Volume 9, Issue 2 (February 2012)
Mechanical Characteristics of Degraded Silicone Bonded Point Supports
Tensile loading of bonded point supports is considered as the critical load case for adhesive material, e.g., silicone applied to such kinds of fixtures. From a durability point of view, the following defects of two-component adhesives are expected to have a significant impact on the response to this loading regime: the wrong mixing ratios of the adhesive components, inhomogeneous mixing due to insufficient or poor mechanical mixing procedures, load degradation of the adhesive bonding material, local degradations of the bonding, e.g., bubbles or poor adhesion. In order to investigate these aspects, different experimental approaches have been pursued. Regarding the mixing ratio aspect, material tests were performed with systematically varied mixing ratios for the analysis of the elastic and strength properties while for the other topics, tensile tests of bonded point supports were evaluated in detail. Cyclic tests of point supports in the tensile load regime were set up, differing in amplitudes and maximum peaks of the cycles, in order to analyze the impact of load histories on the mechanical characteristics of the specimens. For point supports subjected to monotonically increasing loads the qualitative assessment of the fracture surfaces revealed the existence and the potential impact of disturbances inside the bonding, such as bubbles or locally lacking adhesion, on the damage behavior and on related inferior mechanical performance. The main motivation for this kind of research is to improve confidence in the durability of bonded designs. Thus, our activities were focused on aspects which might affect durability from an application point of view, not from a purely academic one. Especially in Germany, the confidence of the authorities in this joining technique has to be strengthened by demonstrating a high degree of robustness in the application, and in view of the risk associated with potential in-field problems.