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Fatigue of Aircraft Structures
The Journal of Institute of Aviation
1 Issue per year
Using Sandblasting and Sol Gel Techniques for the Preparation of a Metal Surface and Their Effects on the Durability of Epoxy-Bonded Joints
The epoxy-bonded joints are widely employed in aerospace in the Composite Patch Bonded Repair (CPBR) method used for repair metallic and composite structures. The properties of epoxy usually meet the mechanical and environmental requirements, but the durability of bonded joints depends also on the surface preparation.
The most common techniques used for the surface preparation are Forest Product Laboratory’s (FPL) technique and Phosphoric Acid Anodizing (PAA). Both methods ensure very good adhesion but they have some disadvantages. They require the application of toxic and aggressive acids, dangerous for the operator. Also, the use of acids for cleaning the surfaces can cause corrosion.
The sandblasting treatment of metal surfaces ensures quite good adhesion. This technique requires neither specialist equipment nor the use of toxic substances. Recommended by the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) the technique is also used by the Air Force Institute of Technology.
Sol Gel is a new product developed for the treatment of metal surfaces before bonding. It is not hazardous for the operator and it does not cause corrosion due to its specific chemical composition.
The article describes the behavior of bonded joints between two metal surfaces prepared using sandblasting and Sol Gel. The investigations were carried out in various environment conditions according to the ASTM Standards.