Strategies for supertough interface for adhesively-bonded joint

Categories: Current Research


Composite materials are routinely implemented in aerospace structures. The successful binding of the composite parts represents one of the most challenging technical problems in these structures. Methods to improve joint toughness and durability are vital. We focus on the development of techniques to improve joint toughness to improve the overall safety of structures. The techniques include the use of laser ablation and insertion of thermoplastic film in the adhesive bond-line in an attempt to introduce mechanical interlocking featuring interlocking sites. ​Different surface preparation techniques suitable for composites are explored, and their effect on toughness is measured. We also develop finite element model for simulating ligament formation responsible for extrinsic toughening. 



  • Prof. Gilles Lubineau (PI)
  • Dr. Arief Yudhanto (Project Coordinator )
  • Dr. Xiaole Li (Postdoc Fellow - computational)
  • Dr. Ahmed Wagih (Postdoc Fellow - experimental)
  • Ran Tao (PhD candidate - experimental and computational)
  • Shuai Lu (PhD student - computational)
  • Yasir Alowayd (MS student - experimental)
  • Jassem ALYousef (MS student - experimental)
  • Mjed Hashem (MS student - experimental)

Former member(s):

  • Dr. Arturo Pascuzzo (Postdoc Fellow at Univ Calabria)
  • Vu Anh-Quan (PhD student - experimental)
  • Mohammed S. Almulhim (MS student - experimental)
  • Faisal Kamal (MS student - experimental)
  • Lujain Fatta (KGSP student - experimental)
  • Omar Alqahtani (KGSP student - experimental)

Funding agency: KAUST CRG 2017 (Competitive Research Grant) 2018-2021

Prof. Marco Alfano, Dr Chiara Morano, Dr Arturo Pascuzzo (former member)


Prof. Xuesen Zeng, University of Southern Queensland, Australia


  1. Arturo Pascuzzo, Marco Alfano, Arief Yudhanto, Gilles Lubineau. On the effect of interfacial patterns on energy dissipation in plastically deforming adhesive bonded ductile sheets. International Journal of Solids and Structures, 198:31-40, 2020
  2. Xiaole Li, Ran Tao, Arief Yudhanto, Gilles Lubineau. How the spatial correlation in adhesion properties influences the performance of secondary bonding of laminated composites. International Journal of Solids and Structures, 196-197:41-52, 2020
  3. Ahmed Wagih, Ran Tao, Arief Yudhanto, Gilles Lubineau. Improving mode II fracture toughness of secondary bonded joints using laser patterning of adherends. Composites Part A: Applied Science and Manufacturing, 134:105892​​​, 2020
  4. Ran Tao, Xiaole Li, Arief Yudhanto, Marco Alfano, Gilles Lubineau. On controlling interfacial heterogeneity to trigger bridging in secondary bonded composite joints: An efficient strategy to introduce crack-arrest features, Composites Science and Technology, 188:107964, 2020
  5. Xiaole Li, Ran Tao, Marco Alfano, Gilles Lubineau. How variability in interfacial properties results in tougher bonded composite joints by triggering bridging. International Journal of Solids and Structures, Vol. 191-192, Pages 87-98, 2019
  6. Ran Tao, Marco Alfano, Gilles Lubineau. In situ analysis of interfacial damage in adhesively bonded composite joints subjected to various surface pretreatments, Composites Part A: Applied Science and Manufacturing, Vol. 116, 216-223, 2019​​​
  7. Ran Tao, Marco Alfano, Gilles Lubineau. Laser-based surface patterning of composite plates for improved secondary adhesive bonding. Composites Part A: Applied Science and Manufacturing, 109:84-94, 2018​​
  8. Edwin Hernandez, Marco Alfano, Ditho Pulungan, Gilles Lubineau, Toughness amplification in copper/epoxy joints through pulsed laser micro-machined interface heterogeneities, Scientific reports, 7(1):16344, 2017​​​
  9. ​Edwin Hernandez, Marco Alfano, Gilles Lubineau, Ulrich Buttner, Improving adhesion of copper/epoxy joints by pulsed laser ablation, International Journal of Adhesion and Adhesives, 64:23-32, 2016
  10. Khaled Almuhammadi, Marco Alfano, Yang Yang, Gilles Lubineau, Analysis of interlaminar fracture toughness and damage mechanisms in composite laminates reinforced with sprayed multi-walled carbon nanotubes, Materials & Design, 53:921-927, 2014