Nondestructive Evaluation of Composite Repairs

Composite aircraft structures are found in modern aircraft from air transport to general aviation aircraft designs. Maintenance repair technology varies for each original equipment manufacturer (OEM) and aircraft type. Whereas previous aircraft structural repairs used similar construction, aluminum and rivets, composite aircraft manufacturers certify each aircraft with a mixture of different fiber reinforcements and resin matrix systems. This study is an examination of two different composite repair methods commonly used within the composite aviation industry and how they compare in test using different nondestructive evaluation (NDE) techniques. The results obtained from NDE methods were used to evaluate the effectiveness of each method for flaw detection and sizing.

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