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Are Composite Aircraft Difficult To Repair?  
User currently offlineBeaucaire From Syria, joined Sep 2003, 5252 posts, RR: 25
Posted (9 years 5 months 2 weeks 2 days ago) and read 2435 times:

Considering the lesser elasticity and flexibility of compound composite aircraft like the 787,some engineering concerns remain about the complexity of repairs.
Aluminium bends and can be relatively easily repaired.How difficult will be 787 cell- structure repairs ?


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13 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently onlineStarlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 16976 posts, RR: 67
Reply 1, posted (9 years 5 months 2 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 2369 times:

Just use some superglue  Big grin


"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
User currently offlineEilennaei From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (9 years 5 months 2 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 2363 times:

Call for the Boeing guys to fly in a new sub-structure, I should think. The pressurized composite parts -- well, perhaps the FAA has already mandated something??

regards,
Eilennaei


User currently offlineEMBQA From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 9364 posts, RR: 11
Reply 3, posted (9 years 5 months 2 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 2353 times:

Composites are easy to work with, but it does take proper training.


"It's not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog"
User currently offlineEilennaei From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (9 years 5 months 2 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 2329 times:

We are, I believe, discussing a very special composite part here. Basic composite repair courses are offered widely for standard aviation parts.

User currently offlineVS340 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (9 years 5 months 2 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 2315 times:

they are not difficult to do at all, they just are very time consuming, and require expensive specialized equipment

User currently offlineBoeing nut From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (9 years 5 months 2 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 2310 times:

As EMBQA stated, repairs are easy with the right training. I remember some time back that a Beechcraft Starship had slid off a runway in snowy conditions. The laning gear had been sheared off. The aircraft was repair in a matter of days with hand tools.

So I'm going to bet that any damage that occurs to a 787 will be repaired easily. I'm also certain that Boeing is going to deliberately damage one of the "prototypes" and repair it and see what happens during the test phase.


User currently offlineDl757md From United States of America, joined May 2004, 1562 posts, RR: 16
Reply 7, posted (9 years 5 months 2 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 2263 times:

To answer the question in the topic title, composite structures are not inherently harder than aluminum structures to repair. The process is quite different for obvious reasons and requires a different set of skills. This in of itself does not make it more difficult.

aluminum bends and can be relatively easily repaired.

Yes aluminum bends and can take a set without failing. That doesn't mean that the part can be bent back and remain servicable. Bent aluminum parts must be cut out and are then replaced by repair pieces spliced into the surrounding undamaged area. This is pretty straight forward but is by no means a quick process.

Composites on the other hand flex but don't take a set before failing. So you won't see bent composites. They will deflect under a load and return to their original shape unless loaded to the point of failure at which point they break, delaminate, or crack. The damaged area can then be removed and repair material bonded to the surrounding undamaged area. Sounds pretty similar to how aluminum is repaired? The major difference is how the repair material is joined to the existing structure. Aluminum mainly uses mechanical fasteners for the connection while composites use epoxy bonding for this. A third category, metal bonded structures, uses elements of both for accomplishment of the repairs.






757 Most beautiful airliner in the sky!
User currently offlineViveLeYHZ From Canada, joined Dec 2004, 194 posts, RR: 9
Reply 8, posted (9 years 5 months 2 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 2242 times:

One of the problems people encounter with composites is their brittleness, which essentially means that a part can fail with little or no prior warning. On the other hand, because composites do not have plasticity, engineers can easily predict their behaviour and failure loads.

Another problems with composite materials is the large number of failure modes possible. They can crack, delaminate, break, etc. Some failure modes are not easy to predict.

Repairing composites at this time is more of an art than an exact science, unlike metal structures. But a great deal of research is being undertaken in many institutes on this topic.


User currently offlineBeaucaire From Syria, joined Sep 2003, 5252 posts, RR: 25
Reply 9, posted (9 years 5 months 2 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 2176 times:

@ViveLeYHZ,@Dl757md
Thanks a lot for giving me some insight on this matter- I still feel a little intrigued by the complexity of these repairs..



Please respect animals - don't eat them...
User currently offlineDl757md From United States of America, joined May 2004, 1562 posts, RR: 16
Reply 10, posted (9 years 5 months 2 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 2159 times:

Try some of the sites on this page to satisfy your intrigue.
http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=composite+repair

Dl757Md



757 Most beautiful airliner in the sky!
User currently offlineAerosol From Germany, joined Oct 2000, 556 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (9 years 5 months 2 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 2130 times:

To repair maybe, but I have not read a proper answer if they can be scrapped...

User currently offlineLongbowPilot From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 577 posts, RR: 4
Reply 12, posted (9 years 5 months 2 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 2126 times:
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I was working in ATL one day and saw a 763 having a composite patch being placed on the #1 nacelle. They had it set up and plastic bag over the area and 4 shop lights under the plastic bag to probably keep the air dry so it would cure right.



User currently offlineEilennaei From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (9 years 5 months 2 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 2083 times:

So has the FAA mandated anything regarding composite parts undergoing pressure cycles in a commercial airliner? The Adam A500 at least is in the air, but is a much smaller craft.

regards,
Eilennaei


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