Benchmark un-notched strength testing was used to characterize material properties for IM6/3501-6 composite material and to establish parameters for critical failure volume (CFV) (see [8]) analysis tools. Critical failure volume was used to predict the strength of scarfed composites, as well as composites having a scarf repair patch. Baseline repairs were created both without and with over-plies. Simplex optimization was performed on the analytical models to determine the repair stacking sequence that would result in the largest tensile strength for the repairs. The repair was optimized in the linear elastic regime, but strength predictions took into account both geometric nonlinearities of the respective materials and the material nonlinearities of the adhesive. Predicted strengths were in good agreement with experimental results, and the resultant optimal designs increased the strength of the repair under uni-axial tensile load by 10–20%.

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