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Aircraft lap joints play an important role in minimizing the operational cost of airlines. Hence, airlines pay more attention to these technologies to improve efficiency. Namely, a major time consuming and costly process is maintenance of aircraft between the flights, for instance, to detect early formation of cracks, monitoring crack growth, and fixing the corresponding parts with joints, if necessary. This work is focused on the study of repairs of cracked aluminium alloy (AA) 2024-T3 plates to regain their original strength; particularly, cracked AA 2024-T3 substrate plates repaired with doublers of AA 2024-T3 with two configurations (riveted and with adhesive bonding) are analysed. The fatigue life of the substrate plates with cracks of 1, 2, 5, 10 and 12.7mm is computed using Fracture Analysis 3D (FRANC3D) tool. The stress intensity factors for the repaired AA 2024-T3 plates are computed for different crack lengths and compared using commercial FEA tool ABAQUS. The results for the bonded repairs showed significantly lower stress intensity factors compared with the riveted repairs. This improves the overall fatigue life of the bonded joint.
Variable amplitude loading crack growth tests have been conducted to provide data that can be used to evaluate crack growth prediction codes. Tests with periodic overloads or overloads followed by underloads were conducted on titanium alloy Ti-6Al-2Sn-2Zr-2Mo-2Cr solution treated and aged (Ti62222STA) material at room temperature and at 350 F. Spectrum fatigue crack growth tests were conducted on two materials (Ti62222STA and aluminum alloy 2024-T3) using two transport lower-wing test spectra at two temperatures (room temperature and 350 F (Ti only)). Test lives (growth from an initial crack half-length of 0.15 in. to failure) were recorded in all tests and the crack length against cycles (or flights) data were recorded in many of the tests. The following observations were made regarding the test results: (1) in tests of the Ti62222STA material, the tests at 350 F had longer lives than those at room temperature, (2) in tests to the MiniTwist spectrum, the Al2024T3 material showed much greater crack growth retardations due to the highest stresses in the spectrum than did the Ti62222STA material, and (3) comparisons of material crack growth performances on an \"equal weight\" basis were spectrum dependent.
The effects of surface pretreatments (degreasing and pickling) on the characteristics of the Trivalent Chromium Process (TCP) coating on pure aluminum and on AA2024-T351 aluminum alloy were investigated here by means of surface sensitive techniques: X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry (ToF-SIMS). The XPS and ToF-SIMS results evidence that the TCP coating homogeneity is strongly dependent on the pretreatment process used. The TCP coverage factor, calculated from XPS results, is significantly lower, on both pure aluminum and AA2024-T351 alloy surface, when a pickling step is applied. One of the main effects of pickling pretreatment is strong metallic copper enrichment at the surface of the 2024 alloy, associated with chemical dissolution of Al-Cu intermetallic particles. However, it is evidenced here, that the copper enrichment is not detrimental for the quality of the TCP coating. The coating failure, observed when the pickling step is applied, can be assigned to a faster kinetics of the coating growth leading to formation of thicker conversion coating more susceptible to cracking or to the localized presence of aluminum fluoride species leading to the appearance of coating defects or detachment. 153554b96e