Fibre Composite Repair of Cracked Metallic Aircraft Components - Practical and Basic Aspects,
AERONAUTICAL RESEARCH LABS MELBOURNE (AUSTRALIA)
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Crack patching, the use of advanced fibre composite patches such as boronepoxy or graphiteepoxy bonded with structural film adhesives to repair cracks in metallic aircraft components, is a significant development in aircraft maintenance technology, offering many advantages over conventional repair procedures based on metallic patches and mechanical fasteners. This paper reviews selected theoretical and experimental aspects of Australian work on this topic and describes a preliminary design approach for estimating the minimum thickness patch that could be employed in a given repair situation. Finally, the paper provides a case study on our repair to the wing skin of Mirage III aircraft. Aspects discussed include evaluation of minimum cure and surface-treatment conditions for adhesive bonding in repair situations potential thermal and residual stress problems, resulting from patching studies on overlap joints representing repairs and crack propagation behaviour in patched panels.