Aspects of the Failure of Patched Structures

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Numerous aerospace, mechanical and electronic structural components consist of a primary base structure with a secondary element bonded to it for the purpose of strengthening, stiffening, or providing thermal or electrical contact. Specific examples are bonded sensors or repair patches on aircraft wings and fuselages, or the attachment of electronic components to printed circuit boards. The combination of the primary and secondary structures forms a composite system. Since the structure has been changed with regard to its geometry and structural properties, the structural response may be changed significantly with the introduction of the patch and it is therefore of interest to investigate the integrity of such systems. Specifically, one-dimensional edge debonding of layer-wise step-tapered patches and the structural behavior of the composite system when subjected to thermo-mechanical loading will be considered.