Study shows metal additively manufactured pins enhance toughness of hybrid metal-composite structural joints

August 17, 2023

August 17, 2023

At the 23rd International Conference on Composite Materials, in Belfast, Ireland, mechanical/aerospace engineering PhD candidate Tiana Bagnato presented her co-written paper ‘Superior interfacial toughening of hybrid metal-composite structural joints using 3D printed pins’. The paper was recently published in Composites Part A: Applied Science and Manufacturing.

The presented study showcases an experimental investigation into enhancing the interfacial toughness properties of hybrid titanium-to-composite structural joints by using additively manufactured metal pins made using Laser Beam Powder Bed Fusion (PBF-LB). The joints were formed by manufacturing an orthogonal array of thin (1.0 mm) diameter titanium pins over the titanium substrate using PBF-LB. These pins were then embedded into a carbon-epoxy composite substrate to create a high toughness interface.

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Reportedly for the first time, Ti-pinned hybrid joints produced via PBF-LB Additive Manufacturing were evaluated both with and without film adhesive, which is co-bonded between the titanium and composite substrates. The Ti-pins increased the modes I and II interfacial toughness of the hybrid joints by up to about 19 and 11 X, respectively. The study posits that pins created using Additive Manufacturing are highly effective at strengthening and toughening hybrid metal-composite joints, with the need for adhesive bonding dependent on the loading condition.

“The five-day long conference was filled with fascinating presentations from seasoned academics and PhD students alike, where I not only witnessed ongoing research in my field but was able to learn of research in my areas of interest; specifically sustainability and end-of-life analysis of composites,” Bagnato posted on LinkedIn. “I was incredibly grateful to be given the opportunity of a twenty-minute presentation slot in the main auditorium of ICC Belfast, to discuss the ongoing fatigue studies of my PhD work.”

The paper is available here.

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August 17, 2023

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