Statistical Modeling of Fatigue Crack Growth in Wing Skin Fastener Holes
Estimation and prediction of residual life and reliability are serious concerns in life cycle management for aging structures. Laboratory testing replicating fatigue loading for a typical military aircraft wing skin was undertaken. Specimens were tested until their fatigue life expended reached 100% of the component fatigue life. Then, scanning electron microscopy was used to quantify the size and location of fatigue cracks within the high stress regions of simulated fastener holes. Distributions for crack size, nearest neighbor distances, and spatial location were characterized statistically in order to estimate residual life and to provide input for life cycle management. Insights into crack initiation and growth are also provided.