Prediction of Moisture Diffusion and Failure in Glass/Steel Adhesive Joints


  • Ioannis Katsivalis University of Limerick
  • Stefanie Feih School of Engineering and Built Environment, Griffith University,


Glass/steel adhesive joints are being used increasingly in the construction industry as they offer significant structural advantages over conventional mechanical fastener approaches. However, adhesive joints are also known to be sensitive to moisture diffusion into the bondline, which reduces the interfacial bonding strength for hybrid glass/steel substrates. The effect of moisture on the performance degradation of glass/steel adhesive joints has been successfully predicted assuming adhesive property degradation but requires experimental determination of the affected moisture ingress zone. This study utilizes a multi-physics numerical approach implemented via the commercial finite element code Abaqus 2020, which firstly simulates moisture ingress into the adhesive/glass interface and subsequently couples the diffusion effects with a cohesive zone modelling approach for damage initiation and propagation. The numerical predictions are calibrated against experimental data on glass/steel Double Cantilever Beam (DCB) specimens, which are bonded with a ductile methacrylate adhesive (Araldite 2047-1). The modelling approach is then validated against the experimental response of large double lap shear joints of a significantly different bondline geometry. It is demonstrated that the numerical model successfully predicts the critical exposure time for partial to complete joint degradation enabling the development of engineering guidelines for life-time prediction of various joint geometries.





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