The first step is to remove paint and/or outer coatings. Chemical paint strippers must NOT be used, unless you know for sure they are specifically designed for composite structures. Most paint strippers are based on Methylene Chloride, and will attack cured epoxy resin (which is a common basis, or matrix material, for composite structures). Paint and coatings may be removed by:
It is important to check any repair manuals—such as structural repair manuals (SRM’s) for aircraft—or guidelines offered by manufacturers, and also to make sure all health and safety requirements are met.
After paint removal, additional damage assessment is performed, as hidden damage now becomes more apparent. Damaged composite skin may be removed by careful routing or grinding through the damaged surface. Note the following guidelines:
Published courtesy of Abaris Training Resources, Inc