Fatigue of adhesively bonded joints

The interest for adhesive joining in industry has increased tremendously over the last years. One reason for this is the environmental demands that are forcing companies all over the world to come up with new innovations, develop new designs etc. For example, cars and other vehicles have to be more fuel efficient than they are today. One way to achieve this is to develop lighter vehicles. This is a big challenge for the automotive industry. Lighter products mean that the companies are forced to introduce new or improved materials which in turn demand new joining methods.

Adhesive joining is considered one of the most promising methods.The main concerns in many industries, regarding adhesive joining, are how to determine or predict the behaviour of the joint under different kind of loading conditions. This is crucial knowledge in the design process. For example, to perform a crash simulation on a car body that contains adhesive joints, parameters such as the strength and fracture energy needs to be known. Another important problem is to determine if an adhesively bonded structure is capable of withstand cyclic fatigue loading and a hostile environment during its expected service-life. To answer these questions knowledge about the fatigue properties under extreme conditions is essential. However, the methods to dimension adhesively joined products with respect to fatigue is still in its infancy. Therefore, industries often discard adhesive joining. This limits a more widespread use of adhesives since there are too many uncertain factors involved. In turn, this results in an inability to use lightweight materials to their full potential. Thus, vehicles are too heavy, consume too much energy and pollute the environment to a larger extent than necessary.

The project will also contribute to a deeper understanding concerning the damage mechanisms that governs the fatigue behaviour of adhesive systems. The project is characterized by close cooperation between the Swedish Automotive industry, the Knowledge Foundation and the University of Skövde. A general objective is to strengthen the competitiveness of the Swedish industry and academia in the field of fatigue of adhesive systems.

The involved companies are:

  • DOW Automotive
  • VOLVO Truck Corporation


Project leader