Aircraft fatigue analysis
Objective Able to predict fatigue life of aircraft structures under cyclic loadings
Fatigue is a very important area of concern which will affect the structural integrity. Approximately 75% of all aircraft structural failures are due to fatigue.
Definition: Fatigue is a process of progressive permanent structural change in a material subjected to repeated cyclic applications of stresses associated with operating loads. It is a failure mode that occurs as a result of large number of fluctuations.
Prepared by :Dr. Dayang Laila Week 3
A single load will not harm the structure if below static failure load.
Loads applied on aircraft structures are seldom static (monotonic) but usually fluctuate either above some mean stress or with complete reversal in sign. fatigue failure can occur. will result in catastrophic failure. Dayang Laila Week 2
. but if repeated many times. Fatigue failure initiates small (micro) cracks in the material which eventually grow into large (macro) cracks. If not detected.
Prepared by :Dr. Endurance limit (fatigue limit) – the highest stress level which the material can withstand for an infinite number of load cycles without failure.
Fatigue cracks in the pressurized fuselage structure initiated a fuselage decompression failure at a high altitude.
. • Approximately 2/3 of all structural failures are due to fatigue. • Historical disasters: DeHavilland Comet aircraft in 1954.Scope of problem
• 10% of all aircraft crashes are due to structural failure. but only 2-3% in civil aircraft.
•Improper assembly (including damage by maintenance)
•Corrosion added initiation (surface corrosion progressing inwards causing strength deteriorates) •Defective material •Fretting aided initiation (small scale rubbing movements and abrasion of adjacent parts) •Thermal aided initiation (caused by thermal expansion and contraction) •High frequency stress fluctuations due to vibrations excited by jet or propeller noise.
. notch effects.Major cause of fatigue cracking
•Design deficiencies (stresses too high.
Why structures fail due to fatigue?
Aircraft loads are cyclic and complex. it is unlikely to be due to a simple event.
. depending routes and types of aircraft. If the fracture of a component is the primary failure mode.
It is very important to get correct stresses in order to estimate fatigue lives of structural components. etc will increase the probability of fatigue failure. sharp corners. Fatigue cracks are most likely to initiate at these stress concentration sites.-stress concentrations at holes. cut-outs.
Elastic stress concentration
5(Smax + Smin) ∆S = Smax-Smin R = Smin/Smax
. Sm=0.Definitions for fatigue analysis
Stress cycle: it is the smallest section of the stress-time function which is repeatedly periodically and identically.5(Smax – Smin) Mean stress.
Stress amplitude. Sa=0.
Other examples of simple constant amplitude loading cycles.
Fatigue life – the useful life as limited by fatigue. it is the highest level of specified character which may be applied for an infinite number of cycles. N – the number of stress cycles to failure for tests at constant amplitudes. In aeronautics the life may be expressed as flying hours. Sam(N) – the alternating stress at a specified mean stress that give rise to an endurance N.Endurance. Example: Sa0(104) denotes that the alternating stress which under zero mean stress give rise to an endurance of 10000 cycles. performance or service ability. or Se – the highest level of alternating stress for a given mean stress at which the endurance may be regarded as infinite. Fatigue strength.
. number of flights. The criterion oflimitation maybe one of strength. number of applied loading cycles. Fatigue limit. In other words. etc.
Laboratory fatigue testing method:
Eg: Rotating bending machine.Fatigue analysis under constant amplitude loading
Fatigue test on actual components are often impossible .
.high cost and time consuming.
Fatigue limit (endurance limit)
2. S-N curve
• • • experimental tests Derived S-N curve Statistical nature of fatigue
1. relationship was found between fatigue limit and ultimate tensile strength.5 (steel. where mean stress is zero)
.Presentation of fatigue data
Se/Sult = 0. ESDU data sheet
From rotating bending tests.
Example of fatigue curve
Example of S-N curve as a result of a number of fatigue test
Mean stress effects on fatigue life
In most applications.
Higher tensile mean stress will decrease/increase fatigue life?
. cyclic stress applied to a component is seldom fully reversed.
Combined effects of alternating and mean stress on fatigue endurance
Goodman and Soderberg diagrams
Gerber’s parabola is generally good for ductile alloys.
1. The Soderberg line provides a conservative estimate of fatigue life for most engineering alloys
2. 3.Observations of models
Experience has shown that most test data lie between the Gerber and Goodman diagrams. Goodman’s line matches experimental data quite closely for brittle metals. but is conservative for ductile alloys.
Note that the ratio OB/OA is a reasonable assessment of the
Reserve Factor or Safety Factor.In general. which at its simplest is shown below.
. the most widely used design aid for estimating the effect of mean stress on the alternating stress amplitude is the Goodman diagram.
.Fatigue analysis under variable amplitude loading
Constant amplitude loading – not realistic.
Block loading spectrum
The load spectrum may be simplified by some multilevel stress patterns(block loading spectrum). The stress cycles is divided into groups characterized by stress magnitude and number of cycles.
In other words. or Miner’s law. for each stress level the fatigue damage is
appliedloadcycles(ni ) Di allowableloadcycles( N i)
. then the amount of damage (Di) which will be caused by this particular stress amplitude will be ni/Ni.Cumulative damage due to a variety of stress amplitudes
Best known and widely used method for estimating the cumulative damage is known as the Palmgren-Miner’s rule. Hypothesis of the law: if the structure is subjected to ni cycles at a stress amplitude of σa for which the average number of cycles to failure is Ni.
0 i 1 N i
Where k = number of stress levels in the loading spectrum
σi = ith stress level ni = number of cycles applied at σi Ni = fatigue life at σi (from material S-N data)
. the total damage is a sum of the different damage ratios and failure should still occur when the ratio sum equals one.When fatigue loading involves many levels of stress amplitudes. In general form:
ni Di 1.
Palmgren-Miner’s Linear Cumulative Damage Rule
Notch effect (such as fasteners holes. The effect of the order of the load applications (as shown below) 2.Limitations of Palmgren-Miner method
These effects are not accounted for: 1. etc)