Joining and Assembly of Polymer-Matrix Composites
The structural efficiency of a composite structure is established by its joints and assembly. Adhesive bonding, mechanical fastening, and fusion bonding are three types of joining methods for polymer-matrix composites. This article provides information on surface treatment and the applications of adhesive bonding. It discusses the types of adhesives, namely, epoxy adhesives, epoxy-phenolic adhesives, condensation-reaction PI adhesives, addition-reaction PI adhesives, bismaleimide adhesives, and structural adhesives. The article provides information on fastener selection considerations, including corrosion compatibility, fastener materials and strength, head configurations, importance of clamp-up, interference fit fasteners, lightning strike protection, blind fastening, and sensitivity to hole quality. Types of fusion bonding are presented, namely, thermal welding, friction welding, electromagnetic welding, and polymer-coated material welding.