The extensive use of adhesives in many structural applications in the transport industry and particularly in the aeronautic field is due to numerous advantages of bonded joints. However, still many researchers are working to enhance the mechanical properties and rheological performance of adhesives by using nanoadditives. In this study the effect of the addition of Multi-Wall Carbon Nanotubes (MWCNTs) with Polyhedral Oligomeric Silsesquioxane (POSS) compounds, either Glycidyl Oligomeric Silsesquioxanes (GPOSS) or DodecaPhenyl Oligomeric Silsesquioxanes (DPHPOSS) to Tetraglycidyl Methylene Dianiline (TGMDA) epoxy formulation, was investigated. The formulations contain neither a tougher matrix such as elastomers nor other additives typically used to provide a closer match in the coefficient of thermal expansion in order to discriminate only the effect of the addition of the above-mentioned components. Bonded aluminium single lap joints were made using both untreated and Chromic Acid Anodisation (CAA)-treated aluminium alloy T2024 adherends. The effects of the different chemical functionalities of POSS compounds, as well as the synergistic effect between the MWCNT and POSS combination on adhesion strength, were evaluated by viscosity measurement, tensile tests, Dynamic Mechanical Analysis (DMA), single lap joint shear strength tests, and morphological investigation. The best performance in the Lap Shear Strength (LSS) of the manufactured joints has been found for treated adherends bonded with epoxy adhesive containing MWCNTs and GPOSS. Carbon nanotubes have been found to play a very effective bridging function across the fracture surface of the bonded joints.
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