In-process monitoring using acoustic emission on cure cycle of Al/Al bonded joints

Adherends: 2024 T3 aluminium alloy (anodised and covered with primer)

Adhesive: modified epoxy

Cure cycle (heating 49°÷ 117°C, 90 min. at 117°C and cooling 117 ÷ 66°C)

Pressure: 0.25 MPa


Cycles with variations in time, temperature and pressure were performed.

Furthermore modifications of joint surface were introduced, by producing unbonded zones (Teflon layers) and applying mould release (dibuthyl ether) on some part of the surface to be bonded.

Acoustic emission outputs:

  1. The three phases of the cycle are easily discernible in AE diagrams (histories with time)
  2. Long duration events are preferably shown during temperature holding by ideal procedure joints.
  3. The polymerisation (long duration events) seems to stop after about 60 min.
  4. Further considerations were that:

  5. The most exploitable results can be obtained by considering the cooling-down phase alone and comparing AE activity during this phase and during the whole cure cycle
  6. A reduction of the adhered surface of 50 and even 75 % did not produce a relevant decrease of joint quality
  7. Some low amplitude signals with frequencies around sensor peak were isolated as events due to adhesive shrinkage subsequent to adhesion

Subsidiary techniques:


Politecnico di Milano

CIRA- Capua

Università di Napoli "Federico II"

Università di Roma – La Sapienza

SIAI Marchetti

ALENIA - Pomigliano

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