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This article provides a summary of the concepts discussed in the articles under the Section “Post-Processing and Assembly” ASM Handbook, Volume 21: Composites.

This article describes the machining operations of carbon fiber-reinforced epoxy, or carbon/epoxy thermoset composite materials, such as drilling, reaming, routing, trimming, end milling, slot milling, and facing. It reviews cutting tools for machining, including solid carbide, diamond plated, brazed diamond, diamond coated carbide, and polycrystalline cutting tools. The article also describes cutting tool materials that are used for peripheral milling, face milling, and the trimming of polymer-matrix composites.

Adhesive bonding is used to assemble composite components into larger structures. Finished components that are damaged during assembly or service are often repaired with adhesive-bonding techniques. This article summarizes criteria for adhesive selection and illustrates typical secondary adhesively bonded joint configurations. It discusses the highly loaded joint considerations of adhesives. The article describes the epoxy adhesives commonly used for the bonding or repair of composite structures. It discusses the surface preparation of composites and metals, and honeycomb processing, including perimeter trimming, mechanical forming, heat forming, core splicing, contouring, and cleaning. The article presents basic steps involved in the adhesive-bonding process and concludes with a discussion on adhesive applications and tooling.

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