The Adhesion and Adhesives activity is concerned with measuring, modelling and predicting the performance of adhesives and bonded joints, components and structures and the fracture of composite materials.

Kinloch and Taylor have recently identified fracture and toughening mechanisms of special interest for high-temperature adhesives, attracting significant further funding from industry.

Blackman and Kinloch have coupled their fracture-mechanics methods with both analytical and numerical methods to predict in-service joint performance and lifetime in aircraft and automotive applications. Future goals include developing service-life predictions for bonded composite-to-metal joints in engine fan-blades and airframes, and grants have very recently been awarded from Rolls-Royce and the EU-FP7 Airbus/MAAXIMUS programme.

Felicity Guild has recently joined this research focus area as a Visiting Professor and is working closely with us to develop advanced numerical models of bonded joints. Also, we have current projects with the University of Surrey (Professor John Watts) and the University of Louvain (Professor Thomas Pardoen).

Our work



Senior research investigators

Senior research officers

  • Mr H. MacGillivray

Research associates

  • Dr Rodolfo L. Rito
  • Dr Milad Toolabi
  • Dr Shuang Cui

Visiting professor

  • Professor F. Guild

Phd students

  • Miss Shamsiah Awang Ngah
  • Mr Jing Chen
  • Mr Paulo Del Linz
  • Mr Ioannis Giannakopoulos
  • Mr Tim Hoult
  • Mr Seung Hwan Lee
  • Mr Mana Techapaitoon


  • Dr Ruth Brooker (Head Technician of Mechanics of Materials)
  • Mr Amit Choda
  • Mr Suresh Viswanathan Chettiar
  • Dr Leonard Wanigasooriya


  • Miss V. Crawford


  • Adhesive bonding of thermoplastic fibre-composites.
  • Repair of bonded fibre-composites.
  • Impact performance of adhesives and adhesive joints.
  • The adhesion of photo-polymers and paint layers.
  • Inter-laminar failure of polymer-fibre composites.
  • Modelling the fracture properties of rubber-toughened thermosetting polymers.
  • Thermoplastic-thoughened thermosetting polymers
  • The durability of fibre-composite adhesive joints.
  • The durability of bonded metallic adhesive joints.
  • The adhesion of packaging materials.
  • The fatigue behaviour of fibre-composites - especially prediction of lifetimes.
  • The role of residual stresses in bonded joints.
  • The stress conditions at a crack tip as determined by the method of caustics.
  • The bonding of fibre-composite tubes.
  • Fracture mechanics, and its application to bonded joint designs.
  • High-temperature adhesives.


  • Extensive suite of dedicated laboratories for surface preparation and bonding.
  • Corona and plasma treatments have been studied.
  • Contact angle equipment widely used.
  • Self-assembled monolayer treatments developed.
  • Extensive static, fatigue and impact testing equipment available.
  • Optical and electron microscopy, and high-speed photography widely used.
  • Finite-element and finite-volume modelling of interfaces and joints.
  • A new atomic force microscope and cryo-ultramicrotome have just been installed, further enhancing the capability of the Group.


Sponsored research is undertaken by the AAC group for applications in the following industries: aerospace, automotive, electronics, paints and coatings, rail transport, space systems. Some of our sponsors are:

  • DTI
  • Airbus
  • BAE Systems
  • Cytec
  • Dow
  • Du Pont
  • Delphi
  • Dstl
  • Hanse Chemie
  • ICI
  • Noveon
  • Royal Academy of Engineering
  • Royal Society
  • QinetiQ
  • US Government
  • Rolls Royce


There are several vacancies for PhD students are who eligible for EPSRC Awards in the Adhesion and Adhesives Activity. The research will involve aspects of engineering adhesives and advanced nano-materials. These materials are increasingly finding applications in the area of vehicles, rail-coaches, aerospace and the electronics industry. The awards will cover fees and living expenses.

We also have a vacancy for a EU, or associated European country, researcher to work on a EU sponsored programme on the toughening of thermoset polymers. This is open for either a RA or a PhD student.

In all the programmes the successful applicant will join a large and active group which is very well equipped groups with extensive experimental and theoretical facilities.

For further details please email:
Professor A.J. Kinloch, FREng -