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The increasing adoption of composite materials for the production of aeronautical structures has opened new horizons and research fields, both for civil and military applications. These materials offer considerable performances, in particular regarding the strength and weight-saving, however, they require complex procedures and technologies for damage identification and repair.

Patchbond II is devoted to the study of the repairing technique of composite aeronautical structures. In particular, this study proposes a composite material patch bonded on the damaged substrate (NH90’s fuselage) by means of a film adhesive. The project involves several partners from Finland, Germany, Norway, The Netherland, and the Czech Republic, among them, the Department of Mechanical Engineering of Politecnico di Milano is involved with professors Marco Giglio, Claudio Sbarufatti, Andrea Bernasconi and engineer Daniele Oboe. In particular, their contribution is devoted to model the repairing patch with the finite element method and the development of a structural health monitoring and prognosis system to evaluate its strength and functionality in service. This system will be realized with a network of permanently installed sensors on the patch to perform continuous and real-time monitoring during the service of the aircraft.

This project can have a great impact on the industrial world, in particular, with an increase of the aeronautical structures’ safety and a decrease in the cost associated with maintenance and aircraft repairing.