Non-destructive evaluation of composite-to-metal mechanically fastened joints

S. C. Galea, L. Mirabella, W. K. Chiu

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference PaperResearchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


The use of advanced composite materials, especially carbon fibre/epoxy resin systems, in modern military aircraft has increased significantly in recent years. In composite/metal structures the load transfer between various components is undertaken by bolted or bonded joints. For example, on the F/A-18, numerous composite-to-metal mechanically fastened joints are used to transfer loads from the thick composite wing skin to the metal wing ribs and spars. Work undertaken at ARL has involved fatigue studies of such joints at ambient and hot/wet conditions in order to understand the various damage states that develop around counter-sunk fastener holes in composite laminates under sequence loading. Several techniques for evaluating the health of the joint have been used. For example, ultrasonic C-scanning methods give the extent of damage around the fastener holes. Other techniques used were joint load/displacement hysteresis measurements, fastener rocking using shadow moire fringe measurements and changes in load transfer using piezo film sensors. This paper discusses the various NDE techniques used to assess the health of composite-to-metal mechanically fastened joints for thick composite laminates.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 5th Australian Aeronautical Conference 1993
Number of pages7
Edition93 pt 6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 1993
Externally publishedYes
EventAustralian Aeronautical Conference 1993 - Melbourne, Australia
Duration: 13 Sept 199315 Sept 1993
Conference number: 5th

Publication series

NameNational Conference Publication - Institution of Engineers, Australia
ISSN (Print)0313-6922


ConferenceAustralian Aeronautical Conference 1993

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