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Innovative Approach to Bondline Integrity Monitoring


OBJECTIVE: Develop a bondline integrity monitoring system that can assess operational capability and service life. DESCRIPTION: Structural designs which include composite to composite bonding or composite to metal bonding can experience failures along the bondline. The ability to monitor the bondline's integrity during operation is essential to determine the structure's health, capability, and service life. Currently, bondlines require in-service inspection of bonded joints and the development of a bondline integrity monitoring system may reduce or eliminate the need for these inspections. Additionally, future structural health management technology will need real time bondline monitoring data for use in prognostic models that are currently being considered for service life prediction. Bondline integrity monitoring should provide low-cost, in situ measurements from production to operation. This data will be collected, stored and analyzed by on-board processors to detect and diagnose bondline degradation. The proposed monitoring system cannot degrade bondline integrity, should be easily calibrated and interpreted, and must not be embedded within the bondline. PHASE I: Develop low-cost approaches for a bondline integrity monitoring system to be used during production and operation of bonded composite structures. Demonstrate the feasibility of the recommended approach. PHASE II: Fully develop identified Phase l approach into a prototype system. Test and demonstrate the operation of the prototype system under realistic environmental conditions. PHASE III: Perform complete validation and verification of the bondline integrity monitoring system. Transition technology for implementation on Naval Airframe bonded composite structures and commercial applications. PRIVATE SECTOR COMMERCIAL POTENTIAL/DUAL-USE APPLICATIONS: Bondline intergrity monitoring can transfer to commercial aviation, aerospace, automotive and other industries with applications involving composite materials bonding to metals or other composite materials.
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