fatigue life; global/local FE model coupling; crack growth; riveted lap joint; the Smith-Watson-Topper (SWT) equation
Fatigue life prediction of a multi-row countersunk riveted lap joint was performed numerically. The stress and strain conditions in a highly stressed substructure of the joint were analysed using a global/local finite element (FE) model coupling approach. After validation of the FE models using experimental strain measurements, the stress/strain condition in the local three-dimensional (3D) FE model was simulated under a fatigue loading condition. This local model involved multiple load cases with nonlinearity in material properties, geometric deformation, and contact boundary conditions. The resulting stresses and strains were used in the Smith-Watson-Topper (SWT) strain life equation to assess the fatigue "initiation life", defined as the life to a 0.5 mm deep crack. Effects of the rivet-hole clearance and rivet head deformation on the predicted fatigue life were identified, and good agreement in the fatigue life was obtained between the experimental and the numerical results. Further crack growth from a 0.5 mm crack to the first linkup of two adjacent cracks was evaluated using the NRC in-house tool, CanGROW. Good correlation in the fatigue life was also obtained between the experimental result and the crack growth analysis. The study shows that the selected methodology is promising for assessing the fatigue life for the lap joint, which is expected to improve research efficiency by reducing test quantity and cost.
Advances in Aircraft and Spacecraft Science4, no. 1.