Many applications require adhesives with high strength to withstand the exhaustive loads encountered in regular operation. In aerospace applications, advanced adhesives are needed to bond metals, ceramics, and composites under shear loading. The lap shear test is the experiment of choice for evaluating shear strength capabilities of adhesives. Specifically during single-lap shear testing, two overlapping rectangular tabs bonded by a thin adhesive layer are subject to tension. Shear is imposed as a result. Debonding occurs when the shear strength of the adhesive is surpassed by the load applied by the testing mechanism. This research develops a finite element model (FEM) and material model which allows mechanicians to accurately simulate bonded joints under mechanical loads. Data acquired from physical tests was utilized to correlate the finite element simulations. Lap shear testing has been conducted on various adhesives, specifically SA1-30-MOD, SA10-100, and SA10-05, single base methacrylate adhesives. The adhesives were tested on aluminum, stainless steel, and cold rolled steel adherends. The finite element model simulates what is observed during a physical single-lap shear test consisting of every combination of the mentioned materials. To accomplish this, a three-dimensional model was created and the cohesive zone approach was used to simulate debonding of the tabs from the adhesive. The thicknesses of the metallic tabs and the adhesive layer were recorded and incorporated into the model in order to achieve an accurate solution. From the data, force output and displacement of the tabs are utilized to create curves which were compared to the actual data. Stress and strain were then computed and plotted to verify the validity of the simulations. The modeling and constant determination approach developed here will continue to be used for newly-developed adhesives.

Thesis Completion




Thesis Chair/Advisor

Gordon, Ali P.


Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering (B.S.M.E.)


College of Engineering and Computer Science


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering


Orlando (Main) Campus



Access Status

Open Access

Length of Campus-only Access

3 years

Release Date