SAE - Care and Repair of Advanced Composites

Organization: SAE
Publication Date: 22 June 2005
Page Count: 670


This book is a detailed work of reference, drawing from many industry sources around the world. It is a comprehensive, in-depth look at the principal materials and processes involved in manufacturing, inspecting, and repairing advanced composite aircraft structures. It should also be useful to those working with composites in non-aerospace industries.

This book becomes even more valuable considering the background of the authors. Dr. Keith Armstrong is extremely well respected for his many years of experience and leadership in advanced composite aircraft structures. He was involved in the development of carbon fiber/ Nomex® honeycomb floor panels for the VC-10 airliner with Graham Bevan of Rolls-Royce Composite Materials and now with Airbus (U.K.) Ltd. These were the first carbon fiber composites to fly on commercial aircraft. Almost all flooring used in commercial aircraft today meets specifications that have evolved from these early composite structures. Dr. Armstrong developed many new methods in the infancy of the industry during his 24 years with British Airways. He led the effort to standardize composite repair as chairman of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Composite Repair Task Force from 1988 to 1991. He continues to be a key player in the effort to improve composites education via his ongoing participation in the Training Task Group of the SAE/IATA/ATA Commercial Aircraft Composite Repair Committee (CACRC). As part of this work, he compiled a glossary of terms, published by SAE as AIR 4844 Composites and Metal Bonding Glossary.

Dr. Armstrong possesses a unique combination of theoretical and practical knowledge. He earned an M.Sc. (1978) and a Ph.D. (1991) in Adhesion Science and Technology from The City University in London, England. He also has spent many years performing simple but valuable hands-on experiments, such as wedge testing of composite and aluminum alloy samples after years of immersion in water. These have now been published and are listed as references in this book.

This second edition is co-authored by L. Graham Bevan and William F. Cole II. Dr. Armstrong and Mr. Bevan have worked together on lightweight floor panels and other projects for more than 30 years. Mr. Bevan has worked in or has been associated with the aircraft industry for most of his working life. His involvement with composites started in 1969 when he joined Rolls-Royce Composite Materials, from the then British Aircraft Corporation. He has maintained this involvement with composites without a break during the past 35 years. Mr. Bevan currently works in Customer Support at Airbus (U.K.) Ltd. and is involved in composite repairs on all Airbus aircraft. He is a past member of the Airbus Composite Repair Task Force and a past member of the Repair Techniques Task Group of the CACRC.

Bill Cole, now Director of Engineering at AAR Corporation, has done an exceptional job as chairman of the Analytical Repair Techniques Task Group of the CACRC. Rick Barrett, co-author of the first edition has, unfortunately, left the aerospace industry. His leadership helped to establish the syllabus for this book while he was chairman of the CACRC Training Task Group from 1992 to 1994. He also contributed valuable practical experience of hands-on repair work.

This book will become a standard by which future efforts are judged. All of us in this evolving field owe the authors of this book a debt of gratitude, not only for this work but also Dr. Armstrong's many fundamental contributions to composites technology, Graham Bevan's 35 years of dedication to this subject, Bill Cole's extremely valuable mathematical ability, and Rick Barrett's ideas and enthusiasm that made this project possible.