A computational intensive study was performed to assess an efficient way to model adhesively bonded glass fiber reinforced composite joints in automotive applications. Three different finite element modeling techniques had been implemented. First, adhesive was represented by 1D-spring elements. Spring stiffness was calculated from adhesive property. This model is inadequate to assess stresses developed in the adhesive layer directly. So adhesive was modeled with 2D elements for better assessment of state of stress in the adhesive and the substrate. Both the model provide limit load, but crack initiation and failure of the bond can not be captured. The third approach adopted was the nodal failure model. In the nodal failure model, to understand the failure of adhesively bonded joints, bond strength had been specified to the interface nodes of the composite substrate. Combined failure criteria had been used. Cracks propagated and interface debonded when interface stress exceeded the failure limit. Finite element model results compared well with the experimental data. This modeling approach was later adopted for dynamic modeling of adhesively bonded joints, which shows promise.

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