AbstractThis paper was intended to examine the peel and cleavage characteristics of adhesive and welded connections in a dynamic message sign (DMS). A total of 30 peel specimens and 30 cleavage specimens were fabricated with different widths, conditioned with various extreme temperatures, and tested to determine their peel and cleavage strengths following the relevant ASTM International guidelines. The effects of temperature and width on the peel and cleavage strength were evaluated by interpreting the test data in a graphical and statistical manner. Response surface metamodels (RSMs) acquired from the statistical analysis of testing data were also employed to create three-dimensional surface plots that served as the basis to efficiently explore the effects of temperature and width on each strength. The RSM plots revealed that the peel strength of both adhesive and welded specimens and the cleavage strength of adhesive specimens were observed to be affected most by temperature, whereas the influence of width was observed to be higher for the peel strength of adhesive and welded specimens along with the cleavage strength of welded specimens. From the peel and cleavage strength testing, the welded specimens were found to be more resilient than the adhesive specimens in terms of peel strength, but to have up to 31% lower cleavage strength compared to the adhesive specimens.

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