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5 Major Structural Stresses Acting on Aircraft

Compression Tension Bending Shear Torsion / Twisting

Structural Design Philosophies

Fail Safe relies upon a duplication of certain structural members to

ensure that if one member failed, the other would assume the load of the failed member.

Damage Tolerance requires an evaluation of the structure to

ensure that should serious damage, that is cracking or partial failure, occur within the operational life of the aircraft, the remaining structure can withstand reasonable loads without failure until the damage is detected.

Fatigue This phenomenon of fracturing after a series of cyclic loads,

maybe much less than the ultimate load.

Safe Life The period during which it is considered that failure of a

component is extremely unlikely. Life may be expressed in flying hours, elapsed time, number of flights or number of applications of load.

Definitions of Structural Members

LONGERON - Main longitudinal member of a fuselage or nacelle. TIE ROD (TENSION ROD) Member taking a tensile load. STRUT Member taking a compression load. STRESSED SKIN Structure where loads are shared between skin and framework. FRAME Lateral fuselage or nacelle member giving cross-sectional shape which is often circular. RIB A fore and aft structural member of an aerofoil which has primary purpose of maintaining the correct contour of the covering but is usually also a stressed bearing component of the main structure. SPAR The main spanwise member of an aerofoil. Frequently consist of an upper and lower boom separated by a web.

STRINGER Stiffener which assist sheet materials to carry loads along their length. With integral construction they are machined or etched out of the skin panel. BULKHEAD - A partition within the structure. Usually lateral but can be longitudinal. If it forms the boundary of pressurized structure it is called a pressure bulkhead. CRACK STOPPER - A reinforcing member normally placed at right angles to the path of an anticipated crack which will reduce the rate of further propagation. AERODYNAMIC LOADING - The loads imposed on an aircraft in flight. STATIC LOADING - The loads imposed on an aircraft when stationary. STATION NUMBERS - Numbers allocated to certain components, e.g. frames and ribs, to indicate their positions within the structure. The numbers may represent in inches the distance from a datum point which could be the fuselage, nose or the wing root.

Fuselage Structure


a rigid framework made up of members such as beams, struts, and bars to resist deformation by applied loads. The truss-framed fuselage is generally covered with fabric.


The true monocoque construction uses formers, frame assemblies, and bulkheads to give shape to the fuselage, but the skin carries the primary stresses.


In addition to formers, frame assemblies, and bulkheads, the semimonocoque construction has the skin reinforced by longitudinal members. The reinforced shell has the skin reinforced by a complete framework of structural members.

Properties of Materials

HARDNESS - The property of a material that enables it to resist penetration, wear, or cutting action. STRENGTH - The ability of a material to withstand forces which tend to deform the metal in any direction, or the ability of a material to resist stress without breaking. ELASTICITY - The capability of an object or material to be stretched and to recover its size and shape after its deformation. PLASTICITY - The property of a metal which allows it to be reshaped. DUCTILITY - The property which allows metal to be drawn into thinner sections without breaking. MALLEABILITY - That characteristic of material that allows it to be stretched or shaped by beating with the hammer or passing through rollers without breaking.

TOUGHNESS - The property of a metal which allows it to be deformed without breaking. BRITTLENESS - The property of a metal to break when, deformed, or hammered. It is the resistance to change in the relative position of the molecules within the material. CONDUCTIVITY - The characteristic of a material which makes it possible for it to transmit heat or electrical conduction. DURABILITY - The property of metal that enables it to withstand force over a period of time.

Basic Designation for Wrought and Cast Aluminum Alloys (AA-Numbering System)
Wrought Alloys Alloy Number Major Identifying Elements

1XXX Pure Aluminum (99.00% minimum aluminum) 2XXX Copper 3XXX Manganese 4XXX Silicon 5XXX Magnesium 6XXX Magnesium and Silicon 7XXX Zinc 8XXX Other elements 9XXX Unused series

Cast Alloys Alloy Number Major Identifying Elements

1XXX 99.00 % minimum aluminium 2XXX Copper 3XXX Silicon with added copper and/or magnesium 4XXX Silicon 5XXX Magnesium 6XXX Unused series 7XXX Zinc 8XXX Tin 9XXX Other elements

Aluminum Association Numbering System

Hardening of Aluminum Alloys

3 Steps of Heat Treatment

The heat treatment takes place in three steps. Step 1: Solution heat treat, that is heating of the material to a specified temperature and holding it there for a specified time. Step 2: Quenching Step 3: Age hardening (precipitation) at room temperature or elevated temperature The quenching must occur rapidly. After quenching the material initially is soft and ductile.

Methods of Heat Treatment

Temper Designation System

Basic Temper Designation

F As fabricated O Annealed H Strain hardened (Non heat treatable products only) W Solution heat treated T Heat treated to produce stable tempers other than F, O, or H H 1 Strain hardened produced by cold working the metal to the desired dimension. H2 Strain hardened, then partially annealed to remove some of the hardness. H3 Strain hardened, then stabilized.

Temper Designation for Non Heat Treatable Alloys

The degree of hardening is indicated by a second digit following one of the above designations:

2 4 6 8 9

1/4 hard 1/2 hard 3/4 hard full hard extra hard

A third digit may be used to indicate a variation of a two digit number.

Temper Designation for Heat Treatable Alloys

T1 Cooled from an elevated temperature shaping process and naturally aged to a substantially stable condition T2 Annealed T3 Solution heat treated and cold worked. T4 Solution heat treated and naturally aged. T42 Solution heat treated from 0 temper to demonstrate response to heat treatment by the user, and naturally aged to a substantially stable condition T5 Cooled from an elevated temperature shaping process and artificially aged T6 Solution heat treated and artificially aged. T62 Solution heat treated from 0 F temper to demonstrate response to heat treatment by the user, and artificially aged T7 Solution heat treated and stabilized T8 Solution heat treated, cold worked, and artificially aged T9 Solution heat treated, artificially aged, and cold worked T10 Cooled from an elevated temperature shaping process, cold worked, and artificially aged

Aluminum Cladding

Several aluminium alloys as for example 2024 and 7075 are very susceptible tocorrosion. Sheets of such material are clad with a thin layer of pure aluminium with 1 % zinc on both sides as a means of corrosion protection. These layers are permanently welded to the base material in a rolling process at high temperature. Other than electroplated stock, clad material can be formed. The thickness of the clad layers is about 3 or 5 % of the material thickness. An ink print on US sheet metal that reads ALclad, Clad or ALC indicates that such sheet is clad.

Steel Numbering System


AFRP - Aramide Fibre Reinforced Plastic CFRP - Carbon Fibre Reinforced Plastic GFRP - Glass Fibre Reinforced Plastic HOBE - Honeycomb before Expansion MSDS - Material Safety Data Sheet NDT - Non Destructive Testing NTM - Non Destructive Testing Manual Prepeg - Pre impregnated Fabric SRM - Structural Repair Manual

Composite materials are mainly used to reduce weight, that means if weight can be saved, more cargo, fuel or passengers can be carried. More advantages are: high strength to weight ratio reducing of parts and fasteners reducing wear corrosion resistance

Disadvantages are: general expensive not easy to repair; that means you need well trained staff, tools, equipment and facilities to repair composite components

Elements of Composite Structure

Reinforcing Materials Core Materials Matrix

Rivet Head Style

Rivet Head Markings

C = 1.5 D

N = 0.5 D NOTE: As a rule of thumb, to determine fastener diameter to be used will be 3x the thickness of the thickest sheet.

426 Countersunk Head (100 degrees) 470 Universal Head

Hi-Lok Numbering

Limits and Fits

Clearance Fit in this assembly there is a space between the two parts. The shaft is always smaller than the part it fits into. Interference Fit in this assembly there is no space between the parts. The shaft is always larger than the part it fits into. This means that force is required to assemble the parts. Transition Fit this is a range of fits which can be either clearance or interference. The shaft can be larger or smaller than the part it fits into.

Bending Lay-out

Repair Basic

Structural Repair Manual (SRM) ATA Chapters

The manual is divided into the following chapters:

Chapter 51 - Structures, General Chapter 52 Doors Chapter 53 - Fuselage Chapter 54 - Nacelles and Pylons Chapter 55 - Stabilizers Chapter 56 - Windows Chapter 57 - Wings

Structural Repair Manual (SRM)


Pages 1-99, Figures 1-99, Tables 1-99

Pages 101-199, Figures 101-199, Tables 101-199 Pages 201-299, Figures 201-299, Tables 201-299


Page Block (PB) 201 REPAIRS

Aircraft Zoning System

Major Zones

100 - Lower Half of Fuselage 200 - Upper Half of Fuselage 300 - Empennage and Body Section 48 400 - Power Plants and Nacelle Struts 500 - Left Wing 600 - Right Wing 700 - Landing Gear and Landing Gear Doors (Fixed) 800 - Doors

Repair Lay-out
Pitch and Edge Distance The bolt and pin hole pitch values are from the center of one fastener hole to the center of the next fastener hole and are quoted in terms of the fastener nominal shank diameter .D.. For example, factor 4.0 x .D. = pitch. The bolt and pin hole edge distance values are from the center of one fastener hole to the nearest edge of the component. The edge distance values applicable to the protruding head fasteners for the wing structure are quoted in terms of the fastener nominal shank diameter .D. For example, factor 2.0 x .D. = edge distance . The edge distance values applicable to protruding and countersunk head fasteners are given in the repair instructions provided by the SRM. Rule of Thumb for the Edge Margin Use 2 to 2.5 times the diameter as a rule of thumb. Rule of Thumb for the Spacing Use 4 to 5 times the diameter as a rule of thumb.

CORROSION is a natural phenomenon which attacks metal by chemical or electrochemical action and converts it into a metallic compound. The corrosion occurs because of the tendency of metals to return to their natural state. Steel: Corrosion of steel is easily recognized because the corrosion product is red rust. Aluminum: Aluminum and its alloys exhibit a wide range of corrosion such as crevice, stress, and fretting corrosion

Four Conditions must exist for corrosion to start

Causes of Corrosion

Types of Corrosion


STRESS CORROSION - Stress corrosion cracking is an inter-granular cracking of the metal which is caused by a combination of stress and corrosion. Stress may be caused by internal or external loading. Internal stress are produced by non-uniform deformation during cold working, by unequal cooling from high temperatures, and by internal structural rearrangement involving volume changes.

FATIGUE CORROSION - Fatigue corrosion is caused by the combined effects of cyclic stress and corrosion.

Electrode Potential of Metals

ANODIC will give up electrons (corrode easily) CATHODIC least to corrode

Corrosion Inspection
Visual inspection

Magnifying glass, Mirrors, Borescope, fibre optics, Dye penetrant inspection Ultrasonic inspection Pulse-echo method Resonance method Eddy current inspection X-ray inspection

SEALANTS used to contain fuel, maintain cabin pressure, reduce fire hazards, exclude moisture, prevent corrosion, and fill gaps and smooth discontinuities on the aircraft exterior. SEALING is a process that confines liquids and gases within a given area or prevents them from entering areas from which they must be excluded.

Categories of Compounds Sealing compounds are divided into two categories, silicone and nonsilicone. 1.Silicone compounds are usually white, red, or grey in colour and are used in general where heat resistance is required. 2.Nonsilicone compounds can be any colour and are used where heat resistance is not required.
Specification / Classification The classification system for sealants in Boeing material specifications (BMS.s) is as follows: Class A Brushcoat Sealant. (Thinned with solvent to provide viscosity suitable for brushing). Class B Filleting Sealant. (Relatively heavy consistency with good thixotropic (lowslump) properties). Class C Faying Surface Sealant. (Medium consistency for good spreadability). Class D Hole-Filling Sealant. (Similar to Class B but with very low slump).

Classes E and F Sprayable sealant

Non-Destructive Testing (NDT)

1. Visual Inspection 2. Tap Test 3. Liquid Penetrate Inspection 4. Magnetic Particle Inspection 5. Eddy Current Inspection 6. Ultrasonic Inspection 7. X-ray Inspection