Adhesive bonding allows for the most efficient use of composite substrates, maximising their strength and design potential. These material properties have been used by the aerospace industry to offer a competitive advantage and allow engineers to produce revolutionary aircraft designs, such as the Boeing 787.
The load-bearing and high-strength epoxy-based adhesives, in combination with more flexible methacrylate adhesives and polyurethane adhesives with their excellent bonding capabilities for various materials, already cover a range of composite bonding applications. However, research towards other emerging technologies continue and progress is always been published in new adhesive systems which offer better flexibility, environmental durability and good ‘paintability’. Regulators will also continue to assess the long-term safety of composite structures, including the protocols for maintenance and repair, as these new aircraft models are introduced.
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