Optimisation of assembly processes for Adhesive bonded Brackets onto the airframe structure
Aircraft manufacturers use adhesive bonded brackets (ABB) to support wire harnesses, looms and sensors. Using ABBs eliminates the necessity to drill holes in the airframe and significantly reduces the assembly time. Such brackets are installed manually on the airframes in numerous locations using high strength epoxy based adhesives. In addition, the application of adhesive onto bracket is carried out manually. Thus it's time consuming and quality relies on operator’s skill sets to apply a certain quantity of adhesive using a predefined pattern, both of which are commonly not controlled. On the other hand, removing the damaged brackets by manual operations tend to cause dents and scratches in metallic airframes and delamination in composites. Prior research indicates that the brackets can be removed by heating them. But, they are not recommendable to aerospace manufacturers due to the longer process times.