Effects of steps on the load bearing capacity of 3D-printed single lap joints

Mohammad Reza Khosravani*, Payam Soltani, Tamara Reinicke

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    10 Citations (SciVal)


    Damage in adhesively bonded joints typically initiates in the overlap area due to high level of bonding (peel) stress. Different approaches are being considered to decrease the peel stress and improve the overall strength of the joint. One possible approach is to shape the over lap area into a stepped form configuration and enhance the performance of the joint. In the current study, we investigate effects of stepped-shape overlap area on the load bearing capacity of additively manufactured single-lap joints. To this aim, stepped-lap adhesively bonded joints with different designs and geometries in the overlap (bonding) area are considered with 3D-printed polylactic acid (PLA) adherends using the fused deposition modeling (FDM) process. Three configurations with different step sizes are considered to manufactured a set of adhesively bonded single-lap joints and to investigate the optimum length of the steps. The results are compared with our previous experimental findings on 3D-printed conventional single-lap joints. The obtained outcomes reveal that creating steps in the overlap area has a significant influence on the structural integrity and fracture load of 3D-printed adhesive-bonded joints and the bonded structures with identical step size in boding area reveal a better performance in load carrying capacity and shows a higher fracture load. Parallel to the experimental practices, a finite element model also developed to simulate the load carrying performance of the adhesively bonded single-lap joints with equal step size and 3D-printed PLA adherends. The FE model confirms the experimental outcomes and reveals the details of the cohesive failure and damage evolution mechanism in this bonded structures with PLA printed adherends. The proposed technique has a great potential to be a competitive alternative to conventional single-lap joints made by 3D printing. The presented results can be used for further fabrication of 3D-printed joints with a better structural performance.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1834-1847
    Number of pages14
    JournalJournal of Materials Research and Technology
    Publication statusPublished (VoR) - 11 Jan 2023


    This work as part of the project “Smart Production Design Center” (SmaP) is funded by the European Regional Development Fund ( ERDF ) under the program OP EFRE NRW 2014–2020 (EFRE-0200545).

    FundersFunder number
    European Regional Development FundEFRE-0200545


      • Fracture
      • 3D printing
      • Single lap joint
      • Finite element analysis
      • Adhesively bonded joints


      Dive into the research topics of 'Effects of steps on the load bearing capacity of 3D-printed single lap joints'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

      Cite this