A study on curing processes and environmental effects for rapid composite repair
Journal of Reinforced Plastics and Composites
749 - 755
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This article focuses on scarf joint comprised of vacuum-precured, vacuum-cocured, autoclave-procured, and autoclave-cocured composite patches bonded to autoclave- and vacuum-precured parent laminates. Autoclave- and vacuum-cured parent laminates and scarf joints were prepared and exposed to the same temperature and moisture environment for comparison. All specimens were loaded in tension at three temperatures. Interlaminar shear strength (ILSS) tests were also carried out for the parent materials. As noted, the tensile strength and ILSS decrease when the material has been exposed to moisture and tested at elevated temperature. But, no significant difference was reported for either tensile strength or ILSS between autoclave- and vacuum-cured materials. The room temperature repair efficiencies are reported for single-scarf repairs comprised of vacuum-cocured and vacuum-precured patches. These vacuum-cured repair efficiencies were found to be similar to the efficiency of the autoclave-precured patch repair. This result supports the feasibility of scarf joint repairs with precured or cocured patches under vacuum curing conditions in field-level facilities. Therefore, repairs with vacuum-precured or vacuum-cocured patches requiring less equipments seem to be a serious potential alternative to the composite patch repair requiring autoclave conditions which might be only available at depot-level maintenance centers.