Repairing a Boeing 787 Dreamliner or an Airbus A350 XWB will require more robotic automation than elbow grease

Repairing a Boeing 787 Dreamliner or an Airbus A350 XWB will require more robotic automation than elbow grease

Date: 
November 2, 2011

With the advent of the use of carbon fiber in airplane design, espeically in the boeing 787 Dreamliner and the Airbus A350 XWB, repairing the carbon fiber on these planes is a problem.   Automation technologies are needed to reduce cost and decrease human error.  Bonding carbon fiber is very difficult, becuase cracks in the carbon fiber are difficult to spot and creating holes to put cameras in to look in the inside causes more damage to the carbon fiber.  Therefore a stereoscopic camera is used to make 3D scan of the damaged area, and ultrasounds are used to spot cracks in the carbon fiber.   A repair patch is made using a computer simulated model of the 3d scan of the actual and damaged part.  Cleaning the surface for patching is a very integral part of the process in order to create the strongest bond between the repair patch and the original carbon fiber.  To improve the cleaning process, laser systems have been developed to clean off the bonded surface.  To determine that that the repair process is being done correctly technicians will have to become certified in composite repair and these programs are in the process of being created. 


Solutions Finder
Quickly find the solution or service you need.