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Abstract

Adhesive-bonded joints are extensively used in aircraft components and assemblies where structural integrity is critical. This article addresses the problem of how to inspect bonded assemblies so that all discrepancies are identified. It describes several inspection techniques and presents drawbacks and limitations of these techniques. Generic flaw types and flaw-producing mechanisms are listed in a table. The article discusses metal-to-metal defects, adherend defects, honeycomb sandwich defects, repair defects, and in-service defects. It reviews the methods applicable to the inspection of bonded structures, including visual inspection, ultrasonic inspection, X-ray radiography, and neutron radiography. The evaluation and correlation of inspection results are also discussed. The article concludes with information on the effects of ultrasonic wave interference in the ultrasonic inspection of adhesive-bonded joints.

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