Surface preparations of graphite/epoxy composites for adhesive bonding were mechanically tested and fractographically examined. Two adhesives (FM73 and FM300), two peel plies (porous teflon and Release E), and three surface preparations (peel ply, sanding, and an application of a release agent) were considered. Mechanical tests included a standard, single-lap shear specimen and a slightly modified flatwise tensile specimen. Fractographic examinations of the peel plies, prepared surfaces and fracture surfaces were conducted and compared to the mechanical strengths. Results from this investigation showed that the type of peel ply, the surface preparation and the mechanical testing all have an effect on the apparent strength and fracture characteristics of the composite/adhesive bond.
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