3.12 Inspection and Monitoring of Composite Aircraft Structures

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeChapterScientificpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
200 Downloads (Pure)


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.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationReference Module in Materials Science and Materials Engineering
Subtitle of host publicationComprehensive Composite Materials II
ISBN (Print)978-0-12-803581-8
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Publication series

NameReference Module in Materials Science and Materials Engineering II

Bibliographical note

Green Open Access added to TU Delft Institutional Repository ‘You share, we take care!’ – Taverne project https://www.openaccess.nl/en/you-share-we-take-care
Otherwise as indicated in the copyright section: the publisher is the copyright holder of this work and the author uses the Dutch legislation to make this work public.


  • Composites
  • Materials
  • Nondestructive testing
  • Structural health monitoring
  • Structures


Dive into the research topics of '3.12 Inspection and Monitoring of Composite Aircraft Structures'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this