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Proceedings Paper

Self-repairing composites for airplane components
Author(s): Carolyn Dry
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Paper Abstract

Durability and damage tolerance criteria drives the design of most composite structures. Those criteria could be altered by developing structure that repairs itself from impact damage. This is a technology for increasing damage tolerance for impact damage. Repaired damage would enable continued function and prevent further degradation to catastrophic failure in the case of an aircraft application. Further, repaired damage would enable applications to be utilized without reduction in performance due to impacts. Self repairing structures are designed to incorporate hollow fibers, which will release a repairing agent when the structure is impacted, so that the repairing agent will fill delaminations, voids and cracks in les than one minute, thus healing matrix voids. The intent is to modify the durability and damage tolerance criteria by incorporation of self-healing technologies to reduce overall weight: The structure will actually remain lighter than current conventional design procedures allow. Research objective(s) were: Prove that damage can be repaired to within 80-90% of original flexural strength in less than one minute, in laminates that are processed at 300-350F typical for aircraft composites. These were successfully met. The main focus was on testing of elements in compression after impact and a larger component in shear at Natural Process Design, Inc. Based on these results the advantages purposes are assessed. The results show potential; with self repairing composites, compressive strength is maintained sufficiently so that less material can be used as per durability and damage tolerance, yielding a lighter structure.

Paper Details

Date Published: 8 April 2008
PDF: 13 pages
Proc. SPIE 6932, Sensors and Smart Structures Technologies for Civil, Mechanical, and Aerospace Systems 2008, 693212 (8 April 2008); doi: 10.1117/12.776497
Show Author Affiliations
Carolyn Dry, Natural Process Design, Inc. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6932:
Sensors and Smart Structures Technologies for Civil, Mechanical, and Aerospace Systems 2008
Masayoshi Tomizuka, Editor(s)

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