Aircraft lap joints play an important role in minimizing the operational cost of airlines. Hence, airlines pay more attention to these technologies to improve efficiency. Namely, a major time consuming and costly process is maintenance of aircraft between the flights, for instance, to detect early formation of cracks, monitoring crack growth, and fixing the corresponding parts with joints, if necessary. This work is focused on the study of repairs of cracked aluminium alloy (AA) 2024-T3 plates to regain their original strength; particularly, cracked AA 2024-T3 substrate plates repaired with doublers of AA 2024-T3 with two configurations (riveted and with adhesive bonding) are analysed. The fatigue life of the substrate plates with cracks of 1, 2, 5, 10 and 12.7mm is computed using Fracture Analysis 3D (FRANC3D) tool. The stress intensity factors for the repaired AA 2024-T3 plates are computed for different crack lengths and compared using commercial FEA tool ABAQUS. The results for the bonded repairs showed significantly lower stress intensity factors compared with the riveted repairs. This improves the overall fatigue life of the bonded joint.
The effects of aging temperature and time on the physical structure of and corrosion protection provided by trivalent chromium process (TCP) coatings on AA2024-T3 are reported. The TCP coating forms a partially blocking barrier layer on the alloy surface that consists of hydrated channels and or defects. It is through these channels and defects that ions and dissolved O2 can be transported to small areas of the underlying alloy. Reactions initiate at these sites, which can ultimately lead to undercutting of the coating and localized corrosion. We tested the hypothesis that collapsing the channels and or reducing the number of defects in the coating might be possible through post-deposition heat treatment, and that this would enhance the corrosion protection provided by the coating. This was tested by aging the TCP-coated AA2024 alloys in air overnight at room temperature (RT), 55, 100, or 150 °C. The TCP coating became dehydrated and thinner at the high temperatures (55 and 100 °C). This improved the corrosion protection as evidenced by a 2× increase in the charge transfer resistance. Aging at 150 °C caused excessive coating dehydration and shrinkage. This led to severe cracking and detachment of the coating from the surface. The TCP-coated AA2024 samples were also aged in air at RT from 1 to 7 days. There was no thinning of the coating, but the corrosion protection was enhanced with a longer aging period as evidenced by a 4× increase in the charge transfer resistance. The coating became more hydrophobic after aging at elevated temperature (up to 100 °C) and with aging time at RT as evidenced by an increased water contact angle from 7 to 100 °C.
Alternate alkaline and neutral chemical paint strippers have been identified that, with respect to corrosion requirements, perform as well as or better than a methylene chloride baseline. These chemicals also, in general, meet corrosion acceptance criteria as specified in SAE MA 4872. Alternate acid chemical paint strippers have been identified that, with respect to corrosion requirements, perform as well as or better than a methylene chloride baseline. However, these chemicals do not generally meet corrosion acceptance criteria as specified in SAE MA 4872, especially in the areas of non-clad material performance and hydrogen embrittlement. Media blast methods reviewed in the study do not, in general, adversely affect fatigue performance or crack detectability of 2024-T3 substrate. Sodium bicarbonate stripping exhibited a tendency towards inhibiting crack detectability. These generalizations are based on a limited sample size and additional testing should be performed to characterize the response of specific substrates to specific processes.
In order to determine the influence of ductility on the fatigue crack growth rate of aluminum alloys, fatigue tests were carried out on central notched specimens of 2024-T3 and 2024-T8 sheet material. The 2024-T8 material was obtained by an additional heat treatment applied on 2024-T3 (18 hours at 192 C), which increased the static yield strength from 43.6 to 48.9 kgf/sq mm. A change in the ultimate strength was not observed. Fatigue tests were carried out on both materials in humid air and in high vacuum. According to a new crack propagation model, crack extension is supported to be caused by a slip-related process and debonding triggered by the environment. This model predicts an effect of the ductility on the crack growth rate which should be smaller in vacuum than in humid air; however, this was not confirmed. In humid air the crack-growth rate in 2024-T8 was about 2 times faster than in 2024-T3, while in vacuum the ratio was about 2.5. Crack closure measurements gave no indications that crack closure played a significant role in both materials. Some speculative explanations are briefly discussed.
Pressure proof testing of aircraft fuselage structures has been suggested as a means of screening critical crack sizes and of extending their useful life. The objective of this paper is to study the proof-test concept and to model the crack-growth process on a ductile material. Simulated proof and operational fatigue life tests have been conducted on cracked panels made of 2024-T3 aluminum alloy sheet material. A fatigue crack-closure model was modified to simulate the proof test and operational fatigue cycling. Using crack-growth rate and resistance-curve data, the model was able to predict crack growth during and after the proof load. These tests and analyses indicate that the proof test increases fatigue life; but the beneficial life, after a 1.33 or 1.5 proof, was less than a few hundred cycles.
A series of fracture tests were conducted on Middle-crack tension M(T) and compact tension C(T) specimens to determine the effects of specimen type, specimen width, notch tip sharpness and buckling on the fracture behavior of cracked thin sheet (0.04 inch thick) 2024-T3 aluminum alloy material. A series of M(T) specimens were tested with three notch tip configurations: (1) a fatigue pre-cracked notch, (2) a 0.010-inch-diameter wire electrical discharge machined (EDM) notch, and (3) a EDM notch sharpened with a razor blade. The test procedures are discussed and the experimental results for failure stress, load vs. crack extension and the material stress-strain response are reported.
Single-edge, semi-circular notched specimens of Al 2024-T3, 2.3 mm thick, were cyclicly loaded at R-ratios of 0.5, 0.0, -1.0, and -2.0. The notch roots were periodically inspected using a replica technique which duplicates the bore surface. The replicas were examined under an optical microscope to determine the initiation of very short cracks and to monitor the growth of short cracks ranging in length from a few tens of microns to the specimen thickness. In addition to short crack growth measurements, the crack opening displacement (COD) was measured for surface cracks as short as 0.035 mm and for through-thickness cracks using the Interferometric Strain/Displacement Gage (ISDG), a laser-based optical technique. The growth rates of short cracks were faster than the long crack growth rates for R-ratios of -1.0 and -2.0. No significant difference between short and long crack growth rates was observed for R = 0.0. Short cracks had slower growth rates than long cracks for R = 0.5. The crack opening stresses measured for short cracks were smaller than those predicted for large cracks, with little difference appearing for positive R-ratios and large differences noted for negative R-ratios.
Variable amplitude loading crack growth tests have been conducted to provide data that can be used to evaluate crack growth prediction codes. Tests with periodic overloads or overloads followed by underloads were conducted on titanium alloy Ti-6Al-2Sn-2Zr-2Mo-2Cr solution treated and aged (Ti62222STA) material at room temperature and at 350 F. Spectrum fatigue crack growth tests were conducted on two materials (Ti62222STA and aluminum alloy 2024-T3) using two transport lower-wing test spectra at two temperatures (room temperature and 350 F (Ti only)). Test lives (growth from an initial crack half-length of 0.15 in. to failure) were recorded in all tests and the crack length against cycles (or flights) data were recorded in many of the tests. The following observations were made regarding the test results: (1) in tests of the Ti62222STA material, the tests at 350 F had longer lives than those at room temperature, (2) in tests to the MiniTwist spectrum, the Al2024T3 material showed much greater crack growth retardations due to the highest stresses in the spectrum than did the Ti62222STA material, and (3) comparisons of material crack growth performances on an "equal weight" basis were spectrum dependent.
The influence of transverse shear stresses on the fatigue crack growth rate in thin 2024-T3 aluminum alloy sheets is investigated experimentally. The tests are performed on double-edge cracked sheets in cyclic tensile and torsional loading. This loading generates crack tip stress intensity factors in the same ratio as the values computed for a crack lying along a lap joint in a pressurized aircraft fuselage. The relevant fracture mechanics of cracks in thin plates along with the details of the geometrically nonlinear finite element analyses used for the test specimen calibration are developed and discussed. Preliminary fatigue crack growth data correlated using the fully coupled stress intensity factor calibration are presented and compared with fatigue crack growth data from pure delta K(sub I)fatigue tests.
Fatigue crack growth tests were conducted on 0.09 inch thick, 3.0 inch wide middle-crack tension specimens cut from sheets of 2024-T3 aluminum alloy. The tests were conducted using a load sequence that consisted of a single block of 2,500 cycles of constant amplitude loading followed by an overload/underload combination. The largest fatigue crack growth life occurred for the tests with the overload stress equal to 2 times the constant amplitude stress and the underload stress equal to the constant amplitude minimum stress. For the tests with compressive underloads, the fatigue crack growth life decreased with increasing compressive underload stress. 2b1af7f3a8