The Effect of Contamination on the Integrity and Durability of Composite Adhesive Bonds

Patrick Amin


The project is aimed to experimentally study the effect of the F/A-18 Classic
Hornet military aircraft Inner Wing Step Lap Joint adhesive disbond. The
experimental research was conducted by manufacturing samples made of 2024-
T3 Aluminium alloy substrates bonded with Cytec FM-300 adhesive film. The
epoxy silane method was used for the surface preparation of the samples, and
the hot press for curing the adhesive. Artificial contamination methodology was
developed using the mesh approach and the application of PTFE spray. The
Boeing Wedge Test was utilised to assess the effect of contamination on the
adhesive bonds integrity and durability, by conditioning the samples in a hot
and humid environmental chamber. The developed methodology has shown a
pronounced improvement compared to the preliminary experimental work with
some limitations that are discussed in the report. Additional analyses were
conducted to explore the correlation between the adhesive disbonds area and
the samples’ initial crack length and consequent crack growth.

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