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Abstract: The deployment of future aircraft with largely composite airframes will necessitate changes in maintenance and repair paradigms. Large integrated composite structures will require on-aircraft repairs in place of a remove and replace approach.  The impracticality of returning aircraft to depots for repairs will necessitate the expansion of operational level repair capacity to service aircraft where they are deployed. This project seeks to establish such capability without requiring that substantial facilities be stood up at a large number of forward operating environments. 
The goal of the current work is to develop and validate a composite repair methodology that is capable of reliably producing high performance repairs in forward operating environments with limited composite processing facilities or technical expertise. The approach involves the integration of suitable repair materials, surface scanning technology and additive manufacturing materials and methods to produce repair laminates cured on single use 3D printed tooling.  The utilization of newly available Benzoxazine matrix chemistry enables repairs to be produced using preimpregnated laminating materials; thus addressing the limitations associated with current two- part epoxy systems, while at the same time avoiding the requirements for cold storage typically associated with prepreg materials.  This new room temperature storage system can be processed out of the autoclave and yields structural performance consistent with materials currently used to manufacture airframe structures. 
The application of the fabrication technology is facilitated through the use of automated parametric modeling tools that are able to develop repair designs based on the captured component geometry, the measured extent of the repair and the established structural requirements of the component being repaired. 
This work was sponsored by the Office of Naval Research, ONR, under contract number N00014-15-C-0119; the views and conclusions contained herein are those of the author and should not be interpreted as necessarily representing the official policies or endorsements, either expressed or implied, of the Office of Naval Research, the U.S. Navy or the U.S. government. 

Authors: Jonathan K. Garhart 


Conference: CAMX 2017 –Orlando


SKU/Code: TP17-0075


Pages: 15


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