Mechanical performance of adhesively bonded repairs in honeycomb composite sandwich structures

Authors: Ghazali, Emna
Advisor: Dano, Marie-LaureGakwaya, Augustin
Abstract: In service, aeronautical components made of composite materials and sandwich structures are subject to type of damages that require repairs. Adhesively bonded repairs (scarf-scarf, step-step or scarf-step) offer an excellent mechanical strength recovery for these composite structures. However, the repair environment can be a significant challenge in terms of the choice of geometrical parameters (scarf angle, addition of an overply), damage process parameters and mechanical behavior under different loads.This thesis presents both experimental and numerical investigations of the mechanical behavior of internal patch repairs carried-out on Nomex honeycomb composite sandwich structures. The skins use an out-of-autoclave woven fabric made of carbon-epoxy composite materials. In order to determine the effect of different geometric parameters on the resistance of the internal patch repair and to better understand its mechanical behavior and damage processes, a series of mechanical tests under different loads (tensile, compression, bending) is conducted on the repaired sandwich panels made with either plain weave or 8 harness satin textile composites. Numerical simulations were carried out, in several stages, in order to determine the mechanical behavior of the repair. First, a 2D model that assumes a linear elastic behavior of the adhesive film was developed. This simple model allows to study the distribution of the stresses in the adhesive joint for different configurations of rectangular patch repair. Then, the 2D model is modified in order to account for the elastoplastic behavior of the adhesive film. The latter allows to predict the mechanical behavior of a rectangular internal patch repair until rupture. Subsequently, a 3D model is developed to predict the mechanical behavior of circular internal patch repairs under compressive loadings. This model takes into account the progressive damage and failure of the woven fabric skins. The results of these numerical simulations are validated by comparing them to experimental measurements. The finite element models that account for the elastoplastic behavior law for the adhesive joint allow predictions of the strength as well as the damage morphology of the repaired sandwich structures. A parametric study has also been conducted in order to determine the influence of the geometrical design parameters in the repair strength. Processing and assessment of the mechanical performance of internal patch repairs on sandwich structures is a complex task with multiple material and process parameters. In general, this thesis contributes to a better understanding of the mechanical behavior of adhesively bonded repaired sandwich structures and their damage process. The finite element models developed in this work and validated experimentally have contributed through parametric numerical simulations to an economical better understanding of the influence of different geometric parameters on the strength and failure of internal patch repaired sandwich panels.
Document Type: Thèse de doctorat
Issue Date: 2017
Open Access Date: 8 January 2020
Grantor: Université Laval
Collection:Thèses et mémoires

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