Snap-through Crack Propagation in Architected Bonded Interfaces Analyzed Using a Mechanoluminescent SAO/E Coating

Chiara Morano, Nao Terasaki, Tianyi Gao, Gilles Lubineau, Marco Alfano*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


We investigate the mechanics of crack propagation in architected adhesive joints whose adherends are inspired to the base plate of the barnacle Amphibalanus (=Balanus) amphitrite, and feature an array of buried hollow cylindrical channels located perpendicularly to the direction of crack growth. Selective laser sintering is used to obtain the adherends that are subsequently bonded in the double cantilever beam configuration to ascertain the mechanics of crack growth. Finite element (FE) simulations are deployed to determine the strain energy release rate (ERR) and to elucidate the salient features of the fracture process. It is shown that the channels induce a modulation of the ERR and enable a crack tip shielding mechanism. Besides, FE simulations based on a cohesive zone approach indicate the occurrence of crack pinning/depinning cycles that are validated via experiments. A highlight of the present study is the use of a mechanoluminescent (ML) coating to unravel the evolution of the transient stress field in the crack tip region. The coating comprises an optical epoxy resin loaded with doped strontium aluminate phosphors (SrAl2O4/Eu2+) and converts mechanical energy into light emission with intensity proportional to the magnitude of mechanical stress. By combining the ML emission patterns with the stress distribution obtained from FEA, we unveil interesting details of snap-through cracking in architected bio-inspired adhesive joints.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)40887-40897
Number of pages11
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number34
StatePublished - Aug 30 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 American Chemical Society.


  • architected adhesive joints
  • cohesive model
  • crack trapping
  • mechanoluminescence
  • toughness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science


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