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International Journal of Adhesion & Adhesives 24 (2004) 239246

Stiffness prediction of the double lap shear joint. Part 2: Finite element modeling
Xinran (Sharon) Xiao*, Peter H. Foss, Jessica A. Schroeder
General Motors Corporation, R&D Center, MC 480-106-710, 30500 Mount Road, Warren, MI 48090-9055, USA Accepted 13 October 2003

Abstract To develop vehicles with adhesively bonded structures, one needs to be able to perform structural nite element (FE) analysis of the adhesive joints. In current structural analysis practice, adhesive joints are modeled as rigid joints, semi-rigid springs, or other equivalent representations. This paper is aimed at determining modeling methods that give reasonably accurate predictions of the stiffness of bonded joints, and yet are practical enough to be used at the component or vehicle level of modeling. Starting with the double lap shear (DLS) joint, different nite element modeling methods were investigated. Simulation results were compared with DLS test results and with the analytical solutions presented in Part 1 of this paper (Stiffness prediction of the double lap shear joint. Suitable modeling methods are recommended for ABAQUS and LS-DYNA. r 2003 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Keywords: C. Lap-shear; Stiffness; Finite element analysis

1. Introduction A brief review of the state-of-the-art of nite element structural analysis procedures for structures with adhesively bonded joints is presented in Part 1 of this paper [1]. In nite element models of complex structures, such as vehicles or vehicle components, adhesive bonds are either simplied as rigid joints or as spring elements [2,3], or represented by other equivalent models such as Alcans jointline element [3,4] and the shell-solid/undercut element method proposed by Beevers et al. [5]. The jointline approach requires a rather extensive database [3,4]. The method proposed by Beevers et al. has the potential to be used in complex structures but it has been evaluated only for coach joints and a component made of mild steel [5]. A recent study by Steidler et al. [6] examined the spring and solid element approaches using the RADIOSS code. The objective of this work is to assess the accuracy of simplied methods and explore other modeling methods. As a rst step, this study is focused on stiffness predictions for the double lap shear (DLS) joint. In the
*Corresponding author. Tel.: +1-586-986-5616; fax: +1-586-9861207. E-mail address: xinran.xiao@gm.com (X. Xiao). 0143-7496/$ - see front matter r 2003 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. doi:10.1016/j.ijadhadh.2003.10.004

rst part of this research, an analytical solution of the in-plane stiffness of the DLS joint was derived and validated with experimental data. Next, with the analytical solution as the baseline, several simplied nite element models for the stiffness prediction of the DLS joints were systematically examined and the results are now reported.

2. Material properties and modeling In Part 2, discussions are limited to two material combinations: SRIM/LESA and Al/Epoxy-II. SRIM is a glass-reinforced thermoset composite, formed by structural reaction injection molding; LESA is a twopart acrylic adhesive provided by Dow Chemical Company; and Epoxy-II is Betamate 4601, an epoxy provided by Dow Chemical. The aluminum is Al 5754-0 with PT-2 pre-treatment. The mechanical properties of these materials are listed in Table 1. Details about the materials and about the preparation and testing of DLS specimens have been reported in [1]. The material models for the substrate and adhesive materials used in nite element analysis are presented here.

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240 X. Xiao et al. / International Journal of Adhesion & Adhesives 24 (2004) 239246 Table 1 Mechanical properties of adhesive and adherents LESA Modulus E (GPa) Shear modulus G12 (GPa) Yield strength (MPa) Tensile strength (MPa) Failure strain (%) Poissons ratio n12 Density (g/cm3) 2.0 0.898 20.7 1.4 0.144 1.12 Epoxy-II 3.97 1.1 53 12 0.374 SRIM 9.9 3.19 142 2.3 0.327 1.49 Al 5754 70.0 26.9 115 286 17.0 0.3 2.7

b t ta

l2
2.1. SRIM composite The SRIM composite displays a nearly linear stress strain curve with a tensile strength of 142 MPa and a failure strain of 2.3%. The SRIM was modeled as a linear elastic material. 2.2. Aluminum The sheet Al 5754-0 was supplied by Alcan. The tensile properties were measured on as-received sheet aluminum at GM R&D test lab. The yield strength is about 115 MPa and the failure strain is about 17%. This material was modeled as an elastic-plastic material with a piecewise linear plasticity model. 2.3. Epoxy-II The data sheet provided by Dow Chemical [7] shows that Betamate 4601 epoxy has a tensile strength of 53 MPa with an elongation of 12% at room temperature. The Epoxy-II was modeled as an elastic, perfectly plastic material. 2.4. LESA adhesive Dow Automotive has conducted tensile and shear tests on LESA [8]. Under tensile loading, LESA had a maximum stress of 20.7 MPa and a failure strain of 1.4%. LESA was modeled as an elastic-plastic material with a piecewise linear plasticity model. In this study the nite element analysis was performed with the use of two commercial codes: LS-DYNA explicit [9,10] and ABAQUS implicit [11,12]. In the automotive industry LS-DYNA explicit is often used for analysis of crashworthiness and ABAQUS implicit is often used for analysis of structural performance and durability.

l3

l1

Fig. 1. Schematic of a DLS test specimen and the notation for analytical solutions.

the solution. Here we simply repeat the solution to be used in this part of the paper. Fig. 1 is a schematic of a DLS specimen. The substrate has dimensions of width, b; thickness, t; and Youngs modulus, E ; in the axial (x) direction. The adhesive has thickness, ta ; and adhesive shear modulus, G : DLS joints are assumed to be made with substrates of the same material and legs of the same thickness. Assuming that F is the total axial force acting on the cross-section of the DLS specimen, Du is the total axial displacement. The in-plane stiffness response is the relation between F and Du: 3.1. Model 1: consideration of shear deformation of the adhesive When the shear deformation of the adhesive is considered, the solution for the in-plane stiffness of the DLS joints is obtained as   3Fl1 tta E l3 Du 1 1 3l1 l3 G 3l1 2btE for l1 l2 : In structural analysis of large components or vehicles, the adhesive bond is often modeled by simplied methods involving using common nodes or a matrix of rigid links between bonded substrates. In the previously reported work [1], the solution for these two simplied models was also derived. 3.2. Model 2: modeling the adhesive as a matrix of rigid links The solution for the case when the adhesive is modeled as a matrix of rigid links is   3Fl1 2l3 Du 1 2 2btE 9l1 for l1 l2 :

3. Analytical solution of the in-plane stiffness of the double lap shear joints In [1], we presented the analysis of the in-plane stiffness response of DLS joints and the derivation for

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3.3. Model 3: modeling the adhesive as a line of rigid links In structural analysis, adhesive bonds have also been modeled by rigid links along a line of nodes. Using the same practice, we will dene rigid links across the width of the coupon along a line through the center point of the overlap. The solution corresponding to this case is obtained as:   3Fl1 l3 Du 1 3 2btE 2l1 for l1= l2.

modeling methods were investigated: (1) tied- or tiebreak-contact and (2) a line of rigid links. 5.1. Tied- or tiebreak-contact (contact) models In LS-DYNA, tiebreak contact is one of the recommended methods for representing adhesives [9,10]. In this work, surface-to-surface tiebreak contact is used. Tiebreak contact functions the same as common contacts under compressive load. Under tensile load, tiebreak allows the separation of the tied surface under the following failure criterion:     j sn j 2 j ss j 2 X1; 4 NFLS SFLS where NFLS is the normal failure stress and SFLS is the shear failure stress. This option allows one to consider failure in future development. In ABAQUS, the tied-contact model is set up as tied node-to-surface contact. To the authors best knowledge, tiebreak is not allowed in ABAQUS Standard [11]. (ABAQUS Explicit allows separation of the bonded joint through BOND command [12]). In Fig. 4 the large nodes are involved in the tied-contact model for the DLS specimen in ABAQUS Standard. 5.2. Line-of-rigid-links (line rigid) model In structural analysis, adhesive joints have often been modeled as a line of rigid links (line rigid) [2]. In a FE
14 12 10
Load (kN)

4. Baseline FEA model The shell/solid model was chosen as the baseline FE model. Shell elements are preferred when thin walled structures such as vehicles are modeled. Shells are superior to a single layer of solid elements in modeling the out-ofplane bending behavior. In the shell/solid model, the substrates were modeled by shell elements and the adhesive was represented by solid elements, as shown in Fig. 2. The nodes at the end of double legs were fully constrained and uniform displacement was applied at the nodes at the end of single leg. For LS-DYNA analysis, the displacement at the moving end of the DLS specimen was applied at a constant velocity of 0.1 mm/ms. Simulations were carried out for SRIM/LESA DLS specimen series S13 (25.4/1.3, 25.4 mm overlap with an adhesive thickness of 1.3 mm). Fig. 3 plots the experimental results for three specimens. Also shown in Fig. 3 are a plot of the analytical prediction by Eq. (1) and plots of the simulations based on ABAQUS and LSDYNA. As shown, simulations obtained from the two codes were indistinguishable (aside from the failure modeling capability provided by LS-DYNA). The results of the simulation matched the analytical prediction and were in good agreement with the experimental results.

8 6 4 2 0 0

specimen 1 specimen 2 specimen 3 analysis Eq.1 ABAQUS LS-DYNA

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Displacement (mm)

5. Simplied FE models Since the solid element model for the adhesive would cause timestep problems in dynamic analyses, simplied

Fig. 3. Comparison of three DLS experimental curves with the analytical solution, Eq. (1), and with nite element simulations by ABAQUS and LS-DYNA using the shell/solid model for SRIM/LESA DLS specimens with a 25.4 mm overlap.

Fig. 2. Shell/solid nite element model for a DLS specimen; the substrate is modeled with shell elements while the adhesive is represented by solid elements.

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Fig. 4. The tied-contact model for a DLS specimen. The adhesive bond is modeled as a tied contact between nodes and surface.

Fig. 5. The line-rigid model for a DLS specimen. The adhesive bond is modeled as a line of rigid links (arrow). Note: only a half of the DLS specimen is modeled and a symmetrical boundary condition, u3 0; is imposed.

model for a DLS specimen, this is equivalent to dening rigid links between the nodes of mating substrate pieces along a line across the width of the DLS specimen through the center point of the overlap. To investigate this method, the line-rigid model was implemented in ABAQUS and LS-DYNA. In the line-rigid model for ABAQUS, rigid beam elements of type RB2D2 were used as the rigid links. In the model for LS-DYNA, rigid links were dened as constrained-nodal-rigid-body node sets. Fig. 5 shows the line-rigid model for a DLS specimen in ABAQUS.

SRIM/LESA 12.0 10.0


Load (kN)

8.0 6.0 4.0 2.0 0.0 0

analysis Eq.1 analysis Eq.2 analysis Eq.3 shell/solid contact line-rigid

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Displacement (mm)

Fig. 6. A comparison of analytical solutions with predictions by ABAQUS simulations for a SRIM/LESA DLS specimen. The simulations were carried out using the shell/solid model, the contact model and the line-rigid model.

6. Simulation results and discussion The two simplied models were compared with the baseline FE model and the analytical solutions for the SRIM/LESA DLS specimen. Fig. 6 plots the load displacement response of the DLS specimen obtained from the ABAQUS simulations, in comparison to those predicted by analytical solutions. It is interesting to see that the three FE models agree with the corresponding analytical solutions for three cases: the shell/solid model agrees with the analytical solution of Eq. (1), the contact model agrees with the analytical solution for rigid model, Eq. (2), and the line-rigid model agrees with the analytical solution for the line-of-rigid-links model, Eq. (3). This result reveals that the contact denition in ABAQUS is relatively rigid and is equivalent to rigid links between the two surfaces. Fig. 7 plots the results obtained from the LS-DYNA simulations, in comparison to the predictions by analytical solutions. Unlike the ABAQUS simulations, the contact model in LS-DYNA yielded a response close to that predicted by analytical solution Eq. (1) rather than Eq. (2). In FE codes, contact forces are interpreted as spring elements that exist as long as penetration is non-zero. LS-DYNA Explicit determines the spring stiffness from the minimum of the stiffness of the master segment or the slave node [13], whereas ABAQUS Standard assigns an innite spring constant unless the softened contact option is selected. This requires a userdened exponential pressure-over closure relationship [14]. The default soft constraint approach in LS-DYNA has merit since it reduces the chance of error for

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X. Xiao et al. / International Journal of Adhesion & Adhesives 24 (2004) 239246
SRIM/LESA analysis Eq.1 analysis Eq.2 analysis Eq.3 shell/solid contact line-rigid

243

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Load (kN)

12.0 10.0 8.0 Load (kN) 6.0 4.0 2.0


specimen 1 specimen 2 specimen 3 specimen 4 specimen 5 ABAQUS shell/solid LS-DYNA contact

8 6 4 2 0 0

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0.2

0.3 Displacment (mm)

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0.6

0.0 0.0 0.1 0.2 0.3 Desplacement (mm) 0.4 0.5 0.6

Fig. 7. A comparison of the analytical solutions with predictions by LS-DYNA simulations for a SRIM/LESA DLS specimen. The simulations were carried out using the shell/solid model, the contact model and the line-rigid model.

Fig. 8. Comparison of experimental curves obtained from DLS joints with simulations carried out for Al/Epoxy-II DLS specimens with a 25.4 mm overlap. The simulation with ABAQUS used the shell/solid model and the simulation with LS-DYNA used the contact model.

unsophisticated users, gives reasonable predictions of contact forces, and yet maintains stability for most cases. Using LS-DYNA, the line-rigid model produced a more compliant response than predicted by the analytical solution for the line-of-rigid-links model of Eq. (3). This may be caused by the rotational degree of freedom allowed in the constrained-nodal-rigid-body denition in LS-DYNA [15]. Simulations were also performed on Al/Epoxy-II DLS specimens of 25.4/0.75 (25.4 mm overlap with an adhesive thickness of 0.75 mm). The shell/solid model was used in the ABAQUS simulation and the contact model was used in the LS-DYNA simulation. The comparison between the simulations and experimental results is plotted in Fig. 8 for the load-displacement responses. The simulations of both codes agreed well with the experimental results in the linear range and correctly predicted the load level at which the aluminum substrates start to yield. Furthermore the simulations produced post-yield responses reasonably close to those shown by the actual specimens themselves. The result on aluminum demonstrates that use of simple models such as shell/solid model or contact model allows one to predict both the linear (i.e. the stiffness) and the nonlinear responses of the DLS specimens. In a standard DLS test, the DLS joint is subjected to in-plane loading. To assess the accuracy of the simplied models for general loading conditions, out-of-plane loading cases should be examined. Since the double lap joint is not necessarily the joint conguration used in a real world structure, the investigation of the out-ofplane loading cases was made on a simplied joint: the single lap joint. This part of the study was limited to numerical simulation by LS-DYNA only. The shell/solid model, the contact model and the line-rigid model of the SRIM/LESA DLS specimen for LS-DYNA were modied into single lap joint models. The material system investigated was SRIM/LESA. The materials were modeled the same way as in the DLS

specimen. The single lap joint models were subjected to bending or torsion loads. The single lap joint was fully constrained at one end and subjected to an out-plane displacement at the opposite end. For bending load, a uniform displacement was applied. For torsion load, a displacement of opposite sign was applied at two nodes at the two corner of the loading end. The resultant displacement was measured at the loading end. A rened shell/solid model was also investigated. In the rened shell/solid single lap joint model, ve layers of solid elements were used through the adhesive thickness. The reason for this is that shell elements have six degree of freedomthree in rotation and three in translation-while solid elements have only three degree of freedom in translation. The rotational degrees of freedom of the shell element do not transfer properly across the shell/solid interface [5]. This effect is signicant under out of plane loading such as bending and torsion. A shell/solid model with one layer of solid elements through the thickness would result in an overestimated bending stiffness. To counter the problem, multi-layer solid elements should be used. The force-resultant displacement responses of the four single lap joint models under bending load are presented in Fig. 9. It shows that the bending response of the four models was close at small deection. At large deection, however, the bending stiffness decreases in the following order: shell/solid model>rened shell/solid>contact model>line-rigid model. The errors in bending compliance (displacement under the same load) of the models were evaluated relative to that of rened shell/ solid model in Fig. 10. The maximum error was less than 6% for the contact model and about 14% for the line rigid model. The shell/solid model was almost identical to the rened shell/solid model, except during the initial loading period. Fig. 11 compares the force-resultant displacement responses predicted by the four single lap joint models under torsion load. The torsional stiffness of the shell/ solid and rened shell/solid models are almost identical.

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1.2 1.0 0.8
Load (kN)

X. Xiao et al. / International Journal of Adhesion & Adhesives 24 (2004) 239246

shell/solid shell/solid fine contact line-rigid

0.6 0.4 0.2 0.0 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 Resultant Displacement (mm)

Fig. 9. Comparison of the resultant force-displacement responses of an SRIM/LESA single lap joint under bending as predicted by LSDYNA; the joint was modeled by using the shell/solid model, the rened shell/solid model (adhesive was represented by ve layers of solid elements), the contact model and the line-rigid model.

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0.00 0.0 -0.05 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 shell/solid contact line-rigid Force (kN) 1.0

-0.10

Fig. 10. Errors in bending compliance (displacement under the same load) for a single lap joint using the shell/solid model, contact model and the line-rigid model as compared to the rened shell/solid model.

0.6 0.5 0.4


Load (kN)

shell/solid shell/solid fine contact line-rigid

the contact model was lower than the shell/solid model at a displacement between 2.5 and 3.5 mm. Larger discrepancies between models appear at a displacement greater than 5 mm when adhesive elements started to yield. The adhesive elements started to fail when the displacement reached about 6 mm, as indicated in Fig. 11. It is safe to conclude that up to the point of adhesive failure the contact model yielded a response close to that of the shell/solid model. Fig. 12 compares the deformed shapes of the single lap joint modeled in three different ways under torsion load. The shape shown occurred at the moment of adhesive failure for the models with failure capability and at the same time step for the line-rigid model. The line-rigid model clearly exhibits additional distortion in the overlap area as compared to the other two models. These results indicate that the contact model is a reasonably good representation of adhesively bonded joints under general loading conditions. Up to this point, it is clear that in LS-DYNA, the contact model can represent an adhesively bonded joint with reasonable accuracy. This option also allows failure modeling in future development. Spring elements are another option for modeling an adhesively bonded joint. To represent the adhesive, a general spring with at least three degrees of freedom (in other words, three springs) needs to be dened between each pair of nodes. Dening spring elements in a large structure will be much more time consuming than dening contact area. Also, the spring constants must be adjusted according to the mesh density. Since the contact algorithm in LS-DYNA is based on a spring analogy, it is not necessary to examine the spring option in LS-DYNA. The user-dened interface in ABAQUS, when developed, will be based on a spring analogy as well. For the above reasons, the spring element has not been explored in this study.

Error in Compliance vs. Refined Shell/Solid Mode

failure

0.3 0.2 0.1 0.0 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Resultant Displacement (mm)

7. Summary and conclusions This study examined several simplied nite element modeling methods for adhesive bonded joints through DLS specimens. The simulation results were compared with the baseline data calculated using the analytical solution derived previously [1] and with experimental data of DLS specimens of two material systems. This study demonstrated that the stiffness of the DLS specimen can be predicted accurately by means of a simple FE model (shell/solid model) in which the substrate is represented by shell elements and the adhesive is represented by solid elements. This approach is recommended for structural analysis using ABAQUS. In LS-DYNA, a representation of the adhesive by solid elements may result in an unreasonable time-step. This study demonstrated that the in-plane stiffness

Fig. 11. The resultant force-displacement responses of an SRIM/ LESA single lap joint under torsion load as predicted by LS-DYNA using the shell/solid model, the rened shell/solid model (adhesive was represented by ve layers of solid elements), the contact model and the line-rigid model.

At displacements greater than 2 mm, the torsional stiffness of the line-rigid model was noticeably lower than for the shell/solid model. The torsional stiffness of

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Fig. 12. Comparison of the responses of a single lap joint under torsion load predicted by LS-DYNA; the joint was modeled by using (a) the shell/ solid model; (b) the contact model; and (c) the line-rigid model.

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prediction could be predicted with accuracy by means of contact model in which the substrate is represented by shell elements and the adhesive is represented by tiebreak contact. Both the shell model and contact model have the capability to model the non-linear behavior and to predict failure of the joint. The shell/solid model and contact model were also evaluated under bending and torsion loading conditions for an adhesively bonded single lap joint by means of LS-DYNA. When compared to the shell/solid model, the contact model gave close results for the stiffness response under torsion load but was about 5% more compliant at large deformation under bending load. The effects of mixing different element types were examined by means of a rened shell/solid model. The responses of the shell/solid model were found to be almost identical to that of the rened shell/solid model. This study demonstrated that using a line of rigid links to represent adhesive bonds resulted in a more compliant structural response, whereas using the contact denition in ABAQUS to represent the adhesive resulted in a much stiffer response as compared with the DLS test results.

lap shear testing, H. Elias for molding and substrate testing, and R. Schuler for FE mesh generation.

References
[1] Xiao XR, Foss PH, Schroeder JA. Stiffness prediction of the double lap shear joint. Part 1: Analytical solution. Int J Adhes Adhes, accepted. [2] Botkin ME. Optimal Design of a carbon ber automotive front structure. SAMPE-ACCE-DOE-SPE, 2000. p. 10010. [3] Nardini D, McGregor IJ, Seeds AD. Analysis and testing of adhesively bonded aluminum structural components. SAE Technical Paper Series, 900795, 1990. [4] McGregor IJ, Nardini D, Gao Y, Meadows DJ. The development of a joint design approach for aluminum automotive structures, SAE Technical Paper Series, 922112, 1992. [5] Beevers A, Steidler SM, Durodola J, Coackley M. Analysis of stiffness of adhesive joints in car bodies. J Mater Process Technol 2001;118:96101. [6] Steidler SM, Bonde N, Ljungquist H. Validation of structural adhesive in crash application. SAE Technical Paper Series 200301-0332. [7] Product Data Sheet, 4601 Bulk Bulletin, Dow Chemical, 2001. [8] Cawley A, Ristoski T, Johnson D. Low Energy Substrate Adhesive (LESA), Conference Proceedings, TPOs in Automotive, Novi MI, 2002. [9] LS-DYNA Keyword Users Manual, Version 950. [10] LS-DYNA Keyword Users Manual, Version 960. [11] ABAQUS/Standard Users Manual, Version 6.2. [12] ABAQUS Keywords Manual, Version 6.2. [13] DuBois P, Advanced LS-DYNA Training Class in Impact Analysis, June 2001. [14] ABAQUS Theory Manual, Version 5.8. [15] Bhalsod D. Private communication, March 2002.

Acknowledgements The authors would like to acknowledge D. Faulkner for help with Al sample preparation, R. Atkins and F. Yawson for composite sample preparation and double