Project overview

The ability to repair aerostructures is critical due to the fact that an aircraft has a longer life than a large number of the components and replacing a full composite panel due to small areas of damage is expensive and unnecessary. For this to be possible, the repaired composite must perform similarly to a pristine panel under the conditions the aircraft will be subjected to. This is especially critical as the residual strength of the composite material reduces significantly after damage. This research project focuses on the soft-impact performance of adhesively repaired composite panels for aerostructures, specifically looking at carbon fibre reinforced polymer composites. The repair will be an adhesively-bonded join with a scarf shape and will be carried out by removing the damaged area and replacing it with a pristine frustum of the same lay-up as the parent sample. This type of repair is preferable to other methods as it has minimal impact on the aerodynamic properties of the aircraft, whilst providing enhanced stress transfer mechanisms and joint efficiencies. 

Research Keywords

  • Composite laminates
  • Soft impact
  • Damage mechanisms
  • Adhesive repair

Researcher

  • Miss Zoe Hall
  • Dr Haibao Liu