Volume 1, Issue 8 (September 2004)
Prediction of Crack Growth Under Variable-Amplitude and Spectrum Loading in a Titanium Alloy
The present paper is concerned with the application of a plasticity-induced crack-closure model, FASTRAN, to predict fatigue-crack growth under various load histories in a thin-sheet Ti-62222 STA titanium alloy. This alloy was a leading candidate for a metallic High-Speed-Civil-Transport (HSCT) aircraft in the United States. The crack-growth model was based on the Dugdale strip-yield model but modified to leave plastically deformed material in the wake of the advancing crack. The model includes the influence of “constraint” on the development of plasticity and closure during constant- and variable-amplitude load histories. The model was used to correlate crack-growth-rate data under constant-amplitude loading over a wide range in crack-growth rates and stress ratios at two service temperatures (room temperature and 175°C). Tests on repeated spike overloads were used to help establish the constraint variations in the model. The model was then used to predict crack growth under two simulated aircraft spectrum load histories at the two temperatures. The spectra were a commercial HSCT wing spectrum and the Mini-TWIST (transport wing spectrum). This paper will demonstrate how constraint plays a leading role in the retardation and acceleration effects that occur under variable-amplitude and spectrum loading. The model was able to calculate the effects of repeated spike overloads on crack growth at the two temperatures, generally within about ± 30%. Also, the predicted crack-growth behavior under the HSCT spectrum agreed well with test data (within 30%). However, the model under-predicted the fatigue-crack-growth behavior under the Mini-TWIST spectrum by about a factor-of-two. Some of the differences may be due to fretting-product-debris-induced closure or three-dimensional effects, such as free-surface closure, not included in the model. Further study is needed on life predictions under the Mini-TWIST flight spectrum.