Today, cosmonauts on the ISS began repairing microcracks in a slowly leaking module. Counterintuitively, the first step is to drill small holes in the pressure hull at the end of each crack. This stops the crack from spreading further after it is sealed with adhesives.

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They do this for glass as well, especially windshields


Not really counterintuitive, this is a very old technique called stop-drilling. It was done on the Liberty Bell. Create a large enough radius to relieve the stress.


Is this related to the Griffith flaw theory? An even radius spreads the forces and stops the metal fatigue?


When I worked in aviation, we stop drilled cracks all the time! It interrupts the crack and doesn’t allow it to spread.


> after it is sealed with adhesives. Did they take a roll of flex-tape with them, or what materials/methods are they using for this?