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 MSA  Vol.11 No.7 , July 2020
The Effects of Fatigue Cracks on Fastener Loads during Cyclic Loading and on the Stresses Used for Crack Growth Analysis in Classical Linear Elastic Fracture Mechanics Approaches
Abstract: High strength threaded fasteners are widely used in the aircraft industry, and service experience shows that for structures where shear loading of the joints is significant, like skin splices, fuselage joints or spar caps-web attachments, more cracks are initiated and grow from the edges of the fastener holes than from features like fillets radii and corners or from large access holes. The main causes of this cracking are the stress concentrations introduced by the fastener holes and by the threaded fasteners themselves, with the most common damage site being at the edge of the fastener holes. Intuitively, it is easy to visualize that after the crack initiation, during the growth stages, some of the load transferred initially by the fastener at the cracked hole will decrease, and it will be shed to the adjacent fasteners that will carry higher loads than in uncracked condition. Using currently available computer software, the method presented in this paper provides a relatively quick and quantitatively defined solution to account for the effects of crack length on the fastener loads transfer, and on the far field and bypass loads at each fastener adjacent to the crack. At each location, these variations are determined from the 3-dimensional distribution of stresses in the joint, and accounting for secondary bending effects and fastener tilt. Two cases of a typical skins lap splice with eight fasteners in a two rows configuration loaded in tension are presented and discussed, one representative for wing or fuselage skins configurations, and the second case representative for cost effective laboratory testing. Each case presents five cracking scenarios, with the cracks growing from approx. 0.03 inch to either the free edge, next hole or both simultaneously.
Cite this paper: Gudas, C. (2020) The Effects of Fatigue Cracks on Fastener Loads during Cyclic Loading and on the Stresses Used for Crack Growth Analysis in Classical Linear Elastic Fracture Mechanics Approaches. Materials Sciences and Applications, 11, 505-551. doi: 10.4236/msa.2020.117035.
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