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Develop a Tool to Measure Bonded Joint Strength for Primary Load Bearing Aircraft Structures

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: FA8650-08-C-5012
Agency Tracking Number: F071-126-0016
Amount: $750,000.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: AF071-126
Solicitation Number: 2007.1
Solicitation Year: 2007
Award Year: 2008
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2008-03-24
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2010-07-24
Small Business Information
6145 Scherers Place, Dublin, OH, 43016
DUNS: 834959363
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 David W Sokol
 Director of Research
 (614) 718-3000
Business Contact
 Jeff Dulaney
Title: President and CEO
Phone: (614) 718-3000
Research Institution
To reduce weight and improve fuel efficiency, composites are being adhesively bonded into integral structural elements of aircraft at an accelerating rate. Once a bonded structure is assembled, there is no conventional NDI method available to assure that bond strength is adequate for service. The presence of weak regions in bonds can lead to disastrous failure of the structure under flight loads. Laser Bond Inspection (LBI) offers a practical solution to locating weak regions in laminate-adhesive bonds in aircraft structures. It is a local proof-testing method that applies a well-controlled dynamic stress to the composite structure and senses the failure of weak adhesive bonds in response to the stress. The controlled stressing of the composite material has no effect on the material or bond if it is not damaged, defective, or substandard. In order for LBI to be widely applicable, however, advanced technology needs to be developed to inspect thick multilayer composite structures (0.5-1.0 inch thick), bonded structures with non-parallel surfaces (e.g., tapered flange to skin composite), and mixed material joints (e.g., metal-to-composite). The innovative aspect of the proposed SBIR Phase I program is to perform key experiments to demonstrate new LBI technical approaches to these difficult inspection problems.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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