Fatigue and fracture analysis of helicopter fuselage structures

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2013
Özcan, Rıza
In this study a methodology is developed for the fatigue and fracture analysis of helicopter fuselage structures, which are considered as the stiffened panels. The damage tolerance behavior of the stiffened panels multiaxially loaded is investigated by implementing virtual crack closure technique (VCCT). Validation of VCCT is done through comparison between numerical analysis and the studies from literature, which consists of stiffened panels uniaxially loaded and the panel with an inclined crack. A program based on Fortran programming language is developed to automate the crack growth analysis under mixed mode conditions. The program integrates the prediction of the change in crack propagation direction by maximum circumferential stress criterion and the computation of energy release rate by VCCT. It allows reducing the computation time for damage tolerance evaluation for mixed mode cases through finite element analysis and runs the procedure file of MSC.Marc/Mentat for numerical analysis and the program generated by Patran Command Language (PCL) of MSC.Patran for remeshing. The developed code is verified by comparing the crack growth trajectories obtained by numerical analysis with the experimental studies from literature. A submodeling technique is utilized to analyze a particular fuselage portion of helicopter tail boom. Effects of different skin/stringer configurations of the helicopter fuselage structure on stress intensity factor are studied by means of the developed program. Fatigue crack growth analysis is performed by using stress intensity factors obtained from numerical analysis and fatigue propagation models proposed in literature.

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Citation Formats
R. Özcan, “Fatigue and fracture analysis of helicopter fuselage structures,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2013.