Advanced Composite Aircraft Structures, Structural Repairs, Adhesive Bonding & Electrical Characteristics

Michael J. Hoke Abaris Training Resources Inc. AEA 2008
Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc. 1

Who is Abaris Training??
ƒ We have been training in manufacturing,
repair, and bonding of advanced composite structures since 1983, with over 13,000 graduates to date. ƒ Three permanent training facilities:
ƒ Reno, NV ƒ Griffin, GA ƒ Cwmbran, Wales

ƒ We also do numerous “on-site” classes
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Who do we train?
ƒ 40% military ƒ 25% manufacturers (Boeing, Airbus,
Northrop-Grumman, Lockheed, General Atomics (UAV’s), Cessna, etc.) ƒ 20% airlines and large MRO’s ƒ 10% Gov: FAA, NTSB, NASA, etc. ƒ 5% non-aerospace
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Why Reno? - LearFan

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5 .What’s up for today? ƒ Basics of Composites – Strings and Glue ƒ Fibers and Fiber Forms – the Strings ƒ Matrix Systems – the Glue ƒ Adhesive Bonding ƒ Damage and Inspection Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc.

6 .What’s up for today? ƒ Structural Repair techniques ƒ Vacuum Bagging ƒ Radome Repair ƒ Lightning Strike Protection ƒ Antenna Installations Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc.

protects fibers Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc.What Are Composites? ƒ Made up of two main types of materials: ƒ Fibers ƒ Carry majority of the load ƒ Matrix ƒ Gives the part its shape. 7 .

The Basics: Cloth and Glue Wet Layup Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc. 8 .

An alternative: Prepreg Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc. 9 .

Typical Sandwich Construction Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc. 10 .

Fibers ƒ The fibers give the part most of its strength and distinctive characteristics: ƒ Glass or fiberglass (white) ƒ Good strength and stiffness. light poor compressive strength. good impact resistance. heavier ƒ Carbon or Graphite fiber (black) ƒ Very high bending stiffness. light weight Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc. ƒ The fibers carry most of the load! 11 . high tensile strength. ƒ Kevlar® fiber (yellow) ƒ Excellent impact resistance. high tensile and compressive strength. poor impact resistance.

12 .Matrix systems (resins) ƒ Polyesters ƒ Vinyl Esters ƒ ƒ ƒ ƒ ƒ Epoxies Bismaleimides Cyanate Esters Phenolics Others Each type of fiber and resin has different structural properties and temperature tolerance. Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc.

Fabric: material constructed of interlaced yarns. or filaments Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc. fibers. 13 .

This is Eight Harness Satin weave Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc. 14 .Many Weave Styles.

Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc. 15 .ƒ Unidirectional Tape: Non-woven material in which the filaments are laid in a single direction within a resin matrix. multiple plies used.

Military Aircraft

F-22

B-2: Approximately 85% of the structural weight is composite
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F-35
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Boeing “Bird of Prey”

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Commercial Aircraft
Airbus A-380

Boeing 787

A-380 fuselage cross-section Boeing 777
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High-Performance Sailplanes

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20 .Diamond Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc.

Cessna 300/350/400 Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc. 21 .

Cirrus SR-20 and 22 Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc. 22 .

23 .Critical Areas of Damage Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc.

New Honda Jet HF 118 Honda Jet employs an all-carbon fiber reinforced epoxy fuselage Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc. 24 .

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) Boeing UCAV NorthropGrumman Global Hawk Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc. 25 .

26 . 10’ diameter Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc.Titan IVB carbon fiber boosters: 114’ long.

Swedish Visby-class 240 foot (73m) all carbon-fiber low-observable ship Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc. 27 .

6'. ft.Large Sailing Vessels 246' long with a beam of 48. Even a J boat will look small next to Mirabella V.042 sq. Her 30. of sail is carried by a 290' high carbon fiber mast built in five sections. Mirabella V. 28 .246 feet -Worlds largest composite yacht Cost: $55 Million Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc.

29 .Large Windmill Blades Blade Section Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc.

8 m rotor blade Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc.Onshore Blade Transportation Transport of a LM 38. 30 .

However. we’re all still learning lessons the hard way about these materials! . not a passing fad. There are many applications in a wide variety of industries.So composites may be here to stay. and the list is growing daily. this remains a somewhat immature technology.

Advanced Composite Fibers and Fiber Forms The stringy part of the string and glue! .

33 . but for advanced composites: ƒ Glass ƒ Quartz ƒ Carbon/Graphite ƒ Aramid (Kevlar®) ƒ Boron ƒ UHMW Polyethylene (Spectra®) ƒ Ceramic Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc.Many Types of Fibers.

Fiberglass cloth Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc. 34 .

® Kevlar Aramid fiber yarn Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc. 35 .

Carbon Unidirectional Tape ƒ Prepreg roll Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc. 36 .

Fiberglass (White)
ƒ ƒ ƒ ƒ ƒ ƒ ƒ ƒ
Good strength in both tension and compression Good energy absorption properties Low cost Easy to work with Moisture resistant Electrical insulator Heavy Some types can be affected by an alkaline environment
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® Kevlar

aramid fiber (Yellow)

ƒ ƒ ƒ ƒ ƒ ƒ ƒ ƒ

Much lighter than fiberglass Very good energy absorption Excellent in tension, poor in compression Electrical insulator Moderately expensive Absorbs some moisture Sensitive to UV Bonds poorly to polyester resins

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Carbon (graphite) fiber (Black)
ƒ ƒ ƒ ƒ ƒ ƒ ƒ
Excellent in tension and compression Excellent in bending stiffness Partial absorber of microwaves; don’t use in a radome! Poor at impact energy absorption - brittle Expensive Electrically conductive! Can cause galvanic corrosion problems with carbon steel, cad-plated fasteners, and especially aluminum!
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Material
Magnesium Zinc Aluminum 7075 Clad Aluminum 2024 Clad Aluminum 7075-T6 Cadmium Aluminum 2024-T4 Wrought Steel Cast Steel Lead Tin Manganese Bronze Brass Aluminum Bronze Copper Nickel Inconel Type 303 Stainless Titanium Monel Silver Carbon Fiber

Galvanic Scale
12 11 10 9 9 8 7 6 6 4 4 3 2 2 2 1 1 0 0 0 0
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ANODIC

CATHODIC

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Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc. 41 .Boron fiber ƒ Excellent in tensile strength ƒ Even better in compressive strength – an ƒ ƒ ƒ ƒ ƒ ƒ unusual property for a fiber Very high modulus Tungsten core Brittle Expensive Difficult to cut Now used mostly for bonded repairs to cracked metallic structures.

Polyethylene ® (Spectra ) fiber ƒ UHMW Polyethylene ƒ Excellent in tension ƒ Very resistant to impacts ƒ ƒ ƒ ƒ ƒ “Bulletproof” vests. etc. Impervious to water Difficult to bond to matrix systems Poor at high temperatures (+212°F) Occasionally seen in radomes or antenna covers. Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc. 42 . helmets.

Quartz fibers ƒ Another form of glass ƒ Good at high temperatures ƒ Good tensile & compressive strength ƒ Microwave transparent ƒ Expensive ƒ Sometimes used in radomes. 43 . especially on Airbus aircraft Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc.

with ceramic or metal matrix systems ƒ Excellent at really high temperatures ƒ Often used in ballistic armor ƒ Very expensive ƒ Difficult to process Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc. 44 .Ceramic fibers ƒ Usually used in short forms.

satin weaves. 45 . continuous) ƒ Unidirectional tape ƒ Woven roving ƒ Woven textile fabrics ƒ Plain weave. ƒ Stitchbonded fabrics ƒ Braids Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc. etc.Forms of Reinforcement ƒ Filaments/tows/strands/yarns/rovings ƒ Mats (chopped strand. twills.

and vice versa ƒ Special surface treatments for some fibers (e.: ion bombardment for UHMW polyethylene) ƒ Carbon almost always “sized” for epoxies Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc.Sizing/Finishes ƒ Used to coat filaments to improve bonding ƒ Many different types. 46 . compatible with different resin systems ƒ Some polyester-compatible sizings are not compatible with epoxies.g.

Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc. more resin is NOT better! ƒ For most woven cloth.Fiber/Resin Ratio ƒ Too little resin: resin starved ƒ Compressive properties strongly degraded ƒ Too much resin: resin rich ƒ Heavy. weak ƒ If the right amount of resin is good. brittle. about 60% fiber. 47 . 40% resin by weight is OK.

48 . Carbon fiber: $8 .$4. Boron: $650/lb Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc.$6/lb.Costs ƒ Tremendous variation in cost: ƒ ƒ ƒ ƒ Fiberglass: $1 .000/lb. Kevlar: $8 .$15/lb.

49 .Types of Glass Fibers ƒ A – High-Alkali ƒ E – Electrical ƒ S – Structural ƒ S-2 – Commercial grade S-glass ƒ D – Dielectric grade ƒ M – High-modulus (Boron-rich) Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc.

high modulus ƒ Lead – Radioactivity resistant ƒ Lithium-Oxide – X-Ray transparent Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc.) ƒ C – Chemical Resistant ƒ E-CR – Corrosion Resistant ƒ R – High-strength.Types of Glass Fibers (Cont. 50 .

51 .Fabric roll terminology Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc.

Ply Orientation ƒ Warp Clocks CCW 90º +45º 0º -45º CW 90º -45º 0º +45º 52 Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc. .

53 .Symmetry Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc.

Balance Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc. 54 .

55 .Quasi-Isotropic Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc.

Nesting vs. 56 . Stacking Nested Layers Stacked Layers Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc.

So to build a part properly: ƒ Depending on the weave style. nested layup. 57 . balanced. one might make a quasi-isotropic. and it’s Miller time! Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc. symmetrical. ƒ This is as opposed to the usual repair technique: slap some plies on.

epoxy is best. vinylester is OK.Practical issues with fibers: ƒ Don’t use carbon fiber with polyester or vinylester resin systems ƒ Make sure fiberglass has the proper sizing for the resin system you are using ƒ Worry about UV attack on Kevlar – it must be painted. Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc. 58 . ƒ Don’t use Kevlar with polyester resins.

ƒ Pay close attention to fiber orientation on woven cloth or unidirectional structures.Practical issues with fibers (continued): ƒ Be very meticulous about surface preparation and cleanliness for adhesive bonding. 59 . Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc.

Matrix Systems The glue that holds the strings together! .

61 .Matrix Systems must: ƒ Transfer loads from fiber to fiber ƒ Keep fibers from buckling ƒ Give the component a rigid shape ƒ Protect the fibers from the environment ƒ Handle temperature extremes Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc.

but only if they are prevented from buckling! ƒ Shear ƒ Bending stiffness Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc.Matrix required to attain these structural properties: ƒ Compression ƒ Fibers can carry compressive loads. 62 .

Matrix dominates these structural properties: ƒ Interlaminar shear (resistance to delamination) ƒ Interlaminar tension (peel) ƒ Service Temperature Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc. 63 .

64 .Matrix types: ƒ Organic (Plastics) ƒ ƒ Thermosets Thermoplastics ƒ Carbon ƒ Metal ƒ Ceramic Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc.

Thermoset Matrix Systems ƒ Crosslinking ƒ One-time irreversible chemical reaction ƒ Cannot be re-formed or melted after curing ƒ Difficult to recycle Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc. 65 .

66 .Thermosets include: ƒ Polyesters ƒ Vinylesters ƒ Epoxies ƒ Phenolics ƒ Cyanate Esters ƒ Bismaleimides ƒ Some Polyimides ƒ Polyurethanes Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc.

easier to recycle than thermosets Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc.Thermoplastic Matrix Systems ƒ Long-chain molecules ƒ Undergoes a physical change from a solid to a liquid when heated ƒ Can be re-heated and re-formed. 67 . melts at high temperatures.

Thermoplastics include: ƒ Plexiglas ƒ ABS (Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene) ƒ Polyethylene ƒ PEI (Polyetherimide) ƒ PEEK (Polyetheretherketone) ƒ PPS (Polyphenylene sulfide) ƒ Nylon ƒ Many others Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc. 68 .

service temperature Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc.Temperature considerations in thermosets: ƒ Curing temperature and time ƒ Glass Transition Temperature – (Tg) ƒ Heat deflection or distortion temperature. 69 .

70 .Polyester Advantages ƒ Inexpensive ƒ Good water resistance ƒ Available in wet or a few prepreg systems ƒ Well-understood. easy to work with ƒ Commonly available Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc.

3%) ƒ Shrinkage when curing .low elongation to failure (1% .up to 7% in some cases ƒ Relatively low max. use temperatures (Tg) ƒ Relatively poor adhesion ƒ Styrene emissions ƒ Toxic smoke Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc. 71 .Polyester Disadvantages ƒ Weaker than the other resin systems ƒ Brittle .

Vinylester Advantages ƒ Stronger. this means it’s less brittle ƒ Less shrinkage when curing ƒ Higher Tg ƒ Better adhesion than polyester Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc. 72 . stiffer than polyester ƒ Better environmental resistance than polyester ƒ Higher elongation to failure (3% .6%).

73 . a disadvantage when building very large structures.Vinylester Disadvantages ƒ Higher cost than polyester ƒ Not available as prepreg ƒ Styrene emissions ƒ Toxic smoke ƒ No long cure times possible. Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc.

Epoxy Advantages ƒ Stronger than polyesters or vinylesters ƒ Cure times from minutes to years available ƒ No styrene emissions ƒ Less shrinkage ƒ Higher Tg’s available ƒ Excellent adhesive properties ƒ Commonly available wet and in prepreg Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc. 74 .

75 .Epoxy Disadvantages ƒ Higher cost ƒ Precise mix ratios mandatory ƒ Cannot be mixed “hot” ƒ Hardener Vs. “Catalyst” discussed below ƒ Toxic smoke Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc.

Phenolic advantages ƒ Good electrical insulating properties ƒ Good chemical resistance ƒ Stable at high loads and temperatures ƒ Good fire-smoke-toxicity performance ƒ Good ablative ƒ Often used in interiors Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc. 76 .

77 . weaker than epoxies ƒ Poor adhesive characteristics Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc.Phenolic disadvantages ƒ Can be difficult to process ƒ Brittle.

Curing Polyesters & Vinylesters ƒ Cure initiated by the addition of a “catalyst” ƒ Methyl Ethyl Ketone Peroxide . 78 . and allow the resin molecules to cross-link ƒ Exact mix ratios not critical – can mix “hot” or mix “cold” ƒ Mix timing and sequence is critical ƒ Styrene emission problems Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc.MEKP (liquid) ƒ Benzoyl Peroxide – BPO (paste) ƒ Both have significant health & safety concerns ƒ These initiators kill off inhibitors.

±2% by weight needed with the strongest aircraft-grade systems One cannot mix “hot” or “cold” Different hardener “speeds” are available for many epoxy resin systems Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc. especially as one moves away from 50/50 mixes. 79 ƒ ƒ .Curing Epoxies ƒ These resins are cured by cross-linking with a ƒ hardener. not by adding a catalyst Exact mix ratios are critical.

Epoxy curing temperature considerations ƒ While many are “room-temp” curable. almost all ƒ ƒ ƒ develop full strength only after a high-temp “post-cure”: 150ºF – 200ºF for 1-10 hours. Higher cure temperatures also result in a higher glass transition temperature Outgassing can be an issue in high-temperature cure cycles Crosslinking rate doubles for every 10ºC (18ºF) temperature increase Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc. 80 .

Things to watch out for ƒ Improper mix ratios ƒ By weight or by volume – they are different! ƒ Incomplete mixing ƒ Wrong ingredients ƒ Wrong mixing sequence ƒ Exotherms . 81 .A good way to get OSHA on your case! ƒ Excessive moisture ƒ Old materials Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc.

82 . “You ƒ are the Creator of the material properties” – do it right! Repairs and assembly cures are “secondary bonds” – excellent surface preparation is critical! Errors here are NOT detectable with ANY NDI process! Use resins with adequate properties – those approved by the airframe manufacturer ONLY! ƒ Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc.The Least You Need to Know ƒ When you laminate. unlike with aluminum.

83 .Structural Properties Result From Many Design Choices and Fabrication Processes ƒ Material Choices ƒ Fibers ƒ Fiber Forms ƒ Resins ƒ Cores ƒ Fiber Alignment ƒ Process ƒ Contact Layups ƒ Vacuum Bagged Layups ƒ Elevated Temperature Cure ƒ Peel Ply Use Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc.

Practice Safe Composites ƒ Epoxy Sensitization ƒ ƒ ƒ ƒ ƒ Through the Skin Inhalation ƒ Fillers and Fibers ƒ Vapors Blindness ƒ Polyester Activator (MEKP) Resin Uncontrolled Exotherms Electrical Motor Shorts ƒ Carbon Dust Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc. 84 .

Mix Epoxy Resins Accurately 4. Use The Right Materials When Making Structure ƒ ƒ ƒ Fiber Finish Structural Resin Wet Layup/Honeycomb usually turns out ugly. 85 . Peel Ply Is Your Friend. Protect Your Health 2.Top 10 List 1. EXCEPT for secondary bondline surface preparation! 3. Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc.

not clean! 6. Only Low Viscosity Resins Will Encapsulate The Individual Tiny Reinforcement Fibers 8. Laminate Only When The Temperature And Humidity Are Correct For The Resin In Use 9. Face Sheet To Core Bonds Are Critical! Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc. 86 . Epoxies Do Not Reach Their Full Properties Unless Post-Cured 7. Vacuum Bagging Improves Material Properties 10. Secondary Bonds Require Careful Preparation Cleaning Solvents usually contaminate.Top 10 List (cont.) 5.

ƒ Polyester peel plies may or may not have release agents in them. usually silicone-based. 87 . even those advertised as being heat-cleaned! ƒ If there was no release agent in them at all. Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc.More on surface prep for bonding: ƒ Nylon peel plies ALL contain release agents. they would never release. and would have to be ground off.

about one year.More on surface prep for bonding: ƒ “Corona-treated” polyester peel plies do not have release agents. but do have a limited shelf life. 88 . ƒ Even these peel plies cause a problem. the viscosity is too high. ƒ These grooves are not filled later by the adhesive. Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc. the weave texture of the peel ply leaves thousands of small sharp-edged grooves in the resin.

etc. Dry nitrogen works. ƒ So – what to do? Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc. without damaging the fibers of the surface ply. but is expensive. grit blasting with compressed air will contaminate the surface with oil. 89 .More on surface prep for bonding: ƒ The best solution is GENTLE grit blasting to remove the peel ply impressions in the surface. ƒ However. water.

followed by GENTLE hand sanding to remove the peel ply weave texture.More on surface prep for bonding: ƒ First of all. It’s fine on nonbonding surfaces. NEVER use nylon peel plies on a surface which will be accepting an adhesive bond later. Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc. 90 . ƒ Probably the best workable solution is to use corona-treated polyester peel plies.

91 .More on surface prep for bonding: ƒ Use cheap sandpaper. 320 or higher. The expensive papers are coated with release waxes to help the sanding residue fall off the paper. This will break fibers. You are NOT trying to get “tooth” in the bondline. which does not have “anti-clogging” properties. Bond strengths improve all the way up to 600 grit. Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc. ƒ Use a fine grit paper.

as the broken cross-links on the surface link back together. dry wipe! ƒ The final sanding step should be done as close as possible to the application of adhesive. This effect goes away after a few hours. ƒ The sanding produces a “high surface energy” on the part. preferably within 4 hours. ƒ Cleanliness in all steps is mandatory! Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc.Still more on surface prep for bonding: ƒ Do NOT solvent wipe after sanding. Do not wait overnight. 92 .

The adhesive must uniformly wet out the entire bonding surface. so will the adhesive. However. Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc. 93 . you must dry the parts thoroughly.How can you tell if your surface preparation is OK? ƒ Try the water break test. ƒ If the water “avoids” an area on your surface. using CLEAN white (no printing) paper towels and a hair dryer.

before Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc.Water Break Testing . 94 .

left side contaminated Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc. 95 .Water break test – after: right side clean.

as opposed to perhaps only a few months. especially in a hot-wet environment. ƒ The difference between good surface preparation and slipshod surface preparation means obtaining a joint which will last many years under load. durable composite STRUCTURAL bonds is not easy. ƒ Even more difficult in aluminum bonding.So – the details matter! ƒ Creating long-lasting. Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc. 96 .

Composite Damage and Inspection Issues Visual inspection is not enough! .

98 . Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc.Introduction • A vast majority of damage occurs on the ground. • Brittle nature of matrix/fiber combination contributes to ease of damage. (don’t yield and bend like metals). • Composites are not as “tough” as metals. damage is often hidden to the eye.

there are unexpected ways to cause damage: • • • • Water ingress into honeycomb cores Paint stripper! Minor impacts such as tool drops. etc. UV. Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc. Heat. 99 . Hydraulic fluid. etc.Unusual Damage Mechanisms • To those untrained in these materials.

100 .Lightning Strikes Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc.

101 .Bird Strikes Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc.

102 .Impact Damage Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc.

Water Damage Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc. 103 .

Battle Damage Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc. 104 .

105 .Jackstands Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc.

Mid-Air Collisions Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc. 106 .

107 .Your flight has arrived in the gate area! Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc.

Sheet metal damage assessment is not covered in this presentation Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc. 108 .

of damage: ƒ High and medium energy impacts. ƒ Low energy impacts can easily cause “hidden” damage. 109 . while severe. Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc. as well as severity.Damage Assessment ƒ Impact energy affects visibility. are easy to detect.

110 . Delaminations Back side fiber fracture High Energy Impact 0 0 + 45 -45 0 90 90 0 -45 + 45 0 0 T hrough penetration small damage zone Delamination Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc.Impact Energy Levels Low Energy Impact 0 0 + 45 -45 0 90 90 0 -45 + 45 0 0 Medium Energy Impac t Pyramid P attern Matrix Crack from im pac t.

Why NDI? Delta II launch Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc. 111 .

112 .Primary NDI Technologies used in Composite Structures ƒ Visual ƒ Tap Testing ƒ Ultrasound ƒ X-Ray ƒ Thermography ƒ Laser Shearography / Interferometry ƒ Acoustic Emissions Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc.

Visual Inspection ƒ One can visually detect (to some extent): ƒ ƒ ƒ ƒ ƒ Burns Disbonds Delaminations Contamination Over-stressed or fractured areas Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc. 113 .

ƒ DO NOT USE PAINT STRIPPER!! It will attack and “eat” the resin. DO NOT SAND INTO THE FIBERS! Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc. 114 .Paint Removal ƒ Paint must be removed before a visual inspection can be performed. ƒ Use gentle hand sanding to remove paint.

Wing impact loading on aft attach points causes floor to break here (Picture courtesy of Cirrus Design) Composite turns white at the point of fracture Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc. 115 .

Look at flat angle to detect small defects Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc. 116 .

117 .25¢ & Up ƒ Less Effective On ƒ ƒ ƒ Thick Laminates Won’t Go Through Core Possible False Readings Must Be Able To Hear – Quiet Area Needed Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc.Tap Testing ƒ Effective ƒ Cheap. .

Tap Testing Wichitech Electronic Tap Hammer Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc. 118 .

Ultrasonic Inspection ƒ “A-Scan” ƒ Pulse-Echo Display ƒ “C-Scan” ƒ Through Transmission Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc. 119 .

120 .Ultrasonic “A-Scan” Inspection Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc.

Ultrasonic Inspection “ A-Scan” Display “A-Scan” ƒ Noise From Imperfections ƒ Material Attenuation ƒ ƒ Kevlar Reads Poorly. 121 . Carbon Reads Better Autoclave cured reads better than vacuum bag cured ƒ Hidden Delaminations Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc.

122 .Through-transmission ultrasonics Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc.

123 .Through-transmission ultrasonics: “C-scan” display of F-18 carbon fiber upper inner wing skin Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc.

124 .X-Ray Inspection ƒ Sees Changes In Density ƒ May see Delaminations When Viewed From An Angle ƒ Shows Some Inclusions ƒ Can Show Water Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc.

125 .X-Ray Inspection of F-18 horizontal stabilizer Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc.

Thermography ƒ Uses Infrared Video Camera ƒ Sees small changes in temperature Can see many kinds of defects ƒ Cutting Edge: Pulsed Thermography ƒ ƒ Computer enhanced MOSAIQ Software Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc. 126 .

127 .Pulsed Thermography Disbonded Honeycomb Panel Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc.

128 .Methods of limited value in composites: ƒ Eddy Current ƒ Dye Penetrant ƒ Thoroughly contaminates laminate – no repair possible. Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc.

129 .A-300 Vertical Fin Spar Failure Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc.

Not The First Time Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc. 130 .

NDI will likely not be utilized. Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc. but if no one is even aware the component may be damaged. 131 .Problems in Composite NDI ƒ Hidden Damage – more prevalent in composites than in metals. ƒ Therefore there is more of a requirement for NDI.

Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc. 132 . therefore difficult to know if the component is dry enough to proceed with repair. and often causes skins to blow off sandwich cores during high-temperature cured repairs. ƒ “Moisture” not so easy to detect. ƒ Difficult to detect moisture.More Problems ƒ Water in honeycomb core ƒ Can easily be detected if there is a lot of water.

Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc. but essentially impossible to detect in carbon fiber if it is less severe but still significant damage. especially in fiberglass. crack-prone ƒ Caused permanent grounding of a Navy A-6 Intruder after engine fire. ƒ Resin matrix becomes more brittle. Led to the write-off of a ~$40 million aircraft. no one could determine the extent of the heat damage to the new allcarbon fiber wing.Yet More Problems ƒ Heat damage ƒ Easy to detect if severe. 133 .

especially hot-wet ƒ Improper surface preparations common ƒ Many process control issues Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc.More Problems Still ƒ Cannot detect a weak but still-stuck adhesive bond. 134 . relatively common occurrence ƒ Aging epoxy degrades. ƒ Easy to detect destructively ƒ Unknown how to detect non-destructively. ƒ Big problem.

– would pay dearly to have this capability. airlines. 135 . ƒ Many organizations – manufacturers. Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc. ƒ Probably the biggest missing link in the advanced composites field at this time. military. etc.So this is an Opportunity! ƒ The industry badly needs the ability to measure the strength of an adhesive bond non-destructively.

Composite Damage Repair Techniques Field-level repairs conducted without an autoclave. .

Introduction ƒ Damaged composite structures are definitely repairable. 137 . ƒ Unexpected damage sources. including manufacturing defects. ƒ However. ƒ “Best” repair techniques heavily dependent on details of the structure. Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc. there are problems: ƒ Hidden damage issues.

Impact spreads in a cone-shaped area from the point of impact Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc. 138 .

Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc. 139 . ƒ Damaged composite skin may be removed by careful routing or grinding through the damaged surface.Damage Removal ƒ Additional damage assessment must be performed after paint removal or Tedlar film removal. as hidden damage often becomes more apparent.

not for Kevlar Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc. 140 .Diamond Router Bit – Good for Carbon Fiber and Fiberglass.

Single Helix Router – Good for Carbon Fiber and Fiberglass. not for Kevlar Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc. 141 .

142 .Split Helix Router for Kevlar Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc.

143 . not for Kevlar Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc.Sanding Drum – Good for Carbon Fiber and Fiberglass.

144 . not for Kevlar Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc.Diamond Hole Saw – Good for Carbon Fiber and Fiberglass.

145 .Kevlar Hole Saw with pilot bit Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc.

Die Grinder with 180 grit disk Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc. 146 .

147 .Die Grinder with ScotchBrite pad Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc.

routing is recommended. routing also works well. 148 . use careful sanding until undamaged plies are reached.Damage Removal ƒ For a solid laminate with through damage. ƒ For a thick solid laminate with damage only on surface plies. Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc. ƒ For a sandwich skin. with damage into the core.

then round off each corner to as large a radius as practical. ƒ If an irregular shape must be used. 149 .Damage Removal ƒ Damaged core should also be removed ƒ Remove damage in circular or oval shapes. Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc. and do not use sharp corners.

especially cored structures. Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc. is crucial for hightemperature cured repairs.Drying laminates. 150 .

ƒ This is true whether the doubler is to be bonded or mechanically fastened.Composite Repair Principles ƒ Taper edges of repair plies in doublers. 151 . and is mounted inside or outside the skin. Avoid stress concentrations Cross-sections Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc.

152 .Composite Fastener Styles ƒ Blind ƒ Access to one side only ƒ Cherry / Textron ƒ Huck ƒ Monogram ƒ Two-Part ƒ Require access to both sides ƒ Huck ƒ Hi-Lok Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc.

153 .Blind Fasteners ƒ Access to one side ƒ ƒ ƒ ƒ only Pulls stem through rivet body Expands back side Stem breaks flush Sets locking ring Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc.

154 .Blind Fasteners ƒ Access to one side ƒ ƒ ƒ ƒ only Pulls stem through rivet body Expands back side Stem breaks flush Sets locking ring Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc.

Two Part Fasteners ƒ Access From Both Sides Required ƒ Hi-Shear.HiTigue ƒ Lock Bolts ƒ Mechanism Fastens By Threading Or Swaging Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc. 155 .Hi-Lok.

Metallic vs. Composite Fasteners Bearing Area Dramatically Increased To Reduce Tipping and fiber crushing Bearing Area Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc. 156 .

Metallic vs. 130° and 130° for composites. Composite Countersinks 100° Countersinks Come In Two Types. Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc. 157 . 100° for metals.

158 .Materials ƒ Fasteners For Composites ƒ ƒ ƒ A282 Stainless Titanium Monel ƒ Corrosion Considerations Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc.

159 .Fastener Installation ƒ Variety Of Installation Tools ƒ Frequently Heavy / Cumbersome ƒ Each Manufacturer Has Their Own Go / No-Go Criteria Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc.

YES YES * NO 160 .Fastener Removal OEM Removal Systems Monogram (Composi-lok II) Huck International Cherry Textron Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc.

Fastener Removal ƒ Basics ƒ ƒ ƒ Disengage Locking Ring (if blind) Drive Out Pin Drill Through Head Only Using Slightly Undersized Bit ƒ Remove Head ƒ Drive Out Shank Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc. 161 .

Fastener Removal ƒ Basics ƒ ƒ ƒ Disengage Locking Ring (if blind) Drive Out Pin Drill Through Head Only Using Slightly Undersized Bit ƒ Remove Head ƒ Drive Out Shank Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc. 162 .

Fastener Removal ƒ Basics ƒ ƒ ƒ Disengage Locking Ring (if blind) Drive Out Pin Drill Through Head Only Using Slightly Undersized Bit ƒ Remove Head ƒ Drive Out Shank Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc. 163 .

164 .Fastener Removal ƒ Basics ƒ ƒ ƒ Disengage Locking Ring (if blind) Drive Out Pin Drill Through Head Only Using Slightly Undersized Bit ƒ Remove Head ƒ Drive Out Shank Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc.

Fastener Removal ƒ Basics ƒ ƒ ƒ Disengage Locking Ring (if blind) Drive Out Pin Drill Through Head Only Using Slightly Undersized Bit ƒ Remove Head ƒ Drive Out Shank Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc. 165 .

Fastener Removal ƒ Basics ƒ ƒ ƒ Disengage Locking Ring (if blind) Drive Out Pin Drill Through Head Only Using Slightly Undersized Bit ƒ Remove Head ƒ Drive Out Shank Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc. 166 .

Fastener Removal ƒ Old Methods Cannot Be Used: ƒ Grinding Head ƒ Heats Rivet Excessively ƒ Cold Chisel To Cut Locking Ring ƒ Will Not Cut Titanium ƒ Drilling To Cut Locking Ring ƒ Risk Slipping / Wandering Off Head On To Laminate Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc. 167 .

168 .Fastener Removal ƒ Drill Fixture ƒ Necessary To Stay Centered & Prevent “Wandering” ƒ Several Approaches ƒ Carbide Tools ƒ ƒ Required For Cutting Titanium Cobalt May Work For Stainless Steel Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc.

169 .Fastener Removal Monogram Fasteners Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc.

170 .Fastener Removal Monogram Fasteners Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc.

171 ƒ Stick To The Basics .Fastener Removal ƒ Not Well Addressed By Most Manufacturers ƒ ƒ ƒ ƒ ƒ Exception: Monogram Removal Tools Are Cumbersome Disengage Locking Ring Use Only Carbide Tools Only Drill Deep Enough To Remove Fastener Head Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc.

ƒ “Rule of thumb” .crude approximation .Scarfed (taper sanded) repairs ƒ After initial damage removal. we usually scarf (taper sand) gently around the repair area. ƒ Lightly loaded structures may be able to tolerate a smaller scarf. Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc. 172 . heavily loaded structures may require more.is 1/2” per ply.

∞:1 − New Part 173 Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc. ƒ 20:1 up to as much as 100:1 ƒ The flatter the scarf. ƒ 0:1 . and the lower the load per square inch on the bond. the larger the adhesive bond. the less undamaged material is removed. ƒ The steeper the scarf.Butt joint.Scarfing ƒ Scarf distance is often referred to by angles. rather than distance per ply. .

Scarfed Repairs Scarf distance Double-sided Scarf distance Single-sided Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc. 174 .

ƒ Remove all damaged and delaminated material. Ultrasonic.Repair Sequence for Scarfed Repair: ƒ Inspect for extent of damage: ƒ Visual ƒ Tap. 175 . both sides if feasible. ƒ Circular or rounded corners ƒ Grind away scarf angle taper: ƒ Smooth. flat ground surface Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc. and/or X-rays ƒ Get best access possible.

orientation not important. ƒ Repair plies . Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc. 176 . ƒ Extra plies .Repair Sequence for Scarfed Repair ƒ Determine ply orientations and materials of original structure.match orientations with original structure. ƒ Replace plies: ƒ Adhesive layer first ƒ One or more filler plies. ƒ Often an outer adhesive layer.usually orientation matches original outer ply.

177 .Scarfed Repair sequence Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc.

Basics of Vacuum Bagging ƒ Purpose of Vacuum Bag: ƒ To provide compaction pressure to laminate or bond ƒ Maximum 29. & volatiles ƒ “Bleed” excess resin to reduce content ƒ Distribute resin equally throughout the laminate/bond joint ƒ Remove trapped air. air.7 PSI @ sea level ƒ Loss of approx.5 psi) per 1000 ft. of elevation ƒ To extract resin.92” Hg @ sea level ƒ One atmosphere of pressure = 14. & volatiles Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc. 178 . 1” Hg (. steam.

Basics of Vacuum Bagging ƒ Materials ƒ Release Layer ƒ Peel Ply ƒ Nylon/release treated-porous ƒ Can transfer release agent residue to part-laminate ƒ Polyester/Corona discharge treated ƒ leaves no release agent residue but harder to remove ƒ Teflon coated fabrics (TFP or TFNP) ƒ More expensive-easy to remove-does not transfer Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc. 179 .

180 .045” (full hole) ƒ Hole spacing ranges from 1/4” to 12” centers in commercial films Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc.015” (pin-prick) to .Basics of Vacuum Bagging ƒ Materials (continued) ƒ Release films ƒ Solid films ƒ Completely restricts resin bleed and limits volatile extraction ƒ Perforated films ƒ Allows resin/volatile movement through holes in film ƒ Hole diameters range from .

005 inch thicknesses ƒ Cured silicone or non-silicone rubber adhesive face Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc. & .001. . 181 .002.Basics of Vacuum Bagging ƒ Materials (continued) ƒ Flash-breaker tape ƒ Used to hold ancillary materials in place for processing-removable after heat and pressure ƒ Polyester or Kapton film in various widths available ƒ Available in .

ƒ 2 oz./yd2 non-woven. to 10 oz. to 18 oz. to 40 oz. polyester or other synthetic fiber material ƒ Breather materials ƒ Used to maintain a continuous vacuum path under bag film provides for down force on laminate (atmospheric pressure) ƒ 2 oz. non-woven synthetics ƒ 10 oz. woven glass fabrics Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc.Basics of Vacuum Bagging ƒ Materials (continued) ƒ Bleeder materials ƒ Used to absorb excess resin and volatiles from laminate layers. 182 .

183 .Basics of Vacuum Bagging ƒ Materials (continued) ƒ Separator film ƒ Used as a barrier between bleeder and breather layers ƒ Solid or perforated film. same material as release film ƒ Keeps resin from saturating breather ƒ Prevents hydraulic “lock” and loss of down force on laminate under bag by protecting breather path ƒ Sealant Tape ƒ Used to seal vacuum bag to mold ƒ Plasticized rubber compound Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc.

available from . Kapton. 184 .Basics of Vacuum Bagging ƒ Materials (continued) ƒ Bagging film ƒ Used as a vacuum tight membrane that provides down force pressure uniformly across laminate ƒ 6-6 Nylon.005” thick ƒ Must be “pleated” to allow for differing heights and to prevent “bridging” in inside radius corners within the bagged area. Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc. or Hybrid film .001” to .

185 .Basics of Vacuum Bagging Typical bleeder. breather. & bag schedule Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc.

ƒ Place ports in the center of bagged area to maximize radial effectively of ports ƒ Impossible to have “too many” ports? Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc. 186 . and an additional port for every additional 10ft2 area of bag film. ƒ Provides “vents” to breather mechanism to allow air/volatile extraction through vacuum/vent system ƒ Rule of thumb: 2 ports required for every bag less than 10ft2 of area.Basics of Vacuum Bagging ƒ Equipment & Hardware ƒ Vacuum Ports (vents) ƒ Used to connect to vacuum source using quick disconnect fittings.

Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc.2. 187 .Basics of Vacuum Bagging approx.5-3ft Radial effective area. to pull air bubbles through high-viscosity resin before it gells.

Repair Sequence for Scarfed Repair ƒ Vacuum-bag and cure repair plies as required. inclusions. ƒ Sand and finish as required. if necessary. ƒ Inspect repair for delaminations. proper cure documentation. ƒ Trim to net edge dimensions after cure. 188 . ƒ Do not sand into fibers of repair plies. Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc. etc.

189 .Thermocouples used to measure temperature under the heat blanket Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc.

190 .“Hot Bonders” are used to control the heat blanket temperature Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc.

with variations: ƒ Room temp .wet layup ƒ Last two .Cure temperature considerations ƒ Four common choices.prepregs Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc. 191 .77oF/25oC ƒ Room temp with post-cure at 150oF/66oC 200oF/93oC ƒ 250oF/121oC ƒ 350oF/177oC ƒ First two .

Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc. the higher temperature cured prepregs are stronger than room temperature cured materials. in order to develop full strength in a reasonable time. ƒ Often. but not always.Cure temperature considerations ƒ Which is best? ƒ It depends! ƒ Post-cures are very often required for roomtemperature laminating resins. 192 .

Wingtip repair sequence – damage mapping Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc. 193 .

Damage removed Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc. 194 .

195 .Damage removal Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc.

196 .Spar shear web repair Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc.

197 .Ready for replacement trimmed wingtip installation Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc.

New tip temporarily held flush with super-glued wood scraps

Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc.

198

New tip “edge bonded” in place

Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc.

199

Edge gaps filled, ready for scarfing and final repair

Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc.

200

After scarfing; top side repair plies in place, ready to lay up bottom-side repair plies.

Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc.

201

202 .Repair completed and painted Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc.

it is not an impossible problem. the more difficult the repair. ƒ However.Structural Repair Summary ƒ The more nearly the structure operates at the true limits of the underlying material. ƒ Even heavily-loaded primary structural composites have been successfully repaired for many years . good training in these complex repair techniques is a must! Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc. 203 .

org. www.) Radome Repair Issues ƒ Radomes are generally constructed of fiberglass or Kevlar skins.(Note: More radome repair information can be found in the Jan. ƒ (Radio Technical Commission for Aeronautics. 2008 issue of B/CA magazine.rtca. 204 . bonded to honeycomb core.) Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc. ƒ Operational performance standards are called out in RTCA DO-213: “Minimum Operational Performance Standards for noseMounted Radomes”.

205 .Radome Classes ƒ Class A: Average of 90 percent efficient with no one ƒ ƒ ƒ ƒ area being less than 85 percent. Class B: Average of 87 percent efficient with no one area being less than 82 percent. Class E: Average of 70 percent efficient with no one area being less than 55 percent. Class C: Average of 84 percent efficient with no one area being less than 78 percent. Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc. Class D: Average of 80 percent efficient with no one area being less than 75 percent.

Problems: ƒ Newer radars typically use less power. Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc. ƒ Moisture trapped in the honeycomb is a very common problem. so are more sensitive to radome degradation. often in more than one area. 206 . ƒ Paint thickness is critical. multiple coats of paint will definitely degrade radar performance.

207 . so is paint thickness. Not all resins and fibers are! ƒ Repair thickness and resin content is critical. 0. and inspect entire radome for damage and/or moisture.005” can make a significant difference.Repair pointers: ƒ Sand off all paint. ƒ Be sure to use ONLY the approved resins and fiber reinforcements for repairs (transparent to microwaves). Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc.

Radome testing
ƒ Transmissivity testing is a must; requires a ƒ
specialized test facility, using 9.375 GHz X-Band equipment. Testing needed both before and after the repair. It’s very common for a radome to come in for an impact damage repair to the tip, and find water trapped in other areas of the radome as well. It may be possible to do small repairs near the back edge of the radome without needing transmissivity testing.
Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc. 208

ƒ

Lightning strike meshes: Aluminum and copper

Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc.

209

Copper mesh on Cessna 400 control surface skin

Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc.

210

Aluminum mesh on fiberglass after partial sanding

Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc.

211

Paint thickness zones for lightning strike performance Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc. 212 .

Paint color zones .

Paint color zones Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc. 214 .

Antennas and composites: RF transmissivity ƒ Fiberglass and Kevlar are electrical insulators. and is not transparent to RF. Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc. ƒ Carbon Fiber is a conductor – it acts like aluminum. and are transparent to RF – they will not work as ground planes. 215 .

Titanium fasteners won’t corrode. etc. 216 . is a concern. Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc. but corrosion issues with fasteners.Corrosion issues ƒ Carbon fiber skin can sometimes be used as a ground plane. antenna foot plates. so a non-conductive sealant can be used. ƒ A thin layer of fiberglass/epoxy can be a good barrier. but they will conduct electricity into aluminum.

These must be designed in at the factory.Internal Antennas ƒ Internal antennas are sometimes found in wooden. ƒ Internal antennas must have “windows” through any lightning strike mesh. fiberglass or Kevlar airframes. Special antennas for internal mounting are rarely available. except for experimentals. Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc. 217 . Separate ground planes may be needed.

218 .Ground plane installation Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc.

219 .So that’s it! ƒ Questions? Now is the time. THANK YOU FOR LISTENING FOR A VERY LONG DAY! Michael J.com Copyright© Copyright©2008 Abaris Training Resources Inc. www.abaris. Hoke Abaris Training Inc.

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