Design of bonded joints



Essentially the entire surface of the U. S. Air Force B-58 supersonic bomber is aluminum-bonded panel construction. Primary as well as secondary structural bonded panels were designed and manufactured to operate under demanding service conditions which include high stress, subzero temperature, high temperature, and severe acoustical vibration. Smooth surfaces are an additional requirement at subsonic and supersonic speeds. These requirements demanded that bonded joints in the B-58 be carefully designed and thoroughly evaluated. Joints in the B-58 were designed by “empirical procedures,” established for a specific adhesive syetem. Large numbers of test panels were required to confirm panel integrity and establish allowables for design. The development and adoption of accurate theoretical technique for predicting joint streqgths has been pursued and can be expected to reduce both the cost and the amount of testing required to achieve reliable deign with adhesives.