The dissemination of composite materials introduces applications of hybrid structures with composite and metal parts. The development of reliable methodologies to evaluate the performance of these structures is required. In this work, the mixed-mode fracture behaviour of a bi-material adhesively bonded joint is investigated. A new strain-based criterion for the design of the Mixed-Mode Bending (MMB) bi-material specimen is suggested. A new analytical partitioning method based on the ‘global method’ is proposed and tested on a composite-to-metal bonded joint and compared with a finite element model using the virtual crack closure technique (VCCT). The results show that the proposed strain-based design methodology can be successfully used in MMB test for bi-material joints. The fracture mode partitioning is accurately predicted by the analytical method. However, the absolute values of the strain energy release rate (SERR) predicted by the analytical method are only accurate if the shear deformation in the test is not significant.
In ultrasonic welding of thermoplastic composites an energy director (ED) (i.e. neat thermoplastic film), is used between the two adherends to be welded, to promote frictional and viscoelastic heating. For welding of thermoset composites (TSC), a thermoplastic coupling layer is co-cured on the surface to be welded as typical procedure to make the TSC “weldable”. This study focuses on investigating whether a polyetherimide (PEI) coupling layer by itself has the potential to promote heat generation during ultrasonic welding of CF/epoxy and CF/PEI samples, without the need for a separate ED, and if so, what thickness should that coupling layer be. The main findings were that welding without a loose ED resulted in overheating of the CF/PEI adherend and/or coupling layer due to the inability of the latter to promote heat generation efficiently. However, welding of CF/epoxy and CF/PEI samples with the use of a loose ED resulted in high-strength welds.
The fracture behaviour of joints bonded with a structural epoxy adhesive and bond line thicknesses of 0.1-4.5 mm has been studied. However, limited research is found on similar joints with thicker bond lines, which are relevant for maritime applications. Therefore, the effect of the adhesive bond line thickness, varying from 0.4 to 10.1 mm, on the mode I fracture behaviour of steel to steel joints bonded with a structural epoxy adhesive was investigated in this study. An experimental test campaign of double-cantilever beam (DCB) specimens was carried out in laboratory conditions. Five bond line thicknesses were studied: 0.4, 1.1, 2.6, 4.1 and 10.1 mm. Analytical predictions of the experimental load-displacement curves were performed based on the Simple Beam Theory (SBT), the Compliance Calibration Method (CCM) and the Penado-Kanninen (P-K) model. The P-K model was used to determine the mode I strain energy release rate (SERR). The average mode I SERR, GI av., presented similar values for the specimens with adhesive bond line thicknesses of 0.4, 1.1 and 2.6 mm (GI av. = 0.71, 0.61, 0.63 N/mm, respectively). However, it increased by approximately 63% for 4.1 mm (GI av. = 1.16 N/mm) and decreased by about 10% (in comparison with 4.1 mm) for the 10.1 mm (GI av. = 1.04 N/mm). The trend of the GI av. in relation to the bond line thickness is explained by the combination of three factors: the crack path location, the failure surfaces features and the stress field ahead of the crack tip.
The aim of the present study is to characterize the damage in bi-material steel-to-composite double-lap adhesively-bonded joints using Acoustic Emission (AE). Two different structural adhesives, a ductile (Methacrylate-based) and brittle (Epoxy-based), were used to bond CFRP skins to a steel core. The fabricated joints were loaded in tension while damage evolution was monitored by AE. Due to the difference in the fracture nature of the adhesives “ductile vs. brittle”, different damage mechanisms were observed; including cohesive failure within the adhesive layer, steel deformation, failure at the adhesive/adherends interface (adhesive failure) and delamination in the CFRP skin. To classify these damages by AE, the AE features of each damage mechanism were first obtained by conducting standard tests on the individual constituents. Then, these AE reference patterns were used to train an ensemble decision tree classifier. The best parameters of the ensemble model were obtained by Bayesian optimization, and the confusion matrix showed that the model was sufficiently trained with the accuracy of 99.5% and 99.8% for Methacrylate-based and Epoxy-based specimens respectively. Afterwards, the trained model was used to classify the AE signals of the double-lap specimens. The AE demonstrated that the dominant damage mechanisms in the case of the Methacrylate-based were cohesive and adhesive failures while in the case of the Epoxy-based they were CFRP skin failure and adhesive failure. These results were consistent with the Digital Image Correlation, Fiber Optic Sensor and camera results. This study demonstrates the potential of AE technique for damage characterization of adhesively-bonded bi-material joints.
The aim of this research is to study the influence of moisture absorption at low moisture contents on the creep behaviour of an epoxy adhesive in steel bonded joints. Single lap joints were manufactured using high strength steel adherends and a two-component epoxy adhesive. The single lap joints were tested at load levels corresponding to average lap shear stresses of ± 5%, 15%, 30% and 45% of the dry lap shear strength in both 40°C air and 40°C distilled water. Specimens were not pre-aged to be able to analyse the coupled effect of moisture and loading. The test results show that an increase in the load level resulted in an increase in the instantaneous strain and in the creep strain rate. The creep strain of single lap joints loaded in water was generally larger than for the ones loaded in air. For joints loaded in water the creep behaviour was found to be dependent on the moisture concentration in the adhesive. At low moisture percentages creep was suppressed, resulting in a lower instantaneous strain. At higher moisture percentages creep was promoted, resulting in a larger strain rate. The suppression of creep at low moisture percentages is attributed to water molecules bonding to the epoxy macromolecules, resulting in a reduction in molecular mobility and a smaller creep strain. At higher moisture percentages the plasticizing effect of the water dominates, resulting in a larger creep strain. The Maxwell three-element solid model and Kelvin-Voigt three-element solid model were used to simulate the creep behaviour of the single lap joints loaded in air and water. The models gave good representations of the creep response across the different load levels in both water and air, they were however unable to give a correct representation of the instantaneous strain of the single lap joints loaded in water. This is attributed to the models being unable to account for the present short-term relaxation process that is dependent on the moisture concentration.
This paper investigates the effect of the fabric architecture and the z-binding yarns on the compression after multiple impacts behavior of composites. Four fiber architectures are investigated: non-crimp fabric (NCF), 2D plain weave (2D-PW), 3D orthogonal plain (ORT-PW) and twill (ORT-TW) weave. The specimens were subjected to single and multiple low-velocity impacts at different locations with the same energy level (15 J). Non-destructive techniques including ultrasonic C-scanning, X-ray CT and Digital Image Correlation (DIC) are employed to quantitatively analyze and capture the Barely Visible Impact Damage (BVID) induced in the specimens. Although the absorbed energy was approximately the same, damage was the least in 3D woven architectures. In the case of compression after impact, 3D woven composites demonstrated a progressive damage behavior with the highest residual strength (~92%) while 2D plain weave and NCF specimens showed suddenly catastrophic damage and the residual strength of ~65% and ~55% respectively.
Single lap bonded joints with four different composite adherend stacking sequences were tested and numerically simulated. The aim was to evaluate the effect of the layups on the quasi-static tensile failure of the bonded joints. The study shows that increasing the adherends bending stiffness postpones the damage initiation in the joint. However, this is no longer valid for final failure. The ultimate load is influenced by how the damage progresses. For similar bending stiffness, a layup that leads to the crack propagating from the adhesive towards the inside layers of the composite increases the ultimate load. The failure mode is highly influenced by the orientation of the interface lamina in contact with the adhesive, such that, a 0° interface ply causes failure within the bond line, while a 90° interface ply causes failure inside the composite adherend.
Finally, it is concluded that a quasi-isotropic layup may not be the best choice in terms of tensile joint strength. In order to improve tensile strength up to damage initiation, the layup should be optimized for bending stiffness, while up to final failure, a stacking sequence that yields to a complex crack path inside the composite can lead to higher ultimate loads.
This work is intended to characterize the mechanical behavior of hybrid carbon-glass composites plates under combined loading of bending and torsion, and to determine the optimal ply fiber orientations to minimize the maximum out of plane displacement under such loading conditions. Hybrid composite plates were manufactured with 10 plies each and different stacking sequences using hand lay-up, with carbon fiber and glass fiber reinforcements in an epoxy matrix. Two experimental setups (involving two distinct boundary conditions) are here considered to test the composite plates, both simulating combine loading of bending and torsion. Numerical simulations of the experimental tests were performed in ABAQUS and validated with the experimental data. Using the ply fiber orientations as design variables, the hybrid composite plates were then optimized using GLODS – Global and Local Optimization using Direct Search. The objective function of minimization the maximum out of plane displacement is carried out through an interactive cycle between GLODS and ABAQUS. Specimens of three optimized laminates were also manufactured for experimental validation. The optimization process contributed to improve the performance of the hybrid composites plates in more than 30% when compared to some non-optimized plates
Adhesive bonding is one of the most promising joining technologies for composite aircraft. However, to comply with current aircraft certification rules, current safety-critical bonded joints, in which at least one of the interfaces requires additional surface preparation, are always used in combination with redundant mechanical fasteners, such as rivets and bolts. This lack of trust in bonded structures is mostly linked to the fear of lack of adhesion or a “weak bond”.
The aim of this paper is to tackle this challenge by assessing the ability to use composite peel tests and acoustic emission (AE) technique to assess adhesion quality and distinguish a good bond quality from a “weak bond”.
Composite Bell Peel (CBP) tests and Double-Cantilever-Beam (DCB) tests were performed on contaminated and non-contaminated CFRP bonded specimens. The results show that peel strength drops significantly at the location of the contaminated interface that has led to weak adhesion, as a result from adhesive failure. The AE signals obtained during DCB tests show different features for cracks growing at the interface (“weak bonds”) and inside the adhesive layer (cohesive failure). In addition to this, scattering of the AE signals were observed in the contaminated specimens with “weak bonds”.
Autoclave manufacturing of fibre metal laminates, such as GLARE, is an expensive process. Therefore, there is an increasing interest to find cost-effective out-of-autoclave manufacturing processes without diminishing the laminate quality. The aim of this study is to evaluate the quality of fibre metal laminate panels adhesively bonded and cured using resistance heating. Three manufacturing processes are compared for different layups with an embedded steel mesh at the mid-plane: autoclave curing, resistance bonding of two (autoclave-cured) panels and complete out-of-autoclave resistance curing of panels. Interlaminar shear strength tests and optical microscopy analysis showed that resistance bonding is a promising technique, leading to results comparable to autoclave curing. Resistance curing led to an interlaminar shear strength decrease of 30–60%. A study of the correlation between degree of cure and distance from the mesh revealed the potential of resistance bonding to be used for flexible embedded mesh geometries and on-site repairs.
This paper addresses the fracture behaviour of bonded composite plates featuring a kissing bond along the crack growth path. Double cantilever beam (DCB) experiments are carried out under a displacement controlled loading condition to acquire the load response. The experimental data are collected and analysed analytically for specimens with and without kissing bond. The following aspects are observed and discussed: effect of the adhesive carrier film, non-smooth crack growth and rising R-curve. An analytical model taking into account the aforementioned effects is proposed. The kissing bond leads to unstable crack growth resulting in a loss of the load carrying capacity. The presence of the knit carrier in the adhesive film results in the crack growth process characteristic for the stick-slip phenomena and a significant increase of the resistance to fracture of the bondline by triggering a bridging phenomenon. The model shows a very good agreement with the experimental data. A sound understanding of the fracture process is gained enabling analysis and prediction of the effects of kissing bonds and supporting carrier.
Steel-to-glass laminated connections, which have recently been developed, limit stress intensifications on the glass and combine strength and transparency. Transparent Structural Silicone adhesive (TSSA) connections have been used in several projects worldwide; however, the hyperelastic and viscoelastic nature of the material has to date not been fully investigated. In this work, the first objective is to investigate the mechanical response of TSSA connections under static and cyclic loading by means of experimental tests. Firstly, the shear behaviour of TSSA circular connections is characterized by means of monotonic and cyclic loading tests. The adhesive exhibits significant stress-softening under repeated cycles that becomes more severe as the maximum load increases. Secondly, TSSA circular connections are subjected to monotonic and cyclic tensile loading of increasing maximum load. The way whitening propagates on the adhesive surface shows some consistency comparing the cases of static and cyclic loading. The second objective is to analytically describe the deformation behaviour of the adhesive based on hyperelastic prediction models. Uniaxial and biaxial tension tests are combined with the simple shear tests, for the material characterization of TSSA. The hyperelastic material parameters are calibrated by a simultaneous multi-experiment-data-fit based on the nonlinear least squares optimization method. The softening behaviour observed in shear tests is modeled based on a simplified pseudo-elastic damage model proposed by Ogden–Roxburgh. A first attempt is also made to model the actual softening response of the adhesive. A less conservative approach proposed by Guo, also based on the theory of pseudo-elasticity, proved to give a good approximation of the actual cyclic response of the adhesive.
The aim of this study is to assess the interlaminar adhesion of carbon-epoxy laminates under salt water condition. Carbon-epoxy laminate specimens were immersed in a salt water tank for 60 days. Some specimens were then dried at room temperature for 280 days, until recovering their initial weight. Specimens were tested using the composite peel test, an adaptation of the floating roller peel tests for composite materials. The results showed a degradation of peel strength in some areas due to the ageing process. The drying process did not affect the test results. A scanning electron microscopic analysis carried out on the fracture surface of the specimens revealed a typical mode I failure microstructure. A mixture of matrix failure and fibre/matrix interfacial failure was observed in non-aged specimens. Finally, a chemical characterization of the fracture surfaces with energy-dispersive spectroscopy confirmed the penetration of salt water in regions near the edge of the specimens. A degradation of the fibre/matrix interface adhesion was observed in affected areas. Floating roller peel tests proved to be a fast and effective method to access the interlaminar adhesion performance of composite laminates.
An essential question to predict the structural integrity of bi-material bonded joints is how to obtain their fracture properties under pure mode I. From open literature, it is found that the most commonly used design criterion to test mode I fracture is matching the flexural stiffnesses of the two adherents in a DCB coupon. However, the material asymmetry in such designed joints results in mode II fracture as well. In this paper, a new design criterion is proposed to obtain pure mode I fracture in adhesively bonded bi-material DCB joints by matching the longitudinal strain distributions of the two adherends at the bondline – longitudinal strain based criterion. A test program and Finite Element modelling have been carried out to verify the proposed design criterion using composite-metal bonded DCB joints. Both the experimental and numerical results show that pure mode I can be achieved in bi-material joints designed with the proposed criterion. GII/GI ratio is reduced by a factor of 5 when using the proposed longitudinal strain based criterion in comparison with the flexural stiffness based criterion.
In this work, an experimental study has been carried out to evaluate the effect of salt water condition on the long-term adhesion of composite-to-metal bonded joints using peel tests. A new test configuration is tested via fully and partially immersed specimens with 500 mm length. Fracture surfaces of non-aged samples exhibited a cohesive failure within the adhesive layer, which indicates a good adhesion of the joint. Results revealed a significant difference in the interface adhesion between aged and non-aged condition after 150 days of immersion. Partially immersed specimens allow to evaluate the adhesion performance of the joint under dry and wet condition in single specimen using a simple peel test.
An experimental study has been carried out to assess the adhesion quality of composite-to-metal bonded joints under salt spray ageing conditions. The tests were performed according to the ASTM standard of floating roller peel tests with a new specimen layup. The layup and geometry of the specimen was defined in order to have the Carbon Fiber Reinforced Polymer (CFRP) and carbon steel as the rigid and flexible substrate, respectively. Specimens were exposed to salt spray (or salt fog) for 30 and 90 days. The results show that the adhesion performance (i.e. average peel load) of the joints progressively decreases with increasing the ageing time. The fracture surfaces of dry specimens (non-aged) exhibit a cohesive failure within the adhesive layer, which indicates a good adhesion between the CFRP-steel interfaces. Interface degradation is indicated by a drop in peel load and adhesive failure. The percentage of adhesive failure increases with ageing times. Fracture surfaces of the adhesive failure exhibit deposition of NaCl crystal at the interface. Peel test successfully assessed the interface adhesion in aged and non-aged conditions, and can be used as a fast, easy and reliable test to study the long term durability in case of composite-metal bonded joints.
Full-scale fatigue tests were performed on two retrofitted orthotropic bridge decks (OBDs). The retrofitting systems consist of adding a second steel plate on the top of the existing deck. The aim is to reduce the stresses at the fatigue-sensitive details and therefore extend the fatigue life of the OBD by stiffening the existing deck plate. Two retrofitting systems were studied. The bonded system consists of bonding a second steel plate to the existing deck by vacuum infusing a thin adhesive layer (2 mm) between the two steel plates. The sandwich system consists of bonding the second steel plate through a thick polyurethane core (15 mm). The aim of the study was to assess the fatigue performance of both retrofittings. No fatigue damage was detected in the retrofitting layers during fatigue tests after three million cycles of wheel load. The stresses close to the deck-plate-to-stiffener welds decreased by at least 55% when using the bonded steel plates system and 45% when using the sandwich steel plates system. Both systems proved to have sufficient fatigue life to withstand traffic wheel loads running on orthotropic bridge decks and help extend the fatigue life of the existing OBD.
The aim of this research is to analyse the failure of a Fiber Metal Laminate (FML) skin adhesively bonded to a Carbon Fiber Reinforced Polymer (CFRP) stiffener, under quasi-static loading at different environmental temperatures (−55 °C, Room Temperature RT and +100 °C) and under fatigue loading at RT. This bonded joint was tested using stiffener pull-off tests, which is a typical setup used to simulate full-scale components subject to out-of-plane loading. The failure sequence for all test conditions consist of: (1) damage initiation at the noodle of the CFRP stiffener; (2) damage propagation by delamination from the noodle to the stiffener foot; (3) detachment of the stiffener from the skin. Increasing the temperature, decreases the joint stiffness (40% when compared to RT) and decreasing the temperature decreases the maximum load (50% when compared to RT). The fatigue life initiation of the joint presents a very large scatter but the fatigue life propagation presents more stable results. The fatigue threshold (no damage) is reached at approximately 30% of the maximum load level. The fracture surfaces indicate a predominant inter and intra-laminar failure of the composite under mixed mode I/II. The CFRP stiffener is the weakest link of the bonded FML-skin-to-CFRP-stiffener both for static and fatigue loading.
This paper introduces a new type of peel tests dedicated to composite bonding: Composite Peel Tests. This test is inspired on the standard floating roller peel test widely used for metal bonding.
The aim of this study is to investigate the potential of the Composite Peel Test to assess interface adhesion in composite bonded structures. To this end, peel tests were performed with nine different types of adhesives and at two environmental temperatures, room temperature and +80°C. The results were compared with the standard floating roller peel tests with Aluminium adherends.
The results show that when using the Composite Peel Test good interface adhesion results either in cohesive failure of the adhesive or intra-laminar failure of the composite, while bad adhesion results in adhesive failure. In most cases of good interface adhesion, increasing the temperature favors cohesive failure of the adhesive in detriment of intra-laminar failure of the composite.
Peel strengths can be used as a quality indicator of interface adhesion only if using exactly the same type of flexible adherend (peeling-off member). Nevertheless, if cohesive failure is the dominant failure mode, the comparison between adhesives’ peel strength is consistent disregarding of the type of peel-off adherend. Composite Peel Tests are suitable to assess interface adhesion of composite bonded structures.
The purpose of this research is to evaluate the performance of two adhesively bonded skin-to-stiffener connections: composite stiffener bonded to a Fiber Metal Laminate (FML) skin, representing a hybrid joint, and an Aluminium stiffener bonded to a FML skin, representative for a metal joint. The bonded joints were tested using Stiffener Pull-Off Tests (SPOT), which is a typical set-up used to simulate the structural behavior of full-scale components subject to out-of-plane loading, such as internal pressure of a fuselage or leading edge low pressure zone. In the hybrid joint, the damage initiates at the central noodle of the composite stiffener. Unstable delamination then propagates from the noodle to the tip of the stiffener foot, preferably through the stiffener foot plies (>90% of inter/intra-laminar failure) and, in limited areas, through the adhesive bond line (<10% of cohesive failure). In the metal joint, the failure starts at the tip of the stiffener foot at the adhesive bond line. Unstable debonding then propagates along the stiffeners foot. The complete failure occurs in the adhesive bond line (100% cohesive failure). The loads associated with >90% of inter/intra laminar failure of the composite stiffener (hybrid joint) are 40–60% lower than the ones associated with 100% cohesive failure (metal joint). This research identifies that in order to use the full capacity of adhesively bonded hybrid joints, the adhesion between carbon fibers of the composite laminate, ie intralaminar strength, must be improved. Otherwise, Aluminium stringers are still very competitive.
In this research, the adhesion properties of bonded composite-to-aluminium joints are evaluated using floating roller peel tests. Tests were performed using two different adhesives and different adherend lay-ups: composite-to-aluminium, composite-to-composite and aluminium-to-aluminium. The results show that floating roller peel tests, widely used in metal bonding, can also be used to assess adhesion properties of composite bonding and composite-to-aluminium bonding. However, attention should be paid on which results are important to take from the peel tests. In adhesion tests, the failure mode is more important than the failure load. The peel load can only be compared when using exactly the same type of flexible adherend. Even when the adhesion properties are good (cohesive failure), the peel load value can decrease up to a factor of 10 when peeling off a composite flexible adherend instead of an aluminium flexible adherend.
Two systems for reinforcing “in-service” orthotropic bridge decks (OBDs) have been researched: the bonded steel plates system and the sandwich steel plates system. The main idea of these types of reinforcements is to stiffen the existing deck plate, thereby reducing the stress at the fatigue-sensitive details, and thus extending the fatigue life of the OBD. Both reinforcement systems consist of adding a second steel plate to the existing steel deck. The behaviour and the effect of the reinforcement systems on full-scale OBD are investigated. Full-scale static tests and finite element analyses were performed on reinforced deck panels, using realistic wheel loads. The results showed at least 40% of stress reduction close to the fatigue-sensitive details after applying both reinforcements. The two suggested reinforcement systems showed a good performance and proved to be efficient lightweight solutions to refurbish orthotropic bridge decks and extend their life span.
The strengthening systems studied consist of bonding a second steel plate to the existing orthotropic bridge deck, either by using a 2 mm thick epoxy adhesive layer (bonded system) or a 15–30 mm thick polyurethane core (sandwich system). The aim of applying the reinforcement is to reduce the stresses at the deck and extend the fatigue life of orthotropic bridge decks.
Three and four point bending fatigue tests were carried out on beam type specimens representing the reinforced deck. Linear elastic simulations using FEA were performed to determine the stress distribution during tests. Results show that the fatigue damage of the reinforcements are caused by the shear stresses at the adhesive layer, for the bonded system, and by the shear stresses at the faces-to-core interface, for the sandwich system. The fatigue strength of the bonded system is not significantly affected by adhesive thicknesses between 1 and 3 mm. The same can be found for the sandwich system with 15 mm and 30 mm polyurethane-core thickness.
Orthotropic steel bridges have experienced early fatigue cracks at several welded connections in the steel deck plate. One of the possible strengthening systems to enlarge the fatigue life of the existing decks consists of bonding a second steel plate to the existing deck. This renovation technique was for the first time applied on the orthotropic deck of the movable bridge Scharsterrijn. This article describes the results of the structural monitoring carried out to evaluate the short-term and long-term performance of the strengthening system. Static and dynamic controlled load tests were carried out using a calibrated truck. Strain history measurements were recorded continuously during 1 year from the normal traffic running on the bridge. The short-term measurements show significant decrease of the stress level at the bridge deck after the renovation, especially at the deck plate details. The stresses at the welds between the deck plate and the stiffener web reduce approximately 55% at the deck plate side and 35% at the stiffener web side. Due to this reduction, the fatigue life of these welds is expected to increase 11 times at the deck plate side and 3.6 times at the stiffener side. The long-term measurements do not show significant changes in the stress level at the bridge deck during the year of monitoring. The strengthening system has demonstrated good performance reliability to prolong the life span of the movable orthotropic bridges.
The article presents renovation solutions for orthotropic steel bridge decks consisting of bonding a second steel plate to the existing steel deck in order to reduce the stresses and enlarge the life span of the orthotropic bridge deck. Two solutions for the interface layer between the existing deck plate and the second steel plate are presented: thin epoxy (bonded system) and thick olyurethane (sandwich system). A parametric study based on analytical solutions is carried out on flexural behavior of beams representing the renovation solutions. The influence of geometrical, mechanical and structural parameters on the stiffness and stress reduction factor of the system is studied. Maximum values of stiffness and stress reduction are achieved when maximizing the interface layer thickness and minimizing the second steel plate thickness with in certain practical limits. Based on the weight restrictions one can choose the most efficient interface layer regarding thickness and mechanical properties.
A sandwich system of two steel faces and a polyurethane core is studied as a renovation system for orthotropic steel bridge decks. An experimental program has been carried out aiming to better understand the sandwich beam flexural behavior. The temperature significantly affects the sandwich flexural behavior. Increase in the temperature decreases the sandwich stiffness and strength. The stiffness is more difficult to predict at high temperatures due to the viscoelastic behavior of the core. Stiffer and stronger renovation solutions can be achieved by putting the extra weight on the core thickness rather than on the faces thickness. Stresses on the deck plate can be reduced by 60–95% using this renovation system.
The renovation solution for orthotropic steel bridge decks studied consists of bonding a second steel plate to the existing steel deck in order to reduce the stresses and increase the lifespan of the orthotropic bridge deck. A parametric study was carried out on the flexural behaviour of beams representing the renovation solution using experimental and analytical studies. The influence of different thicknesses, temperatures and spans was tested. The results obtained for the stress reduction factor show that it is independent of temperature. More efficient solutions can be achieved when minimizing the second steel plate thickness and maximizing the adhesive layer thickness reducing the weight and increasing the stiffness of the composite structure. Both elastic behaviour and yield load of the composite beams are dominated by the steel plate properties and therefore not affected significantly by temperature. However, the ultimate failure of the beams occurs by shear of the adhesive layer, the properties of which are affected by temperature.