatigue lives as shown in Fig. 14 a. The results in Fig. 14 b showed that the highest scatter in was observed in Al 2 O 3 /E-SAJs ( CV ¼ 73%) compared to NE, MWCNT/E and SiC/E SAJs, which have CVs % of 44%, 50% and 41% respectively as shown in Table 5 . Higher scatter in the fatigue life data will result in increasing the penalty paid to gain certain reliability and con - dence levels of safe fatigue life of the SAJs as will be discussed in the next section. Weibull fatigue life distribution curves are of considerable value to the designer with composite joints because of the probability of failure of the SAJs after a given number of cycles can be predicted directly from Fig. 14 . In addition, the fatigue failure life ( N f ) of NE, MWCNT/E, SiC/E and Al 2 O 3 /E SAJs can be predicted at any proba- bility of failure, P f ( N f ), either from the gure or by substituting the values of a and b in Table 5 into Eq. (2) .

3.4. Safe fatigue life based on time to rst failure (TTFF) concept

In the past, the scatter in the experimental results of the auto- motive structure components was compensated by large safety factors, which result in high materials (structure) weights, large size components and accordingly, high cost, fuel consumption and low performance. The scatter in the fatigue life data is signi cant for high performance composite aircraft and aerospace applica- tions, where any failure is catastrophic. Therefore, the design criteria should consider the lowest lives in the fatigue life data, not the average, mean or other central values [18] . In addition, the design criteria of the SAJs should not, based on selection stress level to ensure that the joint will never fail but to guarantee that the structure survives its function for a prescribed period of time [19] . The latter design criterion can lead to saving material and increasing the reliability of composite structures. In the present work, safe fatigue life models based on time to rst failure (TTFF) concept were developed with the aid of Weibull distribution of the normalized fatigue life data in Table 5 . For each stress level, the fatigue lives ( N f ) were normalized by their scale parameter ( b). For each adhesive type the normalized fatigue lives (of the three stress levels) of the SAJs were rearranged in ascending order and the mean rank was calculated using Eq. (6) . The normalized fatigue lives are plotted in Weibull probability paper with abscissa equal Ln( N f / b) and the ordinate equal LnLn[1 / (1 -P f ( N f / b))] as shown in Fig. 15 a and b for SiC/E and Al 2 O 3 /E SAJs, which have respectively the lowest and highest scatter in their fatigue lives. The normalized Weibull shape parameters ( a n ) and scale pa- rameters ( b n ) that were estimated from the normalized fatigue life data ( N f / b) of the SAJs with different adhesive materials are illus- trated in Table 5 . The results in Table 5 showed that the highest overall scatters (i.e. lowest a n ) was observed for Al 2 O 3 /E-SAJ ( a n ¼ 2.19) compared to NE, MWCNT/E and SiC/E SAJs, which have normalized Weibull shape parameters of 3.881, 3.02 and 4.442 respectively. These results were agree with the higher slope of SiC/ E-SAJs curve (lowest scatter), Fig. 15 a, compared to the lower slope of Al 2 O 3 /E-SAJ curve (highest scatter), Fig. 15 b. Safe fatigue life ( N R ) based on TTFF concept can be estimated as follows [18,19,43] :

N R ¼

b

b

b

b

¼ b g

S N : S R

S

¼ S M : S N : S R

(9)

where S is the scatter factor that equal the product of S N , S M and S R . S M is the sample size factor that represents the penalty paid to gain con dence g from a nite sample size (m). In the present work

m ¼ 2 (the rst two lowest fatigue lives) and g ¼ 0.99. The value of

S M was estimated as follows:

S M ¼

1

m X

2

2

g

ð 2 m Þ

1

n

a

(10)

where X 2 ( 2 m ) is the chi-square distribution of 2 m degree of freedom (the value of X 2 g ( 2 m ) ¼ 13.277 at con dence level g ¼ 99% and m ¼ 2 [19,43] ). S N is the eet size factor that depend on the number of samples for each stress level ( n ). S N can be calculated as follows:

g

S N ¼

1

n

1

n

a

(11)

S R is the reliability factor that illustrate the penalty paid to gain certain reliability level ( R ) in the eet (of SAJ with speci c adhe- sive). S R can be calculated as follows:

S R ¼ Ln

1

R

1

n

a

(12)

b ^ and b g are the characteristic and the lower bound lives respectively. The values of b ^ and b g can be estimated as:

b

b ¼

b g ¼

0

B

B

B

@

P

m

i ¼ 1 N

a

f

i

n

m

b

b

S

M

1

C

C

C

A

1

n

a

(13)

(14)

In this work, safe fatigue lives ( N R ) of SAJs were estimated at two reliability levels ( R ). The rst R value is 0.368, which is the proba- bility that the joint will survival the characteristic life or large ( N f ¼ b). This reliability levels (0.368) can be estimated from Eq. (3) by substituting N f ¼ b. Hence, the value of P s (N f ) ¼ R ¼ exp(-1) ¼ 0.368;

in such case S R ¼ 1. The second value of R is 0.99, which was used to

predict the fatigue lives of the SAJs at very high reliability level.

The developed reliability analysis models were used to predict the safe fatigue lives of NE, MWCNT/E, SiC/E and Al 2 O 3 /E SAJs at

0.99 con dence level and 0.368 and 0.99 reliability levels as shown

in Figs. 16 e19 respectively. In addition, the mean, characteristic and

lower bond fatigue lives were presented in these gures. The penalties paid to gain safe fatigue life of SAJs are essential for aerospace applications, where any failure is catastrophic. Fig. 20 shows a comparison between the penalties that were paid to gain safe fatigue lives of NE, MWCNT/E, SiC/E and Al 2 O 3 /E SAJs at 42 MPa stress level. The penalty percentages in this gure were calculated

at 0.368 and 0.99 reliability levels as follows:

Penalty percentage ¼ N R N f 100 !

N

f

(15)

where N R is the safe fatigue life and N f is the mean fatigue life. The values of N R and N f of NE, MWCNT/E, SiC/E and Al 2 O 3 /E SAJs were determined from Figs. 16 e19 respectively at 42 MPa stress level. The results in Fig. 20 showed that the penalties paid to gain safe fatigue lives of NE, MWCNT/E, SiC/E and Al 2 O 3 /E SAJs were 68%, 84%, 56% and 96% respectively at reliability level of 0.368. The

U.A. Khashaba et al. / Composites Part B 120 (2017) 103 e117

115

et al. / Composites Part B 120 (2017) 103 e 117 115 Fig. 15. Weibull normalized

Fig. 15. Weibull normalized fatigue life distribution of: (a) SiC-SAJ and (b) Al 2 O 3 -SAJ.

distribution of: (a) SiC-SAJ and (b) Al 2 O 3 -SAJ. F i g . 1

Fig. 16. Prediction of fatigue life of NE-SAJ at different reliability levels.

highest penalty paid is for Al 2 O 3 /E-SAJs which has highest normalized coef cient of variation of 48% (scatter) compared to 29%, 36% and 25% respectively for NE, MWCNT/E and SiC/E SAJs as shown in Table 5 . On the other hand, the lowest penalty paid to gain safe fatigue life was observed for SiC/E-SAJ at 0.368 and 0.99 reliability levels, which has the lowest normalized coef cient of variation (25%, approximately half CV % of Al 2 O 3 /E-SAJs) compared to the other SAJs as shown in Table 5 . The developed models for predicting safe fa- tigue life of SAJs are of considerable value to the designer with SAJs in aerospace composite structures, where the stress level can be selected based on that the structure will survival performing their functions for prescribed period of time as shown in the S-N curves of Figs. 16 e19 .

4. Conclusions and recommendations for future research

The performance of scarf adhesive joints (SAJs) modi ed with

of scarf adhesive joints (SAJs) modi fi ed with Fig. 17. Prediction of fatigue life of

Fig. 17. Prediction of fatigue life of MWCNT-SAJ at different reliability levels.

optimum weight percentages of MWCNTs, SiC and Al 2 O 3 nano llers was studied under static and fatigue loading. From the experi- mental results and reliability analysis of fatigue life data of the SAJs the following concluding remarks were drawn:

The maximum improvement in the fatigue lives of MWCNT/E, SiC/E and Al 2 O 3 /E SAJs were respectively 42%, 133% and 160% at the maximum stress level (57 MPa). The improvement per- centages in fatigue life data were gradually decreased with decreasing the applied stress level (i.e., longer fatigue life). The SiC/E-SAJ has the highest improvement in fatigue endurance life (52%) at 36 MPa. The load-displacement hysteresis loops of the modi ed SAJs with different types of nano llers showed higher stiffness compared to NE-SAJ. The stiffness of the SAJs was increased with increasing number of cycles up to about N/ Nf ¼ 0.01. This result was attributed to the formation of microcracks in the adhesive phase after a few cycles that are

116

U.A. Khashaba et al. / Composites Part B 120 (2017) 103 e117

Khashaba et al. / Composites Part B 120 (2017) 103 e 117 Fig. 18. Prediction of

Fig. 18. Prediction of fatigue life of SiC-SAJ at different reliability levels.

of fatigue life of SiC-SAJ at different reliability levels. Fig. 19. Prediction of fatigue life of

Fig. 19. Prediction of fatigue life of Al 2 O 3 -SAJ at different reliability levels.

relieving the local high stress concentration owing to the exothermic reaction temperature during curing process. Further increase in the number of cycles increases the damage level and thus the slope of the hysteresis loop (stiffness) decreased and the hysteresis loop area was increased. The two parameter of Weibull distribution function was used to analysis the scatter in fatigue life data of the SAJs. The statistical results showed that the scatter in fatigue lives of NE, MWCNT/E, SiC/E and Al 2 O 3 /E SAJs is not uniform at all stress levels. The highest scatter was observed in Al 2 O 3 /E-SAJs compared to NE, MWCNT/E and SiC/E SAJs. The developed reliability analysis models were used to predict mean, characteristic and lower

models were used to predict mean, characteristic and lower Fig. 20. Penalty paid to gain safe

Fig. 20. Penalty paid to gain safe fatigue life of SAJs at 42 MPa stress and different reliability levels.

bond fatigue lives as well as safe fatigue lives of NE, MWCNT/E, SiC/E and Al 2 O 3 /E SAJs at 0.368 and 0.99 reliability levels. The penalties paid to gain safe fatigue life of SAJs are essential for aerospace applications, where any failure is catastrophic. The highest penalty paid is for Al 2 O 3 -SAJs which has highest normalized coef cient of variation of 48% compared to 29%, 36% and 25% respectively for NE, MWCNT/E and SiC/E SAJs. The developed models for predicting safe fatigue life of SAJs are of considerable value to the designer with SAJs in aerospace composite structures, where the stress level can be selected based on that the structure will survival performing their functions for prescribed period of time. This design criterion can lead to saving material and increasing the reliability of com- posite structures. Most of the bonded joints in structural applications are sub- jected to different thermal stresses that can be ranged from þ 50C to 70C. The rst temperature level ( þ 50 C) rep- resents the summer midday temperature of some countries such as Mexico, Kuwait and Qatar, while 70 C can simulate the skin temperature of an aircraft in ight. Fatigue performance of SAJs with and without CNTs under different cyclic thermal fa- tigue loads is a quite new topic that has not yet been reported and is the subject of the following paper. In addition, most of the bonded joints in structural applications are subjected to variable amplitude fatigue (VAF) and thus, special attention should be given to develop new life-prediction methods that take into account any VAF induced damage acceleration effects.

Acknowledgements

This work was funded by King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST), Riyadh, Saudi Arabia under grant DRP-5-3. The authors, therefore, gratefully appreciated to KACST for providing technical and nancial support.

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