In this work, experimental and numerical analyses of repairs on carbon fiber reinforced epoxy (CFRE) substrates, with CFRE and aluminum alloy doublers typical of aircraft structures, are presented. The substrates have a bridge gap of 12.7 mm (simulated crack), repaired with twin doublers joined with riveted, adhesive bonded, and hybrid joints. The performance of the repairs using different doubler materials and joining techniques are compared under static loading. The experimental results show that riveted joints have the lowest strength, while adhesive bonded joints have the highest strength, irrespective of the doubler material. Finite element analysis (FEA) of the studied joints is also performed using commercial FEA tool Abaqus. In the FEA model, point-based fasteners are used for the rivets, and a cohesive zone contact model is used to simulate the adhesive bond. The FEA results indicate that the riveted joints have higher tensile stresses on the metal doublers compared to the composite doublers. As per the failure modes, interestingly, for hybrid joints using composite doublers, the doublers fail due to net-section failure, while, for hybrid joints using metal doublers, it is the composite substrate that fails due to net-section failure. This suggests vulnerability of the composite structures to mechanical fastener holes. Lastly, the Autodesk Helius composite tool is used for prediction of first-ply failure and ply load distribution, and for progressive failure analysis of the composite substrate.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited