Composites Play an Integral Role in Aerospace MRO

Composites have long played a role in the aerospace industry as a core building material. Used to build aircraft components such as aircraft flooring and interior liners, as well as to provide structural adhesives, composite materials are becoming increasingly important in the Commercial Aerospace industry, as well as other aspects of the aerospace field. 

Because composites and high performance composite materials are becoming a larger part of the aerospace industry, the aerospace MRO (Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul) sector must adapt to a new way of maintaining and repairing aircrafts made from composite materials. Unlike traditional materials such as aluminum that visibly dents or scratches when impacted, aircrafts made from composite material are less likely to visually show impact damage. In many cases, structural damage from impact can only be identified by using high-resolution ultrasonic inspection methods either on-ramp on in a repair shop. Depending on the type of structural damage identified, there are three methods of repair commonly used to fix the damage: the Quick Composite Repair, the Bonded Repair and the Bolted Repair, as named by Boeing. 

The Quick Composite Repair Solution for Aerospace MRO

The quick composite repair solution can repair slight structural damage, such as nicks and dents, that does not impact the overall structural integrity of the aircraft. This solution can take as little as one hour and uses aerospace adhesives, such as epoxy as well as other adhesive solutions, to hold the pre-cured patch of composite material in place on the aircraft. This solution provides an efficient method of repair for the MRO sector of the Aerospace industry. 

The Bonded Repair Solution for Aerospace MRO

For structural damage that is slightly larger or impacts the structural integrity of the aircraft, the bonded repair solution is sometimes implemented to restore strength to the overall structure. In this case, the damaged composite portion is removed and a new slab of composite material, sometimes made from specified carbon fiber or prepreg material, is placed into the open section and heat-cured in place. This process can take up to 12 hours, but is an efficient method of aerospace MRO since it can be accomplished at the gate. 

The Bolted Repair Solution for Aerospace MRO

The bolted repair solution is often reserved for serious structural damage, and is performed in a repair shop. Similar to the bonded repair solution, the bolted repair solution removes the piece of damaged composite material and replaces it with a new specified composite material and then holds it in place using fasteners. 

Composites One Supplies the Aerospace MRO Industry with Quality Composite Materials

Composites One is the leading supplier of composite materials in North America. We work closely with professionals in the aerospace industry to deliver quality specified composite materials in a timely manner. Our technical specialists are available to work with you to determine the type of composite and high performance materials you need to fit your solution. Contact us today or fill out the form on our website to learn more about how Composites One can help you.