Reliability Aspects of a Composite Bolted Scarf Joint

    Published: Jan 1975

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    A wing splice representative of a next-generation transport aircraft requires an extended fatigue life and the capability of disassembly and reassembly. The design, fabrication, static test, and fatigue test of both tension and compression graphite-epoxy candidates for such a splice was the objective of the research program reported here. A single-scarf bolted joint was selected as the design concept.

    Test specimens were designed and fabricated to represent an upper surface and a lower surface panel containing the splice. The load spectrum was a flight-by-flight random load history including ground-air-ground loads.

    The results of the fatigue testing indicate that, for this type of joint, the inherent fatigue resistance of the laminate is reflected in the joint behavior, and consequently the rate of damage accumulation is very slow under realistic fatigue loadings.


    composite materials, composites, laminates, bolted joints, strength, wearout, tension fatigue tests, compression fatigue tests, structures, reliability, random loads

    Author Information:

    Reed, DL
    Senior structures engineer, General Dynamics, Fort Worth, Tex.

    Eisenmann, JR
    Senior structures engineer, General Dynamics, Fort Worth, Tex.

    Committee/Subcommittee: D30.04

    DOI: 10.1520/STP32302S

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