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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“We have been having very good success using the P-Version finite element code, StressCheck®, to develop the 2-D solutions for two independent cracks in a plate. I have asked one of our AFGROW team members to model the plate and lug cases using StressCheck® and compare them to the existing AFGROW closed-form solutions. [He] modeled the cases several different ways to be sure that he was getting the best possible solutions. He has verified that the bearing load option in StressCheck® provides excellent results”