The new generation of civil aircraft, including the Airbus A380 and the Boeing 787, are composed of composite materials for their primary aircraft structures. This presents a challenge for airline maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) operations in both the short- and long-term. In the short-term, new technologies are needed for maintenance, monitoring, and repair techniques to cope with accidental damage that aircraft suffer throughout their lifetime. The short-term challenge also extends to manufacturing facilities and the need for quality checks of composite components, together with substructures assembled using adhesive bonding, co-curing and thermoplastic welding. As these A380 and B787 aircraft age, they will be subject to normal wear and tear and will undergo C and D checks to maintain airworthiness. At this stage of their lifetime it will be important to perform efficient and cost-effective maintenance and repair techniques to reduce lifetime costs. This chapter first describes composites materials and structures, together with an overview of expected failure modes. It will then provide an overview of current and emerging nondestructive testing (NDT) and structural health monitoring (SHM) technologies and describe some of the challenges in inspection and monitoring of composite aircraft structures.
|Title of host publication||Reference Module in Materials Science and Materials Engineering|
|Subtitle of host publication||Comprehensive Composite Materials II|
|Publication status||Published - 2018|
|Name||Reference Module in Materials Science and Materials Engineering II|
- Nondestructive testing
- Structural health monitoring
Groves, R. (2018). 3.12 Inspection and Monitoring of Composite Aircraft Structures. In Reference Module in Materials Science and Materials Engineering: Comprehensive Composite Materials II (Vol. 3, pp. 300–311). (Reference Module in Materials Science and Materials Engineering II; Vol. 3). Elservier. https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-803581-8.10340-6