2002 Volume 45 Issue 4 Pages 553-560
Composite patch repair of aircraft structural panels has recently received wide attention. In designing reliable composite patches enough to operate in severe environmental conditions, the accurate stress fields in the repaired structural panels and the bonded composite patches should be analyzed. If the conventional three-dimensional finite element method (FEM) is used to obtain the accurate stress fields, it may require a long computational time for iterative stress analysis. In this paper, we develop an effective three-dimensional FEM based on the concept of domain decomposition with independent interfaces. Using this method, we carry out several parametric studies to examine the effect of patch shape and size on the stress fields in the panel and the patches. The method is also used to determine the optimum patch shape and size so that the repaired structure can endure maximum applied tensile stress by a mathematical programming when the patches are of  unidirectional and [0/90]s cross-ply composites.