Knowledge of the size effect on the strength of hybrid bimaterial joints of steel and fiber composites is important for new designs of large lightweight ships, large fuel-efficient aircrafts, and lightweight crashworthy automobiles. Three series of scaled geometrically similar specimens of symmetric double-lap joints with a rather broad size range (1:12) are manufactured. The specimens are tested to failure under tensile displacement-controlled loading, and at rates that ensure the peak load to be reached within approximately the same time. Two series, in which the laminate is fiberglass G-10/FR4, are tested at Northwestern University, and the third series, in which the laminate consists of NCT 301 carbon fibers, is tested at the University of Michigan. Except for the smallest specimens in test series I, all the specimens fail by propagation of interface fracture initiating at the bimaterial corner. All the specimens fail dynamically right after reaching the maximum load. This observation confirms high brittleness of the interface failure. Thus, it is not surprising that the experiments reveal a marked size effect, which leads to a 52% reduction in nominal interface shear strength. As far as the inevitable scatter permits it to see, the experimentally observed nominal strength values agree with the theoretical size effect derived in Part II of this study, where the size exponent of the theoretical large-size asymptotic power law is found to be −0.459 for series I and II, and −0.486 for series III.

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