Crossley, R., Ratchev, S., and Smith, A., "Emerging Technologies for Use in Aerospace Bonded Assemblies," SAE Int. J. Aerosp. 6(2):383-391, 2013, doi:10.4271/2013-01-2134.
Several new technologies are now emerging to improve adhesive supply and formulation along with surface treatments that have the potential to offer significant improvements to both surface energy and cleanliness . Additionally, the miniaturisation of laboratory techniques into portable equipment offers potential for online surface energy and chemical analysis measurement for use as quality control measures in a production environment. An overview of newly available technology is given here with several devices studied in further detail.Technologies assessed further in this paper are; portable surface contact angle measurement, ambient pressure plasma cleaning, portable FTIR measurement and adhesive mixing equipment. A number of potential applications are outlined for each device based on the operational technique. The practical aspects of implementation and the perceived technology readiness levels for operation, implementation and results are also given.Some initial studies have also been carried out into the effectiveness of each device. Ambient pressure plasma cleaning has been assessed for its ability to remove contaminants and improve surface energy. Miniaturised Sessile droplet test equipment has also been assessed for quality and repeatability of results. Portable FTIR has also been assessed for its sensitivity in a number of applications. All aforementioned equipment has also been assessed with regards to associated practicalities of use, measurement cycle times and required operator skill level.