Papers by Author: Graham Clark

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Authors: Timothy J. Harrison, Bruce R. Crawford, Graham Clark, Milan Brandt
Abstract: This paper presents a model that predicts the stress field around intergranular corrosion. The stress analysis is conducted in ABAQUS via a Python input script, which is written in Igor Pro. The intergranular corrosion path is described using a Monte-Carlo Markov Chain based on the materials grain size distribution and probability that the corrosion will turn at a grain boundary junction. The model allows a complete analysis of the stresses resulting from intergranular corrosion around a fastener hole of any size. As fatigue initiation is most likely to occur at the highest stress concentration, this model gives an understanding of which of the features of intergranular corrosion are most critical and can allow for the development of beta solutions for crack growth. This model has been applied to 7075-T651 extruded aluminum alloy from a legacy era aircraft but can be readily applied to any material where the microstructure is known and can be described using a statistical distribution.
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Authors: Graham Clark, Ung Hing Tiong, Aditya Jaya
Abstract: Aircraft joints feature prominently in aircraft structural degradation. Fatigue cracking and corrosion damage can reduce joint strength and degrade service life. Corrosion management can include use of paints and sealants and, increasingly, the application of Corrosion Inhibiting Compounds (CICs) which retard corrosion, by penetrating into crevices and cracks, and displacing water. A combination of coatings and CIC use can provide effective corrosion protection, but both interact - in different ways - with structural performance and overall system durability. This paper discusses the interaction between these two corrosion protection measures and fatigue performance of joints. The first issue relates to a reduction in the fatigue life of mechanically-fastened joints after application of CICs (or other lubricants) The lubricating properties of the CICs reduce the friction at the faying surface, which may change the load transfer characteristics of the joint. The paper discusses results from a test program assessing the fatigue life and failure mode of riveted lap joints; the results show a marked reduction in fatigue life for joints containing CICs, and the paper discusses the changes which may be responsible for the reduction. The second issue discussed is the degradation of protective coatings in service. Joints are key locations for coating cracking and failure, since areas such as sheet ends and fastener heads, where displacements are concentrated, will produce concentrated strain in coatings. So far, however, the potential influence of aircraft loading on coating degradation prognostics has received little attention. The paper discusses the role of joint displacement in service as a factor contributing to early degradation of aircraft coatings, and argues that this local strain effect, and indeed structural loading history, needs to be considered in predicting and assessing rates of coating degradation. It describes initial analyses of displacements in aircraft joints, to identify the levels of coating strain and the roles and relative contributions of the various deflections in the joints. The results indicate the potential for very large strains in coatings.
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Authors: Ung Hing Tiong, Bruce R. Crawford, Graham Clark
Abstract: The degradation and failure of protective coatings (paints and sealants) is a key element influencing the service life of aircraft. Such degradation is influenced by the response of coatings to environmental factors such as high temperatures and exposure to ultraviolet radiation, as well as chemical factors. However, the effect of loading and load history on coating durability has received little attention, despite clearly being a factor in determining failure sites (such as joints) and the rate of degradation. This paper describes the key characteristics of coatings at aircraft joints, and the nature of the strains experienced by coatings in locations influenced by in-service loads. It is first step in assessing the complex strain history at joint strain concentration locations as part of developing a prognostic capability for the service life of aircraft coatings. The configuration of coating layers at different joints is important and this research has considered a simplification of a butt strap joint from a RAAF military aircraft and a generic lap joint; predictions of critical movements/displacements have been made using finite element analysis; the predictions will be tested later as part of an experimental program associated with a full-scale fatigue test.
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Authors: Reza Mohammed, Qian Chu Liu, Madabhushi Janardhana, Graham Clark
Abstract: High-strength steels are used in several critical aerospace applications such as aircraft landing gear, primary structure and engine components. These steels, such as the AISI 4340 assessed here exhibit small critical crack sizes, and when they suffer in-service damage from impact or corrosion, repairing the damage is particularly challenging. One potential repair method is using laser assisted metal deposition (LAMD or ‘laser cladding’ LC), to rebuild the damaged region or the grinding depression remaining after the damage has been removed. The critical situations where these materials are used makes it essential that repairs do not introduce any degradation, such as microcracking, that could lead to failure in service. In this trial, 420 grade stainless steel cladding powder was used to produce a clad layer with both high strength and good corrosion resistance. The cladding was performed under various powder mass flow rates, traverse speeds, and laser powers. The clad thickness and the depth of the fusion zone varied, as expected, with all the cladding conditions. It was found that there was very little porosity, and importantly, no evidence of microcracking under any cladding condition. There were some small defects near the clad boundary, apparently associated with each clad pass. The absence of microcracking is a promising result, and the research will be continued to assess the effect of microstructure and defects on performance of the repaired plates.
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Authors: Sunny Lok Hin Chan, Ung Hing Tiong, Graham Clark
Abstract: While many fixed-wing aircraft have adopted damage-tolerant design in recent years, helicopter design is still based predominantly on a safe life approach, in which relatively simple Stress Life (S-N) data underpins the tools used for life prediction. Due to their unique loading, helicopter structures experience a high number of loading cycles as compared to fixed-wing aircraft, and this presents a more challenging fatigue life management problem. To minimise the fatigue damage, the helicopter community tends to design components such that most of the loading experienced falls below the fatigue limit of the selected material. These materials are usually of high strength and have good fatigue properties, although the large number of cycles experienced by some components raises the possibility of fatigue in the “gigacycle” regime where the fatigue limit drops to a new, lower level. This paper discusses the suitability of a high-quality PH 13-8 Mo steel for critical helicopter usage, using a simulated application in Australian service to evaluate its fatigue performance particularly at high R ratio and other properties such as density, corrosion properties and cost in terms of the operational environment experienced in Australian helicopter operations.
2507
Authors: Aditya Jaya, Ung Hing Tiong, Graham Clark
Abstract: This paper discusses experiments investigating the effect of lubrication on surface damage in riveted lap joints which experience fatigue loading in aircraft structure. As part of a larger investigation into the effect of lubricants (specifically Corrosion Inhibiting Compounds, CICs) on fatigue performance, the fracture surfaces were examined to determine the crack initiation sites, and the failure modes involved. Scanning Electron Microscopy was also utilized to assess the nature of the fracture surfaces. The results showed that under the loading used, all the specimens which had not been treated with the CICs, and some treated specimens, failed by tensile failure of the sheet. Some treated specimens failed by rivet shearing. The results suggested that the presence of lubrication at the contacting surface might have reduced frictional load transfer, contributing to the change in failure mode. For specimens that failed in the sheet material, fatigue cracking and micro-void coalescence were the fracture modes, with the potential influence of fretting as a fatigue source.
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Authors: Steven P. Knight, Graham Clark, A.J. Davenport, Anthony R. Trueman
Abstract: Intergranular corrosion can lead to significant problems such as sub-critical crack growth or loss in section strength, potentially leading to failure, as well as a substantially increased maintenance burden. This type of corrosion is found in most types of aluminium alloys, but is a particularly significant problem in aerospace aluminium alloys. The form of intergranular corrosion can vary widely, and may depend on alloy composition, product form, environmental conditions and the presence or otherwise of local or global stresses. One notable example is the occurrence of intergranular corrosion due to atmospheric corrosion, in which salts and deposits deliquesce on the surface forming discrete corrosion cells. Intergranular corrosion of aluminium alloys is usually most rapid in the rolling or extrusion direction of wrought alloy. The reasons for this are not fully understood, and may include texture effects that produce highly susceptible grain boundaries, the inhomogeneous distribution of noble constituent particles, and stresses acting at a microscale. This paper will review and discuss the evidence for and against for the different effects mentioned.
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