In this work, the mechanical properties of two different adhesives compositions have been investigated both experimentally and numerically. The studied thermoplastic adhesives are Hot-Melt Adhesive (HMA). In particular, a pristine and a nanomodified adhesive with 10% in weight of iron oxide have been considered. The adhesives have been subjected to a series of single lap joint (SLJ) tests using adherends made of polypropylene copolymer. As it is well-known, the structural-mechanical behavior of adhesive joints is mostly influenced by the bonding process: thickness of adhesive as well as its application procedures and the surface preparation of adherends are among the most influencing factors. In addition, the mechanical behavior of SLJ test is particularly influenced by the correct alignment of adherends and applied load. These aspects have been investigated, analyzing the experimental results. Moreover, the experimental results have been used to develop a numerical model of the two adhesives. The numerical analysis has been carried out using the commercial software LS-DYNA. Transient nonlinear finite element analysis has been performed to simulate the mechanical behavior of the thermoplastic adhesives. In particular, the cohesive formulations of the elements have been taken into consideration after a careful literature review. In order to set-up and to validate the mechanical properties of the adhesives, the experimental SLJ tests have been simulated. The developed finite element models enable to investigate more complex joint structures where these types of adhesives are used, such as plastic piping systems and automotive applications. Further, the numerical models allow to investigate with higher accuracy and lower time different aspects such as manufacturing and non-linear effects.

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