Effect of Interference on the Mechanics of Load Transfer in Aircraft Fuselage Lap Joints

[+] Author and Article Information
Amarendra Atre

 Butler International, Peoria, IL 61614

W. S. Johnson

 The George W Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering, 801 Ferst Drive N.W., Atlanta, GA 30313steve.johnson@mse.gatech.edu

J. Eng. Mater. Technol 129(3), 356-366 (Dec 28, 2006) (11 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2744393 History: Received August 05, 2005; Revised December 28, 2006

Much of the fatigue damage in aircraft structures can be linked to the stress concentration arising at the rivet/skin interface in fuselage lap-joints. Fatigue damage can degrade the strength of the structure and reduce structural integrity. The stress distribution around the rivet holes, which depends on several loading conditions, is therefore of prime importance. Critical manufacturing process variations must be taken into account to observe the effect on local stresses at the hole. This paper presents three-dimensional (3D) nonlinear finite element analyses to investigate the stress state at rivet holes in fuselage lap joints. Initially, a 3D single rivet model of the riveting process was developed to characterize the unsymmetric residual stress distribution resulting from rivet installation. Then a global three-rivet model of the fuselage lap-joint, which takes into account the residual stresses from rivet installation and fuselage pressurization, was analyzed and compared to observations available from teardown inspection. The models were then implemented to observe the effects of rivet interference, sealant, and drill shavings on the stress state. A multiaxial fatigue criterion was implemented to predict cycles to crack nucleation for the modeled parameters. The effect of underdriven rivets and sealant were observed to be the most critical on the stress state of the fuselage splice. Excellent comparison with the damage characterization of the fuselage lap-joint provides validation to the finite element model.

Copyright © 2007 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 1

Schematic of fuselage lap-joint

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Figure 2

Microscopy of riveted sections in lap-joint (3-4). Evident are the differences in rivet interference, deformation of sealant, and presence of drill shavings (only present in upper section)

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Figure 3

Specimen configuration analyzed for ABAQUS /Implicit validation (32)

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Figure 4

Meshed view of axisymmetric model and applied boundary conditions

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Figure 5

Deformed rivet parameters

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Figure 6

Deformed configuration for a range of applied squeeze forces

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Figure 7

Comparison of force-displacement curve for a squeeze force of 26.69kN for the implicit solution

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Figure 8

Geometry parameters for the baseline model

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Figure 9

Boundary conditions

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Figure 10

Deformed shape and residual hoop stress contours in the skin after unload in implicit analysis

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Figure 11

Schematic of lap-joint typically susceptible to MSD

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Figure 12

Geometry of the fuselage lap-joint model and finite element model with applied boundary conditions

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Figure 13

Deformed plot (exaggerated) of fuselage splice after residual stress application and cyclic pressurization loading

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Figure 14

Maximum principal stress state in inner and outer skin

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Figure 15

Comparison of cracking observed in teardown inspection and stress state predicted by the finite element analysis in the lap-joint

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Figure 16

Complexity of stress distribution at the inner skin lower row rivet hole (row B)

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Figure 17

SWT parameter plotted with the number of cycles to crack nucleation NN



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