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A/C Composite Repair

Advanced Comp Repair

INTRO
Composites repair methods differs base on initial
design requirements by specific aircraft
manufacturer.
2 types of repair procedures often done to
composites parts on aircraft are temporary repair
and permanent repairs
Temporary repairs are performed for such
requirements as a onetime flight or base on flight
hours.
Most repairs are intended to be permanent!!!

THE PURPOSE OF REPAIR

To reduce the number of


unserviceable or damaged parts due to
the mishandling or improper
manufacturing process.
To reduce cost ($), in manufacturing
new parts or buying new parts.
To maintain the parts in good
condition.

COMPOSITE DAMAGE

Damage must be present first in


order repair can be made to the
structure.
Damage scenario:
- Damage during manufacturing
- Damage during maintenance

COMPOSITE DAMAGE (cont.)

In manufacturing, damage may be due


to:
- Improper manufacturing process,
- Mishandling of the parts,
- Misassemble of parts &
components of aircraft.

COMPOSITE DAMAGE (cont.)

In maintenance, a/c composite


structure may experience damage
due to the:
Operating conditions,
Environmental conditions
Mishandling of the parts.

COMPOSITE DAMAGE (cont.)

Hidden damage is critical and


difficult to be seen.
The extend of the damage must be
evaluated to determine its:

Type, depth and location

Hidden damage issues are also


including defects during
manufacturing.

COMPOSITE DAMAGE (cont.)

For example, a low velocity impact, which


normally wouldnt cause much damage
may cause a sandwich structure to
disbond between the skin and core due
to poor adhesion during manufacture.
If this disbond is the only damage, there
may be no visible trace of it from the
surface.

COMPOSITE DAMAGE (cont.)


Unexpected damage sources;
Example, an aircraft vertical tail part
may be designed to withstand
hailstone impact but not able to resist
damage from being dropped during
shipping or removal for inspection

Example of Aircraft Damage

COMPOSITE REPAIR - REFERENCE MATERIAL

Structural Repair Manual (SRM)


Airworthiness Directives
Service Bulletin
Manufacturers.

COMPOSITES REPAIR

The PERFECT repair is to replace the


damaged part with a new one.
If replacement is not possible, then the ideal
repair is to match all original design
parameters exactly (e.g. materials, fiber
orientation, curing temperature, etc.).
However, the goal remains to return the
structure, as much as possible, to its original
strength, stiffness, shape and surface finish,
etc.(e.g atleast 70% of the structural strength
remains)

TYPICAL REPAIR FLOW SEQUENCE


DAMAGE STRUCTURE
IDENTIFY DAMAGE AREA CONFIGURATION
PREPARE DAMAGE AREA
SANDWICH STRUCTURE

LAMINATE STRUCTURE

Remove Tedlar & Sand

Taper Sand
Remove Tedlar
And Sand
Skin Repair

Damage Core

Un-damage Core

Edge Band
Repair

Skin
Repair

Replace
Core

REPLACE PLIES

REFINISHING

Repair :
Bridging
Delaminate
Void
Fracture

Repair
Core

sand smooth with 150 grit or


finer abrasive

TYPICAL HOT BOND REPAIR PROCESS FLOW


PREPREG

TOOL

TEMPERING

CLEANING

CUTTING

RELEASE AGENT

LAY-UP
BAGGING

CURING
DEBAGGING

FITTER & FINISH

EXAMPLE OF HOT BOND REPAIR

TYPICAL COLD BOND REPAIR PROCESS FLOW


RESIN

DRY FIBER

TOOL

TEMPERING

CUTTING

CLEANING
RELEASE AGENT

WEIGHING
CUTTING

LAY-UP
BAGGING

CURING
DEBAGGING

FITTER & FINISH

58

EXAMPLE OF COLD BOND PROCESS

DAMAGE CLASSIFICATIONS

Manufacturing
(1)
(2)
(3)

Acceptable
Correctable
Rejectable

Maintenance
(1)
(2)
(3)

Negligible
Repairable
Non-repairable

COMMON DAMAGE

CATEGORY
OF DAMAGE

LAMINATE

CORE

INTERFACE

Minor Surface Damage


-The most common types of minor damage to the composites surface
are abrasions, scratches, scars, and minor dents.
-These minor surface damages require no repair other than the
replacement of the original protective coating to prevent corrosion (water
inclusion) provided no fiber breaks, holes, or cracks exist.
- Damage which are characterized by a depth typically less than 1/16" (2
mm), where the damage does not extend into the primary reinforcement.
- Minor repair is any repairs that not consider to be a major repair which is
doesnt need to replace and fit a part and can be done by using a potting
compound.
Major Surface Damage
- All major damage should be remove and repair immedietly

DAMAGE IN MAINTENANCE
COSMETIC DEFECTS

Damage that that occurs on the outer skin without interfering the first
layer of the reinforcing fibers.

DAMAGE IN MAINTENANCE
DELAMINATION

Separation of layers of material in a laminate

DAMAGE IN MAINTENANCE
DISBOND

Separation of layers between laminate and bonded material.

DAMAGE IN MAINTENANCE
IMPACT DAMAGE

High Energy Impact

Medium Energy Impact

Low Energy Impact

Impact damage occurs usually due to struck by foreign object.

DAMAGE IN MAINTENANCE
Coating
Reinforcing
Fiber

Dent

Crack

Fracture

Matrix Layer

Dent: Dislocation or Indentation that does


not penetrate the reinforcing fiber
Crack: Partial protrusion through the
layers
Fracture: Thorough protrusion until the
next surface.

DAMAGE IN MAINTENANCE
LIGHTNING STRIKE DAMAGE

Damage that due lightning.

DAMAGE IN MAINTENANCE
CRACKS

A partial separation on the composite structure that going through one or


more layers of the reinforcing fibers.

DAMAGE IN MAINTENANCE
HOLE DAMAGE

Damage to a hole that is caused by overtightening, impact


damage mislocation of the drilled hole etc.

DAMAGE IN MAINTENANCE
WATER INGRESSION DAMAGE

Moisture absorption or trapped water in the composite structure especially to


sandwich structure.

REPAIR PROCESS DIAGRAM: DEFINITION

Interim Repair (existed for short time)


Repair that stay on the aircraft if do not find
any sign of deterioration during regular
supplemental inspection.
Must be inspected at specific interval and
replace if deterioration occured

REPAIR PROCESS DIAGRAM: DEFINITION

Time limited

Temporary repair.
Must be replaced with proper permanent repair
after a specified time
Defined by flight hours, flight cycle or inspection.
Usually in the form of a patch.
Use when a composite repair is urgently needed for
components in use for A/C.
If damage left unrepaired they may lead to further
rapid propagation of the damage.

BASIC REPAIR PROCESS


The very basic fundamentals of composite
repair include the following steps:
Inspect to assess damage (extent and degree)
Remove damaged material
Treat contaminated material
Prepare repair area (Material & surface for
repair)
Complete composite repair
Inspect repair for quality assurance (e.g.
delaminations, inclusions, proper cure, etc.)
Restore surface finish

ASSESSMENT OF DAMAGE

Manual Ref.

Structural Repair Manual (SRM)

Jet liner @ Commercial

Service Manual

Small aircraft
Using NDT available procedure e.g. u/sonic
Refer to data on

Specific allowable damage


Repair limitation
Repair data

SEQUENCE OF VACCUM BAGGING MATERIAL USED FOR REPAIR

REPAIR PROCEDURE

REPAIR PROCEDURE: REMOVAL OF COMPOSITES DAMAGES

Masked off the damage part with an


adequate area.(masking tape)
Trim out / Sand the damaged part to a
smooth shape with round corners.

REPAIR PROCEDURE: REMOVAL OF COMPOSITES DAMAGES

Remove damage in circular or oval shapes, and do not use sharp


corners. If an irregular shape must be used, then round off each
corner to as large radius as practical.

DIAMETER TO BE INCIRCLED
= D + 30N (mm)
= D + 1N (inches)
Where:
D Approximate diameter of the damaged area.
N Number of involved layer

REMOVEL OF DAMAGE:ROUTING @ GRINDING

Routing or Grinding method

Routing Tool

Grinding Tool

Is use to remove damages for solid laminate and thick solid laminate
with damage only on surface plies
- Also use for removel of damage for sandwich structure with damage
into the core.

GENERAL: REMOVAL OF DAMAGED


AREA

Laminate Structure
Taper (scarf) sand OR
Step sanding
Using disc @ manual
sander.
Must sand 0.5 inch or
tapered by 1:30 ratio

GENERAL: REMOVAL OF DAMAGED


AREA

Sandwich Structure
Taper (scarf) sand
OR Step sanding on
the laminate
Full core removal if
thickness less than 1
inch. Partial remove
is allowed if the
thickness is more
than 1 inch

INITIAL TREATMENT PRIOR TO REPAIR

Dust must be removed by using vacuum.


Wipe out the removed area with solvent
Composite materials must be dried before an
effective repair can be achieved.
Cured resin as well as fibers will absorb
moisture from the environment, and
honeycomb cores can hold large quantities of
fluid.
If performing a repair using high-temperature
curing resin or prepreg, all moisture must be
removed to prevent steam from forming and
disbonding the repair.

INITIAL TREATMENT PRIOR TO REPAIR (CONT)

E nvironment is one of the major factors that


influence the repair quality.
The presence of moisture is critical to
bonded repairs.
Epoxy resins can absorb 1.5 to 2 times their
weight in moisture, thereby reducing the
ability of the resins to support the fibers.
Environment dirt and dust can seriously
affect bonded repairs.

INITIAL TREATMENT PRIOR TO REPAIR (CONT)

The repair facilities should be controlled


environment
The relative humidity should be 25 percent
to 60 percent and temperatures fixed at 65
to 75F.

MATERIAL PREPARATION

Material preparation:
Determine correct material by SRM
Check shelf life limits
Identify proper curing system
Determine correct mixing resin and weight

Fabricate core plug


Ensure correct ribbon direction before installation
Trim the core 0.5 smaller from the cut out.
Preparation for fabric Kitting
Ensure the plies are proportionate with the removed fabric
with extra plies
Ensure the correct orientation when replacing.

TYPES OF REPAIR
Basic types of composite repair include
the following:

Cosmetic
Resin Injection
Semi-structural Plug / Patch
Structural Mechanicallyfastened Doubler
Structural Bonded External Doubler
Structural Flush Repair

COSMETIC REPAIR

Resin Injection

Semi-structural Plug / Patch

Structural Mechanicallyfastened Doubler

Structural Patch Repair

Bolted vs. Bonded Repairs


Advantages of bolting:
Doesnt require
meticulous material &
surface preparation
Easy to inspect for
quality
Easily disassembled

TYPICAL METHOD: SCARF REPAIR

Typical scarf distances are from 20 to 120 times the thickness of the
laminate being scarfed.
Ratio of scarfing as per example 15:1. (length: thickness)
Whereby 1 indicates thickness and 15 is the length of damaged area to be
scarfed

Plies Replacement on scarf or tapered cut on


sandwich structure.

EXAMPLE: SCARF CUT METHOD

Core plug - Ensure minimum


of 1/16 inch in excess of the
parts thickness due to core
sinking after adhesive melt

TYPICAL REPAIR: STEP REPAIR


The laminate is sanded down so that a flat band of each layer is exposed
producing a stepped finish.
Typical steps are 25 50 mm (0.5 + 0.5 = approx. 1.0 (25.4 mm) per layer.

Plies Replacement on step cut on sandwich structure.

0.5 inch step

Core depression

EXAMPLE OF COMPOSITES DEFECT & PROPER REPAIR METHOD

Defect type: Blisters or Air-Pockets


Limitation:
a) maximum dimension does not exceed 6 mm,
b) the number of blisters shall not be more than
4 blisters per square meter
Proper repair method:
a) Resin injection

EXAMPLE OF COMPOSITES DEFECT & PROPER REPAIR METHOD

Defect type: Resin Rich Area


Proper repair method:
a) Manual sanding with grit 240 or
finer Scothbrite or grit 150 or finer
sandpaper until totally removed
without damaging the surface fibers.
b) Clean with filtered low pressure air
and vacuum the area.
c) Cover sanded area with water-proofing
resin and cure.

EXAMPLE OF COMPOSITES DEFECT & PROPER REPAIR METHOD

Defect type: Resin Starved Areas


Proper repair method:
a) Step OR Scarf cut method

EXAMPLE OF COMPOSITES DEFECT & PROPER REPAIR METHOD

Defect type: Tacky Areas

Proper repair method:


a) None (Reject part)

EXAMPLE OF COMPOSITES DEFECT & PROPER REPAIR METHOD

Defect type: Fabric Wrinkles


Limitation:
a) Not caused by fabric overlapping and
maximum height and depth do not exceed
certain dimension
Proper repair method:
a) Step OR Scarf cut method

EXAMPLE OF COMPOSITES DEFECT & PROPER REPAIR METHOD

Defect type: Scratches


Proper repair method:
a) Manual sanding the area with
abrasive paper 180 grit or grit
240 Scotchbrite, or finer.
b) Clean with filtered low pressure air
and vacuum the area
c) Plaster with resin / potting compound.
d) Cure according type of resin used.
e) Remove excess resin with wet
sand paper, grit 220 or finer.
f) Apply finishing

EXAMPLE OF COMPOSITES DEFECT & PROPER REPAIR METHOD

Defect type: Cracks


Proper repair method:
a) Minor crack Resin injection
b) Major crack Step OR Scarf cut method

EXAMPLE OF COMPOSITES DEFECT & PROPER REPAIR METHOD

Defect type: Fracture


Proper repair method:
a) Step OR Scarf cut method

EXAMPLE OF COMPOSITES DEFECT & PROPER REPAIR METHOD

Defect type: Delamination


Proper repair method:
a) Minor delamination Resin injection
b) Major delamination Step OR Scarf cut method

EXAMPLE OF COMPOSITES DEFECT & PROPER REPAIR METHOD

Defect type: Delamination Fabric - Core


Proper repair method:
a) Step OR Scarf cut method

EXAMPLE OF COMPOSITES DEFECT & PROPER REPAIR METHOD

Defect type: Core Depression


Proper repair method:
a) Manual sanding
b) Plaster cavity using potting compound
c) Sand excess resin
d) Apply finishing

EXAMPLE OF COMPOSITES DEFECT & PROPER REPAIR METHOD

Defects type: Crushed Core


Proper repair method:
a) Step OR Scarf cut method

EXAMPLE OF COMPOSITES DEFECT & PROPER REPAIR METHOD

Defect type: Core Displacement (edge band repair)


Proper repair method:
a) core removal and additional microballons filler

EXAMPLE OF COMPOSITES DEFECT & PROPER REPAIR METHOD

Defect type: Nodal Delamination


Proper repair method:
a) Remove core material
b) Step OR scarf cut method

EXAMPLE OF COMPOSITES DEFECT & PROPER REPAIR METHOD

Defect type: Bridging


Proper repair method:
a) Resin injection
not severe and not causing any inteference
b) Step OR Scarf cut method
too severe damage

EXAMPLE OF COMPOSITES DEFECT & PROPER REPAIR METHOD

Defect type: Pitting on Center of Cells


Proper repair method:
a) Manual sanding
b) Potting compound

Cavities located in the center of cells


appearing on the sandwich panels

EXAMPLE OF COMPOSITES DEFECT & PROPER REPAIR METHOD

Defect type: Thread Telegraphing


Proper repair method:
a) Manual sanding
b) Plaster with resin / potting

EXAMPLE OF COMPOSITES DEFECT & PROPER REPAIR METHOD

Defect type: Porosity


Proper repair method:
a) Step OR Scarf cut method

EXAMPLE OF COMPOSITES DEFECT & PROPER REPAIR METHOD

Defect type: Foreign Object Inclusion


Proper repair method:
a) Removal of fabric layers & inclusion (during lay
up)
b) Step OR Scarf cut method

EXAMPLE OF COMPOSITES DEFECT & PROPER REPAIR METHOD

Defect type: Geometric Deviation


(exceed/non exceed drawing)
Proper repair method:
a) Manual sanding & Lay-up to obtained the
proper thickness & dimensions.
b) Apply finishing

DEFECTS DUE TO MOISTURE ENTRAPPED

Polymer matrix composites absorb moisture


when exposed to humid air.
Moisture concentration increases initially with
time and finally approaches the saturation
point (equilibrium).
The exact rate of moisture depends on void
content, fiber and resin type, fiber orientation,
temperature, applied stress level, presence of
micro cracks, and etc.

INFLUENCE OF MOISTURE ON POLYMER MATRIX.

Absorption of water by resin in some


instances may change the resin properties &
causes swelling of the resin.

INFLUENCE OF MOISTURE ON FIBERS.

Water at the glass fibre interface lowers its


surface energy which in turn can promote
crack growth.
Aramid fibers can absorb considerable
quantities of water resulting in swelling.

LOW TEMPERATURE EFFECTS

Temperature below zero celcius can


cause the water to freeze. Due to this
microcracks can occur.
Low temperature can also effect the
stiffness and strength of the matrix
system.

EFFECT OF HIGH TEMPERATURE ON COMPOSITES

It is found that bond strength of composites


get reduced by about 80-90%, and tensile
strength by 20% at 200C.
At 100C to 150C compressive strength is
reduced by 30% of dry CFRP (compressive
fibre reinforce plastic) and by 54% of wet
CFRP.

EFFECTS OF WATER INGRESSION TO THE


MECHANICAL PROPERTIES

In Aramid cores of composite sandwich


parts, the moisture or fluid can seriously
degrade mechanical properties such as
stiffness and shear strength.

EFFECTS OF WATER INGRESSION TO THE


HONEYCOMB CORES

The decrease in these properties is attributed


to water absorption and swelling of the core
materials.

Autoclave / Manufacturing
The Autoclave Process
The heat treatment process is similar in vertical and horizontal
autoclaves:
Load autoclave with product
Close and lock door
Raise to soak temperature (ramp)
Treat product for a set time (soak)
Relieve pressure
Unload autoclave
Automatic Start of Pressure Ramp Down

Raise to Soak Temperature


This period occurs after all interlocks are in place (doors closed and locked etc.). Digital
inputs, used in conjunction with logic equations can be used to verify that interlocks
are in place before the profile is started. The user-programmed set point profile
takes the temperature from ambient to the desired soak value.
The Soak Period
This period is essential in order to sterilize and treat the product correctly. Time
schedules are determined by the product being treated and the end properties
required.
Pressure Relief Period
The autoclave pressure, attained as a result of heat treatment at high temperature in a
closed vessel, must be relieved before the product can be removed safely.

Using Autoclave for Repairs


Autoclave processing is used for the repair of high quality structural
components.
The autoclave technique requires a similar vacuum bag but the oven is
replaced by an autoclave.
The autoclave is a pressure vessel which provides the curing conditions for
the composite where the application of vacuum, pressure, heat up rate and
cure temperature are controlled. High processing pressures allow the
moulding of thicker sections of complex shapes. Honeycomb sandwich
structures can also be made to a high standard. Long cure cycles are
required because the large autoclave mass takes a long time to heat up and
cool down. Sometimes slow heat up rates are required to guarantee even
temperature distribution on the tooling and composite components.

Vacuum bag or autoclave - which process?


Vacuum bag and autoclave processing are the two main methods for the
repair of components from prepreg.
The processing method is determined by the quality, cost ($) and type of
component being manufactured.

RAMP & SOAK CURING

STEP CURING

END