Protocols for the measurement of adhesive fracture toughness by peel tests

L. F. Kawashita, D. R. Moore*, J. G. Williams

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


This article reports on the work of the European Structural Integrity Society Technical Committee 4 (ESIS TC4) and its activities in the development of test protocols for peel fracture. Thirteen laboratories have been working on peel test methods in ESIS TC4 since 1997 and their activities are ongoing. The aim of the work is to develop robust and credible test methods for the determination of adhesive fracture toughness by peel tests. Several geometric configurations have been used, namely, multi-angle fixed arm peel, T-peel, and roller assisted peel in the form of a mandrel test. The starting point of their work is an established analysis of a peel method that is often developed from a global energy approach. The adopted analysis is combined with an experimental approach in order to resolve ambiguities in the determination of adhesive fracture toughness (GA). The test methods involve the measurement of peel strength in order to calculate the total input energy for peel and the calculation of the plastic bending energy (GP) during peel. The latter is often obtained from a measurement of the tensile behaviour of the peel arm. Adhesive fracture toughness is then G - GP. Four ESIS TC4 projects are described. The first relates to fixed arm peel whilst the second and third involve both fixed arm and T-peel. The fourth project combines mandrel peel and fixed arm peel. Each project uses different types of polymeric adhesives in the form of quite different laminate systems. The selection of the laminate system enables all characteristics of laminate property to be embraced, for example, thin and thick adhesive layers, polymeric, and metallic peel arms and a range of flexibility in the laminates. The development of the enabling science required to establish the test protocols is described and software for conducting all calculations is referenced.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)973-995
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Adhesion
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2006


  • Adhesive fracture toughness
  • Adhesive joints
  • ESIS
  • Fixed arm peel
  • Fracture mechanics
  • Global energy analysis
  • Mandrel peel
  • Peel tests
  • T-peel


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