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Experimental Validation of DTA Modeling of Bonded Wing Skin Repairs
This presentation is a follow-up to ESRD’s 2022 ASIP presentation titled “DTA of Bonded Repairs on the Wing Skin of the C-130 Using Finite Elements.” That presentation explored a robust method for finite element analysis of bonded skin repairs from the perspective of both static strength and fatigue crack growth. The proposed analysis methodology was presented in a comparative sense, examining a number of criteria in the skin in an undamaged state, a damaged state and a repaired state, in order to allow the analyst to make an assessment of repair effectiveness without detailed knowledge of either the exact boundary conditions of the problem, or of the intricacies of the model itself. One of the criteria for a patch to be deemed effective is that the fatigue life of the skin be at or above that of the pristine configuration. Given the sparse nature of research on the topic of crack growth under bonded repair patches, ESRD partnered with AP/ES to conduct an experimental program to investigate in detail how a small initial flaw propagates in the aluminum skin under a titanium repair up through failure. Experiments were performed alongside blind predictions of life and crack morphology using ESRD’s research tool, CPAT. Additionally, statistical analysis was performed to assess confidence in the predictions. Given the aleatory uncertainty associated with the available crack growth data for the specimen material, it was important that predictions of fatigue life be accompanied by a confidence level when comparing them with experimental outcomes. Because most of the crack propagation occurred under the repair, a marker band spectrum was used during the test and the crack-cycle data was constructed from fractographic examination. The experimental program covered three specimen configurations: (1) Undamaged skin with a surface crack or a corner crack at a hole; (2) Skin with a grindout (to remove hypothetical corrosion damage) and either a surface crack at the bottom of the grindout or a corner crack at a hole located at the center of the grindout; (3) Same as configuration (2) but including a bonded titanium repair. Experimental and predicted results will be presented.