Date of Award


Access Type

Thesis - Open Access

Degree Name

Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering


Graduate Studies

Committee Chair

Dr. David J. Sypeck

First Committee Member

Dr. Frank J. Radosta

Second Committee Member

Dr. Daewon Kim


Fiber metal laminates (FMLs) are hybrid composite structures made from fiber reinforced polymeric materials sandwiched between layers of thin metal alloy sheets. FMLs combine the advantages of metallic materials and fiber reinforced matrix systems. Some of these advantages include: lighter weight, enhanced impact tolerance, improved corrosion resistance, better fire resistance, longer fatigue life, greater tensile strength, easier repair ability and maintainability, etc. The most well-known commercially available FML is GLARE (Glass Laminate Aluminum Reinforced Epoxy), however there are ongoing issues, which include a very high fabrication cost compared to many competing material systems and substantial delamination upon impact and failure. The main purpose of this study is to fabricate and test similar types of FMLs, but ones made using simpler, less expensive approaches. Two different adhesive systems were used; high strain epoxy as the matrix for all S-2 glass fiber reinforced composite layers and either the same epoxy or a high strain methacrylate to bond the composite layers to the metal layers. For effective comparison, the new FMLs laminate arrangement(s) closely mimic a few common grades of GLARE. The experimental investigation comprised of shear lap testing, tensile testing, and microscopy (e.g., optical and SEM). These experimental methods were used to assess potential improvements. The fabricated FMLs showed similar behaviors to GLARE but with some substantially improved damage tolerance characteristics.