Retardation effects due to overloads in aluminium-alloy aeronautical components

© 2017 Wiley Publishing Ltd.Fatigue data are generally derived under constant-amplitude loading conditions, but aircraft components are subjected to variable-amplitude loading. Without interaction effects, caused by overloads and underloads intermingled in a loading sequence, it could be relatively easy to establish a crack growth curve by means of a cycle-by-cycle integration. However, load-spectrum effects largely complicate a crack growth under variable-amplitude cycling. In this paper, fatigue crack growth behaviour of aeronautical aluminium alloy 2024-T3 was studied. Effects of various loading conditions such as stress ratio and amplitude loadings were investigated. In particular, the effect of different overloads on the fatigue crack growth was simulated using Zencrack code. Preliminary analyses on Compact Tension (CT) specimens proved that the numerical results generated were in agreement with the results provided by an afgrow code for the same conditions. A case study was carried out on a helicopter component, undergoing repeated overloads, to compare numerical results obtained implementing yield zone models in Zencrack.