Mechanical & Materials Engineering, Department of


Date of this Version



Published in Composite Structures (2011); doi:10.1016/j.compstruct.2011.02.012 Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. Used by permission.


Adhesively bonded composite patch repair is an efficient means to regain load carrying capacity, alleviate the crack growth, and improve the service life of the damaged structure. In this paper, three dimensional finite element models are developed to ex­amine the fracture behavior of a single edge V-notched Aluminum plate repaired with Kevlar-49/epoxy or e-glass/epoxy pre-preg patches on both sides. Contour integral method was used for evaluating the stress intensity factor (SIF), an indicator of the crack stability. The load transfer mechanisms, stress distribution, damage variable (D), and crack mouth opening displacement (CMOD), were also presented to estimate the effectiveness of composite patch repair. The influence of the patch material, crack length and the adhesive thickness has been investigated. Results have shown that the crack induced damage increased nonlin­early with a larger crack size. With the composite patch repairs, SIF is reduced to 1/7–1/10 of that of the bare plate and CMOD decreased by 79%. The damage variable is reduced significantly and the load capacity is increased. A thinner adhesive layer re­sults in a higher percentage of load shared by the composite patch.