1985-12-01

The Design of Repairable Advanced Composite Structures 851830

This paper addresses the repair of advanced composite structures by mechanical fasteners or by adhesive bonding. It is shown that many of today's composite designs are unreasonably difficult to repair. Conversely, the knowledge to design repairable structures is already available, if only it is applied during the initial design stage. Bolted or riveted repairs require only the avoidance of extremely orthotropic composite fiber patterns; those near the quasi-isotropic layup are the most suitable. Mildly orthotropic fiber patterns are appropriate for structures in which there is a dominant load direction. Thick composite structures are shown to require bolted or riveted repairs while thin structures favor adhesively bonded permanent repairs, although provisions can be easily made for temporary mechanical repairs. The reasons why integrally stiffened cocured composite designs are usually impractical to repair are explained and alternative repairable design concepts are presented.

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