Nonlinear analysis of bonded composite single-lap joints

E. Oterkus, A. Barut, E. Madenci, S. S. Smeltzer, D. R. Ambur

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


This study presents a semi-analytical solution method to analyze the geometrically nonlinear response of bonded composite single-lap joints with tapered adherend edges under uniaxial tension. The solution method provides the transverse shear and normal stresses in the adhesive and in-plane stress resultants and bending moments in the adherends. The method utilizes the principle of virtual work in conjunction with von Karman's nonlinear plate theory to model the adherends and the shear lag model to represent the kinematics of the thin adhesive layer between the adherends. Furthermore, the method accounts for the bilinear elastic material behavior of the adhesive while maintaining a linear stress-strain relationship in the adherends. In order to account for the stiffness changes due to thickness variation of the adherends along the tapered edges, their in-plane and bending stiffness matrices are varied as a function of thickness along the tapered region. The combination of these complexities results in a system of nonlinear governing equilibrium equations. This approach represents a computationally efficient alternative to finite element method. Comparisons are made with corresponding results obtained from finite-element analysis. The results confirm the validity of the solution method. The numerical results present the effects of taper angle, adherend overlap length, and the bilinear adhesive material on the stress fields in the adherends, as well as the adhesive, of a single-lap joint.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Architecture
  • General Materials Science
  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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