Technical Brief

Composite Patch Repair for Underwater Aluminum Structures

[+] Author and Article Information
R. W. Bianchi

Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering,
Naval Postgraduate School,
Monterey, CA 93943
e-mail: rwegele2011@gmail.com

Y. W. Kwon

Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering,
Naval Postgraduate School,
Monterey, CA 93943
e-mail: ywkwon@nps.edu

E. S. Alley

Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering,
Naval Postgraduate School,
Monterey, CA 93943
e-mail: esalley@nps.edu

Contributed by the Ocean, Offshore, and Arctic Engineering Division of ASME for publication in the Journal of Offshore Mechanics and Arctic Engineering. Manuscript received October 19, 2018; final manuscript received January 23, 2019; published online March 12, 2019. Assoc. Editor: Jonas W. Ringsberg. This material is declared a work of the U.S. Government and is not subject to copyright protection in the United States. Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited.

J. Offshore Mech. Arct. Eng 141(6), 064501 (Mar 12, 2019) (6 pages) Paper No: OMAE-18-1184; doi: 10.1115/1.4042940 History: Received October 19, 2018; Accepted January 28, 2019

Both experimental and numerical studies were conducted to investigate the effectiveness of composite patch repair on underwater structures, especially aluminum alloy structures. Physical samples were prepared using 5XXX aluminum plates with a premachined hole and E-glass woven fabric layers. The epoxy resin was selected such that it could be cured underwater. Test samples were prepared under different curing conditions such as dry curing and wet curing with different durations of in-water exposure. Strain gages were attached to all samples. The samples were tested for both tensile and four-point bending loads. Furthermore, numerical modeling and simulations were conducted, and the numerical models were validated against the experimental measurements. Then, the interface normal and shear stresses were determined from the numerical models so as to understand the delamination failure at the interface between the aluminum and composite patches. Underwater composite patching showed good interface strength and potential for successful usage in repairs.

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Fig. 1

Testing configurations: (a) tensile test and (b) four-point bending test with l1 = 0.26 m, l2 = 0.15 m, l3 = 0.17 m, and e = 0.0215 m

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Fig. 2

Aluminum sample design with a machined hole

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Fig. 3

Strain gage locations for the tensile and bending tests

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Fig. 4

A sample showing delamination between the aluminum and patch

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Fig. 5

Finite element mesh for patched specimen

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Fig. 6

Plots of load-strain for no patch, dry patch, and wet patch samples

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Fig. 7

Comparison of load-strain plots among wet patched samples with a variable amount of curing time in water

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Fig. 8

Load-strain curve for Samples A, C, and E under bending load

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Fig. 9

Comparison of load-strain curves for wet patched samples under bending loads



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