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Successful adhesive bonding of organic-matrix composites is dependent on the nature of the adherend surfaces. This article emphasizes the critical importance of proper surface preparation in both thermoset and thermoplastic composites. It provides information on surface preparation for thermoset composite adherends along with a standard technique (water-break test) for verifying the adequacy of surface preparation for metal bonding. In addition, the article provides examples of good and bad adhesive bonds and describes some important process variables that are considered and controlled in bonding process for thermoset adhesives. The article concludes with a discussion on three different approaches for bonding thermoplastic composite composite panels together.

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