Computing the growth of naturally-occurring disbonds in adhesively-bonded joints

Wenchen Hu, Rhys Jones, Anthony J. Kinloch

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Researchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


In 2009, the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) introduced a slow growth approach for certifying composite and adhesively bonded structures. This approach requires that delamination or growth is slow, stable and predictable under cyclic fatigue loads. The present chapter addresses the challenge of developing a methodology capable of enabling this approach to certification to be implemented. To this end we have examined the growth of disbonds from small naturally occurring material discontinuities in adhesively bonded structures. It is shown that, for the examples studied, the disbond growth histories can be accurately computed using a form of the Hartman and Schijve variant of the NASGRO crack-growth equation. It is also shown that the scatter in the disbond growth histories can be captured by allowing for small changes in the fracture-mechanics threshold term. These findings suggest that the Hartman-Schijve crack-growth equation has the potential to address the 'slow growth' approach to certifying composite/bonded structures and bonded repairs outlined in the US FAA Airworthiness Advisory Circular No: 20-107B.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAircraft Sustainment and Repair
EditorsRhys Jones, Alan Baker, Neil Matthews, Victor Champagne
Place of PublicationOxford UK
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9780081005446
ISBN (Print)9780081005408
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Adhesives
  • Fatigue crack growth
  • Joints
  • Scatter

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