Damage Tolerance Predictions in a Diminishing Stress Field
Abstract: Cracks growing in spar webs are not as damage tolerant critical as typically predicted. Test evidence and fleet history suggest that cracks can slow and possibly even arrest because the crack driving force drops as the crack grows toward the beam’s neutral axis. In this fiscally austere environment, it is desirable to eliminate any unnecessary inspections and focus efforts on more critical areas. A rigorous program has been undertaken to more accurately characterize the growth of cracks in a diminishing stress field with the goal of eliminating unneeded inspections.
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“At DST Group, we have effectively used StressCheck® over the last 10 years to determine accurate stress intensity factors. The results have been used to improve our residual strength and structural life estimates for aircraft in service with the Royal Australian Airforce, including C-130, P-3C and F/A-18 A/B. We have found it to be extremely easy to use and a very versatile code with which to create parametric models.
We have recently used StressCheck® to obtain improved stress intensity factor solutions (Improved stress intensity factors for selected configurations in cracked plates and Improved stress intensity factors for a single corner crack at a loaded fastener hole) for five key generic configurations. These transferable parametric results have been published externally. One specific example is the non-linear contact analysis of a cracked, filled fastener hole, with both fastener and remote plate loading.”
Dr. Manfred Heller, HeadStructural & Damage Mechanics, DST Group