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Abstract

Maintainability is a function of the durability, damage tolerance, and repairability of a structure. This article discusses the configurations of composite structures, such as sandwich, stiffened-skin, and monolithic structures, used in commercial aircraft composites. It describes the considerations for maintainability of the composite structures during the conceptual design phase. Sources of defects and damage, such as manufacturing defects and in-service defects, are reviewed. The article describes the nondestructive inspection methods that are used in the repair of composite structures to locate damage, characterize the extent of damage, and ensure post-repair quality. It lists suggestions that can be used as design guidelines for adhesive bonding, general composite structure, sandwich structure, material selection, and lightning-strike protection. The article provides the basic considerations for personnel, facilities, and equipment during maintenance.

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