Skip to main content
Article thumbnail
Location of Repository

Damage Tolerance and Fail Safety of Welded Aircraft Wing Panels

By Xiang Zhang and Yazhi Li


An investigation is presented on fatigue crack growth behavior and fail safety of integral stringer panels typified by welded aircraft fabrications. The stringer panel is made of aluminum alloy 2024-T351 and fabricated by the variable-polarity plasma-arc welding process. The sample simulates a part of the lower-wing skin structures. Based on the linear elastic fracture mechanics, numerical simulations are performed for two configurations, two-stringer and nine-stringer panels, and three damage scenarios, in which welding-induced longitudinal residual stresses are taken into account. A typical load spectrum for large transport aircraft is employed for the analysis. For the two-stringer panel life predictions have a reasonably good correlation with the test results. Based on this validation, large-scale nine-stringer panels with three manufacture options, that is, riveted, integrally machined, and welded integral, are simulated for a skin crack under a broken central stringer propagating to two-bay length. Useful comparisons are made among the three variants. Finally, remedies to improve damage tolerance and fail safety of integral stringer panels are explored. The incorporation of crack retarder straps bonded to the inner surface of an integral panel has greatly improved the fail safety behavior of the component with dramatically increased crack growth live

Publisher: American Inst of Aeronautics and Astronautics
Year: 2005
DOI identifier: 10.2514/1.10275
OAI identifier:
Provided by: Cranfield CERES

Suggested articles


  1. (1999). AFGROW Users Guide and Technical Manual,
  2. (1998). Analysis of
  3. (2002). Analytical-Experimental Study of Damage Tolerance of Aircraft Structures,” International Council of the Aeronautical Sciences,
  4. Application of Damage Tolerance Technology to Type Certification,”SocietyofAutomotiveEngineers,PaperSeries811065,Oct.1981.
  5. (1987). Damage Tolerance in Pressurized Fuselages,”
  6. (1971). Development of the Fail-Safe Design Features of the DC10,” Damage Tolerance in Aircraft Structures, doi
  7. (2003). Effects of Residual Stresses and HAZ on Fatigue Crack Growth
  8. (1971). Evaluation and Prediction of the Residual Strength of Centre Cracked Tension Panels,” Damage Tolerance in Aircraft Structures, doi
  9. (2003). Fail-Safe Design Requirements and Features, Regulatory Requirements,” doi
  10. (1999). Fatigue and Damage Tolerance Design of Large Airbus Wing Structures,”
  11. (1997). Fatigue Crack Propagation in Residual Stress Fields of Welded Plates,” doi
  12. (1971). Fatigue Crack Propagation in Stiffened Panels,” Damage Tolerance in Aircraft Structures, doi
  13. (2002). Finite Element Analysis of Fatigue Crack Growth
  14. (1986). Important Considerations in Commercial Aircraft Damage Tolerance,”
  15. (2002). Micromechanical Assessment of Fatigue in a MIG and VPPA Welded Aluminum Airframe Alloy,” Fatigue
  16. The Role of Residual Stress and Heat AffectedZonePropertiesonFatigueCrackPropagationinFrictionStirWelded
  17. (2003). Variable Polarity Plasma Arc Welding of 12.5 mm Thick

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.