The Viability of Rapid Temporary Repairs on Composite Sandwich Panels Subjected to Small Arms Fire

Peter Moore


The Australian Defence Force (ADF) has operated numerous aircraft within “warlike” theatres of operation consistently since 2002 in Afghanistan and Iraq. Warlike theatres of operation expose both aircraft and crew to numerous dangers, none more so than small arms fire on take-off and landing. As modern aircraft utilise a vast amount of composite material within the structure, the ability to repair damage quickly and to the same strength requirements, provides commanders with increased aircraft availability, allowing for an increased tasking rate. The first phase of the project will explore the potential use of rapid temporary repair techniques in order to repair sandwich composite panels in short periods of time. The second phase will then validate the extent of strength retention following repair via static and cyclic loading spectrums. This report outlines the direction the project pursued by detailing the processes of sample manufacture, projectile impact processes and experimental testing, including a discussion of the findings and recommendations pertaining to the designed repair utilised and the possible future technique.

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