In this paper structural adhesives for innovative bonded connections of aluminum structures are investigated by means of experimental and numerical modelling. Cylindrical specimens of different sections bonded with different adhesive joint thicknesses are tested under axial loading, using an Arcan Device. Thanks to X-ray micro-tomography, three-dimensional scan of the adhesive joints is performed in order to detect binder defects and to evaluate the porosity rate in volume, which are proved to affect the structural performance. Numerical simulations are carried out implementing the Imperfect Interface Approach (IIA), which coherently combines arguments of asymptotic theory and homogenization techniques for microcracked materials in the context of Non-Interacting Approximation (NIA). Experimental and numerical results are found to be in good agreement by adopting a Kachanov type material. Finally, a simple analytical validation of the numerical results is performed. The present investigation outcomes are addressed to contribute further developments, and to update the UE technical legislation in the field of aluminum bonded connections.
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