January 28-30, 2020
This course presents both fundamental concepts and practical instruction in methods for fatigue, durability, and damage tolerance analysis/testing of metallic aircraft structures. The lectures emphasize the use of modern fatigue and fracture mechanics technology in the design of durable, damage-tolerant aircraft structures and the extended safe use of aging aircraft.
The course opens with a discussion of basic fatigue and fracture behavior of structural metallic materials. With this background, the ensuing lectures detail the structural methods used in the aircraft industry to develop fatigue loading spectra, as well as fatigue life, crack growth, and residual strength analyses. The course also explores the application of this technology to verify the structural integrity and longevity of new aircraft, along with life monitoring, maintenance, and life extension of aging aircraft.
Lecture notes are distributed on the first day of the course. These notes are for participants only and are not otherwise available for sale or unauthorized distribution.
Coordinator and Lecturer
Paul N. Clark, Ph.D., Principal Engineer, Southwest Research Institute, San Antonio, Texas – Hill Air Force Base Extension and Adjunct Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah.
Dr. Clark is considered a subject matter expert in the areas of fatigue and corrosion of aging aircraft, crack growth mechanisms, damage tolerance and fracture mechanics. Life prediction, risk analysis, failure evaluation, failure prevention, experimental protocol development and test planning are other areas of expertise. He works in concert with United States Air Force ASIP (Aircraft Structural Integrity Program) managers to provide engineering services and continuity to continually evolving programs. Fleet-wide trending and risk projections as well as failure investigations pave the way for new structural inspections as well as repair designs, modifications, redesigns and analyses.
Dr. Clark has worked on a variety of aircraft with the United Stated Air Force. These experiences have provided numerous opportunities for creative and successful solutions to challenges leading to improved fleetwide airworthiness for these aging aircraft. Additionally, numerous publications and presentations at conferences and symposia have been produced from these experiences.
Dr. Clark also serves as an Adjunct Professor for the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City where he has mentored dozens of graduate students and engineers through challenging programs geared toward developing solutions for today’s structural integrity and aging aircraft challenges.
Tuesday – Course Overview and Introduction to Structural Integrity
Historical background, design criteria, design philosophies, aging aircraft issues, fundamentals of fatigue design and analysis, including S-N (Wohler) curves, fatigue life interpretation.
Wednesday – Fatigue Crack Growth, Damage Tolerant Analysis and ASIP
Review of the fundamental aspects of Damage Tolerant Analysis (DTA) including; fracture mechanics, Nondestructive Inspection (NDI), setting fleet and locations inspection intervals, continuing damage, and the effects of repair.
Thursday – Material Behavior, Aircraft Structural Failures and Fleet Management
Standards characterization materials for fatigue and fracture, material behavior, and material substitution. An overview of lessons learned from past aircraft structural failures, sound ASIP practices for successful fleet management.
For more information contact the Short Course Program Office:
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