Carbon nanotubes were employed as adhesive reinforcement/nano-stitches to aluminum bonded joints. The CNT addition to an epoxy adhesive not only lead to an increase on load capacity but it is also the most probable cause of the mixed failure mode (adhesive/cohesive). The damage evolution was described as the stiffness decrease and the failure mixed modes were related to the load capacity. Although the presence of CNT cluster were observed, in small concentrations (< 1.0 wt. %), these clusters acted as crack stoppers and lead to an increase on lap joint shear strength. The addition of 2.0 wt. % carbon nanotubes lead to an increase on load capacity of approximately 116.2 % when the results were compared against the single lap joints without carbon nanotubes.
Carbon nanotubes; bonded joints; hybrid joints; experimental mechanics; failure modes