Cosmetic repair of a thermoplastic carbon fiber composite

  • US 10,589,477 B2
  • Filed: 05/02/2016
  • Issued: 03/17/2020
  • Est. Priority Date: 05/02/2016
  • Status: Active Grant
First Claim
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1. A method of repairing a defect in a polymeric composite structure, the method comprising:

  • filling the defect in its entirety with a filling material, the filling material comprising a thermoplastic polymer or a thermoset polymer;

    smoothing the filling material so that the filling material has a surface that is flush with the exposed surface of the polymeric composite structure;

    hardening the filling material in the defect;

    disposing a polymeric patch over the defect;

    disposing a textured sheet over the polymeric patch, wherein the textured sheet has a first surface texture that is a negative of a second surface texture of the exposed surface of the polymeric composite structure;

    applying pressure to the polymeric patch and the textured sheet;

    heating the polymeric patch so that the polymeric patch softens, andcooling the polymeric patch,wherein the applying pressure and the heating causes the textured sheet to transfer the first surface texture to the polymeric patch, such that the polymeric patch has a third surface texture that matches the second surface texture of the polymeric composite structure, andwherein the cooling causes the polymeric patch to adhere to the polymeric composite structure.

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