RELIABILITY PREDICTION FOR STRUCTURES UNDER CYCLIC LOADS AND RECURRING INSPECTIONS. doi: 10.5028/jatm.2009.0102201209
Keywords:Reliability, Structure integrity, Fatigue, Damage tolerance.
AbstractThis work presents a methodology for determining the reliability of fracture control plans for structures subjected to cyclic loads. It considers the variability of the parameters involved in the problem, such as initial flaw and crack growth curve. The probability of detection (POD) curve of the field non-destructive inspection method and the condition/environment are used as important factors for structural confidence. According to classical damage tolerance analysis (DTA), inspection intervals are based on detectable crack size and crack growth rate. However, all variables have uncertainties, which makes the final result totally stochastic. The material properties, flight loads, engineering tools and even the reliability of inspection methods are subject to uncertainties which can affect significantly the final maintenance schedule. The present methodology incorporates all the uncertainties in a simulation process, such as Monte Carlo, and establishes a relationship between the reliability of the overall maintenance program and the proposed inspection interval, forming a “cascade” chart. Due to the scatter, it also defines the confidence level of the “acceptable” risk. As an example, the damage tolerance analysis (DTA) results are presented for the upper cockpit longeron splice bolt of the BAF upgraded F-5EM. In this case, two possibilities of inspection intervals were found: one that can be characterized as remote risk, with a probability of failure (integrity nonsuccess) of 1 in 10 million, per flight hour; and other as extremely improbable, with a probability of nonsuccess of 1 in 1 billion, per flight hour, according to aviation standards. These two results are compared with the classical military airplane damage tolerance requirements.
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