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The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Malaysia

Research project: Effect of contaminations and defects in bondlines of composite laminates

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PhD studentship in Mechanical Engineering.

The increased service life of aerospace vehicles has resulted in a need for improved repair techniques. Conventionally the structure is repaired by removing the cracked area and by riveting a patch on to the structure. However, the rivets act as stress concentrations and will limit the life of the repair. A more efficient method is the adhesively bonded patch repair. A perfect surface treatment on the aged aircraft structures to ensure good adhesion is difficult to implement. They might have already been exposed to a wide range of contaminants during their long service life. So the defect features created by the contaminants in the bondline and their effects on the overall structural performance must be clearly understood to ensure the repair is airworthy.

In this PhD project, the degradation of the overall strength of the composite laminate due to different contaminants and its criticality will be studied thoroughly through standard mechanical tests (tensile, compression, bending, impact, etc.).

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