Abstract

Adhesively bonded stainless steel aircraft components often fail prematurely at the adhesive/adherend interface. This failure results from exposure of the adhesively bonded joint to various mechanical and thermal stresses, as well as the exposure to hostile environments. Currently, there is not a single, reliable preparation for adhesive bonding that is universally employed for all classes of stainless steel.

This study was conducted to evaluate several existing stainless steel prebonding processes, to determine the significant process factors contributing to the adhesive/stainless steel interfacial performance, and to develop a single reliable prebond preparation for stainless steels. Several surface pretreatments were evaluated with various classes of stainless steel. Wedge crack extension test results of moisture conditioned test specimens show that a newly developed pretreatment process yields the most stable passivation surface for various classes of stainless steel.

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