Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 5

Damage Tolerance Related Abstracts

5 Probabilistic Damage Tolerance Methodology for Solid Fan Blades and Discs

Authors: Andrej Golowin, Viktor Denk, Axel Riepe


Solid fan blades and discs in aero engines are subjected to high combined low and high cycle fatigue loads especially around the contact areas between blade and disc. Therefore, special coatings (e.g. dry film lubricant) and surface treatments (e.g. shot peening or laser shock peening) are applied to increase the strength with respect to combined cyclic fatigue and fretting fatigue, but also to improve damage tolerance capability. The traditional deterministic damage tolerance assessment based on fracture mechanics analysis, which treats service damage as an initial crack, often gives overly conservative results especially in the presence of vibratory stresses. A probabilistic damage tolerance methodology using crack initiation data has been developed for fan discs exposed to relatively high vibratory stresses in cross- and tail-wind conditions at certain resonance speeds for limited time periods. This Monte-Carlo based method uses a damage databank from similar designs, measured vibration levels at typical aircraft operations and wind conditions and experimental crack initiation data derived from testing of artificially damaged specimens with representative surface treatment under combined fatigue conditions. The proposed methodology leads to a more realistic prediction of the minimum damage tolerance life for the most critical locations applicable to modern fan disc designs.

Keywords: Surface treatment, Engine, Damage Tolerance, combined fatigue

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4 Probabilistic Study of Impact Threat to Civil Aircraft and Realistic Impact Energy

Authors: Ye Zhang, Chuanjun Liu


In-service aircraft is exposed to different types of threaten, e.g. bird strike, ground vehicle impact, and run-way debris, or even lightning strike, etc. To satisfy the aircraft damage tolerance design requirements, the designer has to understand the threatening level for different types of the aircraft structures, either metallic or composite. Exposing to low-velocity impacts may produce very serious internal damages such as delaminations and matrix cracks without leaving visible mark onto the impacted surfaces for composite structures. This internal damage can cause significant reduction in the load carrying capacity of structures. The semi-probabilistic method provides a practical and proper approximation to establish the impact-threat based energy cut-off level for the damage tolerance evaluation of the aircraft components. Thus, the probabilistic distribution of impact threat and the realistic impact energy level cut-offs are the essential establishments required for the certification of aircraft composite structures. A new survey of impact threat to civil aircraft in-service has recently been carried out based on field records concerning around 500 civil aircrafts (mainly single aisles) and more than 4.8 million flight hours. In total 1,006 damages caused by low-velocity impact events had been screened out from more than 8,000 records including impact dents, scratches, corrosions, delaminations, cracks etc. The impact threat dependency on the location of the aircraft structures and structural configuration was analyzed. Although the survey was mainly focusing on the metallic structures, the resulting low-energy impact data are believed likely representative to general civil aircraft, since the service environments and the maintenance operations are independent of the materials of the structures. The probability of impact damage occurrence (Po) and impact energy exceedance (Pe) are the two key parameters for describing the statistic distribution of impact threat. With the impact damage events from the survey, Po can be estimated as 2.1x10-4 per flight hour. Concerning the calculation of Pe, a numerical model was developed using the commercial FEA software ABAQUS to backward estimate the impact energy based on the visible damage characteristics. The relationship between the visible dent depth and impact energy was established and validated by drop-weight impact experiments. Based on survey results, Pe was calculated and assumed having a log-linear relationship versus the impact energy. As the product of two aforementioned probabilities, Po and Pe, it is reasonable and conservative to assume Pa=PoxPe=10-5, which indicates that the low-velocity impact events are similarly likely as the Limit Load events. Combing Pa with two probabilities Po and Pe obtained based on the field survey, the cutoff level of realistic impact energy was estimated and valued as 34 J. In summary, a new survey was recently done on field records of civil aircraft to investigate the probabilistic distribution of impact threat. Based on the data, two probabilities, Po and Pe, were obtained. Considering a conservative assumption of Pa, the cutoff energy level for the realistic impact energy has been determined, which provides potential applicability in damage tolerance certification of future civil aircraft.

Keywords: probabilistic, Damage Tolerance, composite structure, impact threat

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3 Damage Tolerance of Composites Containing Hybrid, Carbon-Innegra, Fibre Reinforcements

Authors: Armin Solemanifar, Arthur Wilkinson, Kinjalkumar Patel


Carbon fibre (CF) - polymer laminate composites have very low densities (approximately 40% lower than aluminium), high strength and high stiffness but in terms of toughness properties they often require modifications. For example, adding rubbers or thermoplastics toughening agents are common ways of improving the interlaminar fracture toughness of initially brittle thermoset composite matrices. The main aim of this project was to toughen CF-epoxy resin laminate composites using hybrid CF-fabrics incorporating Innegra™ a commercial highly-oriented polypropylene (PP) fibre, in which more than 90% of its crystal orientation is parallel to the fibre axis. In this study, the damage tolerance of hybrid (carbon-Innegra, CI) composites was investigated. Laminate composites were produced by resin-infusion using: pure CF fabric; fabrics with different ratios of commingled CI, and two different types of pure Innegra fabrics (Innegra 1 and Innegra 2). Dynamic mechanical thermal analysis (DMTA) was used to measure the glass transition temperature (Tg) of the composite matrix and values of flexural storage modulus versus temperature. Mechanical testing included drop-weight impact, compression-after-impact (CAI), and interlaminar (short-beam) shear strength (ILSS). Ultrasonic C-Scan imaging was used to determine the impact damage area and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) to observe the fracture mechanisms that occur during failure of the composites. For all composites, 8 layers of fabrics were used with a quasi-isotropic sequence of [-45°, 0°, +45°, 90°]s. DMTA showed the Tg of all composites to be approximately same (123 ±3°C) and that flexural storage modulus (before the onset of Tg) was the highest for the pure CF composite while the lowest were for the Innegra 1 and 2 composites. Short-beam shear strength of the commingled composites was higher than other composites, while for Innegra 1 and 2 composites only inelastic deformation failure was observed during the short-beam test. During impact, the Innegra 1 composite withstood up to 40 J without any perforation while for the CF perforation occurred at 10 J. The rate of reduction in compression strength upon increasing the impact energy was lowest for the Innegra 1 and 2 composites, while CF showed the highest rate. On the other hand, the compressive strength of the CF composite was highest of all the composites at all impacted energy levels. The predominant failure modes for Innegra composites observed in cross-sections of fractured specimens were fibre pull-out, micro-buckling, and fibre plastic deformation; while fibre breakage and matrix delamination were a major failure observed in the commingled composites due to the more brittle behaviour of CF. Thus, Innegra fibres toughened the CF composites but only at the expense of reducing compressive strength.

Keywords: Damage Tolerance, hybrid composite, compression strength, thermoplastic fibre

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2 Classification of Impact Damages with Respect of Damage Tolerance Design Approach and Airworthiness Requirements

Authors: R. Doubrava, T. Mrna


This paper describes airworthiness requirements with respect damage tolerance. Damage tolerance determines the amount and magnitude of damage on parts of the airplane. Airworthiness requirements determine the amount of damage that can still be in flight capable of the condition. Component damage can be defined as barely visible impact damage, visible impact damage or clear visible impact damage. Damage is also distributed it according to the velocity. It is divided into low or high velocity impact damage. The severity of damage to the part of airplane divides the airworthiness requirements into several categories according to severity. Airworthiness requirements are determined by type airplane. All types of airplane do not have the same conditions for airworthiness requirements. This knowledge is important for designing and operating an airplane.

Keywords: Composite, Damage Tolerance, airworthiness requirements, low and high velocity impact

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1 Microstructure Dependent Fatigue Crack Growth in Aluminum Alloy

Authors: M. S. Nandana, K. Udaya Bhat, C. M. Manjunatha


In this study aluminum alloy 7010 was subjected to three different ageing treatments i.e., peak ageing (T6), over-ageing (T7451) and retrogression and re ageing (RRA) to study the influence of precipitate microstructure on the fatigue crack growth rate behavior. The microstructural modification was studied by using transmission electron microscope (TEM) to examine the change in the size and morphology of precipitates in the matrix and on the grain boundaries. The standard compact tension (CT) specimens were fabricated and tested under constant amplitude fatigue crack growth tests to evaluate the influence of heat treatment on the fatigue crack growth rate properties. The tests were performed in a computer-controlled servo-hydraulic test machine applying a load ratio, R = 0.1 at a loading frequency of 10 Hz as per ASTM E647. The fatigue crack growth was measured by adopting compliance technique using a CMOD gauge attached to the CT specimen. The average size of the matrix precipitates were found to be of 16-20 nm in T7451, 5-6 nm in RRA and 2-3 nm in T6 conditions respectively. The grain boundary precipitate which was continuous in T6, was disintegrated in RRA and T7451 condition. The PFZ width was lower in RRA compared to T7451 condition. The crack growth rate was higher in T7451 and lowest in RRA treated alloy. The RRA treated alloy also exhibits an increase in threshold stress intensity factor range (∆Kₜₕ). The ∆Kₜₕ measured was 11.1, 10.3 and 5.7 MPam¹/² in RRA, T6 and T7451 alloys respectively. The fatigue crack growth rate in RRA treated alloy was nearly 2-3 times lower than that in T6 and was one order lower than that observed in T7451 condition. The surface roughness of RRA treated alloy was more pronounced when compared to the other conditions. The reduction in fatigue crack growth rate in RRA alloy was majorly due to the increase in roughness and partially due to increase in spacing between the matrix precipitates. The reduction in crack growth rate and increase in threshold stress intensity range is expected to benefit the damage tolerant capability of aircraft structural components under service loads.

Keywords: Heat Treatment, Fatigue, Damage Tolerance, PFZ, RRA

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