Influence of surface morphology on the adhesion strength of epoxy- aluminum interfaces

Sulin Zhang, Rahul Panat, K. J. Hsia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Adhesively bonded aluminum joints have been increasingly used in the automotive industry because of their structural and functional advantages. Interfacial debonding in these joints has become a major concern limiting their performance. The present work is focused on experimental investigation of the influence of surface morphology on the interfacial fracture behavior of the epoxy-aluminum interface. The specimens used in this experimental study were made of an epoxy-aluminum bimaterial strip in the form of a layered double cantilever beam (LDCB). The LDCB specimens were debonded by peeling off the epoxy layer from the aluminum substrate using a steel wedge. Interfacial fracture energy was extracted from the debonding length using a solution for the specimen geometry based on a model of a beam on an elastic foundation. This model was validated by direct finite element analysis. The experimental results establish a direct correlation between the surface roughness of aluminum substrate and the fracture resistance of the epoxy-aluminum interface. The results emphasize the importance of choosing surface features at an appropriate length scale in studying their effects on interfacial fracture resistance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1685-1711
Number of pages27
JournalJournal of Adhesion Science and Technology
Issue number12
StatePublished - 2003


  • Adhesive bonding
  • Double cantilever beam (DCB)
  • Interfacial fracture resistance
  • Surface morphology
  • Wedge peel test

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Computational Mechanics
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Materials Chemistry
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Surfaces and Interfaces

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