The fatigue damage mechanism of an adhesively bonded joint between fabric reinforced composite adherends was investigated with cracked-lap-shear specimens. Two bonded systems were studied: fabric Kevlar 49/5208 epoxy adherends bonded together with either EC 3445 or FM-300 adhesive. For each bonded system, two specimen geometries were tested. In all specimens tested, fatigue damage occurred in the form of cyclic debonding; however, the woven Kevlar specimens gave significantly slower debond growth rates and higher fracture toughness than previously found in the non-woven adherend specimens. The surfaces for the woven adherends were not smooth; rather, they had regular crests (high spots) and troughs (low spots) due to the weave pattern. Radiographs of the specimens and examination of their failure surfaces revealed that fiber bridging occurred between the crests of the two adherends in the debonded region. The observed improvements in debond growth resistance and static fracture toughness are attributed to this bridging.
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