All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

Haibin Ning

Advisory Committee Members

Uday Vaidy

Selvum Pillay

Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name by School

Master of Science in Materials Engineering (MSMtE) School of Engineering


In this study, a new hybrid fiber metal laminate (FML) material is developed in which fiber composites (both thermoset and thermoplastic matrix composites) and metal are bonded together mechanically using the hooks integrated on the metal. The hooks function as through thickness reinforcement and are used to enhance the bonding strength between the fiber composites and the metal. Process optimization is performed for the VARTM process used in manufacturing the thermoset composite FML in order to gain full benefit of the through thickness reinforcement. Extra pressure in addition to the vacuum is applied to push fiber tows inside the hooks and eliminate the porosities and resin rich areas around the hooks. Microstructural analysis is used to study the effect of the processing conditions on the quality of the FML samples. Different tests are also conducted to study the effect of the processing conditions on the mechanical properties, including the tensile properties, flexural properties and bonding strength of the thermoset FML. The testing results have shown improvement in tensile and flexure strength of the FML after process optimization compared to Baseline FML. Thermoplastic FML shows increased tensile and flexural properties as well. The mode I interlaminar fracture toughness in the thermoset composite FML is modeled using a bilinear model with the modeling input obtained from hook pullout testing. The modeling result has a relatively good agreement with the experiment result. In the fracture toughness testing, delamination occurred to both sides of the aluminum sheet, while the single hook pull-out testing showed that delamination occurred to only one side. The additional delamination has probably contributed to the increase of the fracture toughness value obtained from the fracture toughness testing compared to the modeling result.

Included in

Engineering Commons



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