The purpose of this thesis was to develop microscale fracture toughness tests to be performed in situ based off previously used macroscale fracture toughness tests. The thesis also was to use these tests to perform in situ analysis and imaging of reinforced adhesives during crack propagation. Two different fracture toughness tests were developed for this thesis through developing fixtures and sample geometry. A microscale double cantilever beam (DCB) test was developed for mode I fracture (opening mode). A microscale end notch flexure (ENF) test was developed for mode II fracture (sliding mode).
Three different types of materials were used as a reinforcing agent and tested using the micro-DCB and micro-ENF tests. Magnetoelectric nanoparticles (MENs) doped adhesive showed a 12% increase in mode II toughness and 33% increase in total fracture energy for micro-DCB. Similarly, the graphene foam (GrF) doped adhesive showed an approximate 34% increase in mode II toughness and a 71% increase in total fracture energy for mode I. In situ imaging provided real time imaging of crack propagation for all three reinforcing agents that allowed for a novel analysis of the crack propagation and general fracture.