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Professional Training Course to the Aircraft Maintenance Industry on “Aircraft Composites and Their Damage Assessment”

A lecture on “Aircraft Composites and Their Damage Assessment” was organized on 18 March 2013 by Professor Alan KT Lau of the Department of Mechanical Engineering (ME) to professionals working at Cathay Pacific, Dragonair and The Hong Kong Aircraft Engineering Company Limited (HAECO) on the fundamental of aircraft composites, a new type of engineering materials for future aircraft design and development.  Over 40 participants joined the course and discussed many practical issues in relation to composites damages, assessment and repairs.

Recently, the use of advanced composites (carbon fibre/glass fibre/hybrid fibre reinforced polymers) for aircraft's primary and secondary structural components has greatly increased. By using these lightweight materials can i) alleviate the pressure from high jet fuel costs and ii) reduce aviation’s carbon footprint. As advanced composites appear mostly in high technology applications such as military, automotive and space engineering in the past decades, fundamental understanding on their properties is always an issue to existing professionals working in the field.

In view of aforementioned issues, ME has tailored a training course to provide all aircraft maintenance’s professionals on basic knowledge on advanced composites and their failure identification and repair, for aircraft engineering applications. The course was separated into two parts.

PART 1: Properties of Advanced Composites for Aircraft Engineering:

  • Mechanical properties and functions of fibre and matrix;
  • Manufacturing processes of composites and their characteristics;
  • Quality assurance and applications of the composites.

PART 2: Failure and Repair of Advanced Composites:

  • Potential failures and failure types (delamination, foreign object impact and fatigue) of the composites;
  • Failure inspection and residual stress induced during the manufacturing process;
  • Repair techniques.