Prediction of long-term creep behavior of epoxy adhesives for structural applications
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The mechanical property of polymeric materials changes over time, especially when they are subjected to long-term loading scenarios. To predict the time-dependent viscoelastic behaviors of epoxy-based adhesive materials, it is imperative that reliable accelerated tests be developed to determine their long-term performances under different exposed environments. A neat epoxy resin system and a commercial structural adhesive system for bonding aluminum substrates are investigated. A series of moisture diffusion tests have been performed for more than three months in order to understand the influence of the absorbed moisture on creep behavior. The material properties, such as elastic modulus and glass transition temperature, are also studied under different environmental conditions. The time-temperature superposition method produces a master curve allowing the long-term creep compliance to be estimated. The physics-based Coupling model is found to fit well the long-term creep master curve. The equivalence of the temperature and moisture effect on the creep compliance of the epoxy adhesives is also addressed. Finally, a methodology for predicting the long-term creep behavior of epoxy adhesives is proposed.