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Fracture Analysis of Competing Failure Modes of Aluminum-CFRP Joints Using Three-Layer Titanium Laminates as Transition

Abstract

The structural properties of lightweight constructions can be adapted to specific local requirements using multi-material designs. Aluminum alloys and carbon fiber-reinforced plastics (CFRP) are materials of great interest requiring suitable joining techniques in order to transfer the advantages of combining the materials to structural benefits. Thus, the research group “Schwarz-Silber” investigates novel concepts to enable frontal aluminum-CFRP joints using transition structures. In the foil concept titanium foils are used as transition elements. Specimens have been produced using three-layer titanium laminates. In tensile tests, three failure locations have been observed: (1) Al-Ti seam, (2) Ti-CFRP hybrid laminate, and (3) CFRP laminate. In this paper, the fracture mechanisms of these failure modes are investigated by analyzing metallographic micrographs and fracture surfaces as well as by correlating load-displacement curves to video imaging of tensile tests. The results show that the cracking of the CFRP layers can be traced back to an assembly error. The laminate character of the titanium part tends to reduce the Al-Ti seam strength. However, two sub-joint tests demonstrate that the Al-Ti seam can endure loads up to 9.5 kN. The ductile failure behavior of the Ti-CFRP hybrid laminates is caused by plastic deformations of the titanium laminate liners.

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Acknowledgments

The authors gratefully acknowledge financial support of this work by the German Research Foundation (DFG FOR1224). The authors also thank all their colleagues within the research group “Schwarz-Silber” (www.for-schwarzsilber.de) for the support and cooperation, especially U. Specht (IFAM) for contributing the laser pre-treatments of the titanium foils, A. Lang (FIBRE) for manufacturing the titanium-CFRP hybrid laminates, and J. Schumacher (IWT) for carrying out the tensile tests of the Al-Ti-CFRP test items. The work at BIAS—Bremer Institut für angewandte Strahltechnik GmbH (www.bias.de) was accomplished within the Center of Competence for Welding of Aluminum Alloys-Centr-Al. The “BIAS ID” numbers are part of the figures and allow the retraceability of the results with respect to mandatory documentation required by the funding organization.

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Woizeschke, P., Vollertsen, F. Fracture Analysis of Competing Failure Modes of Aluminum-CFRP Joints Using Three-Layer Titanium Laminates as Transition. J. of Materi Eng and Perform 24, 3558–3572 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11665-015-1638-3

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Keywords

  • aluminum
  • composites
  • failure analysis
  • hybrid structure
  • joining
  • multi-material design
  • titanium