The development of a consistent and validated analytical approach for predicting the influence of residual stress treatments will allow damage tolerance analysis (DTA) to be used more widely in rotorcraft structures. The purpose of the research was to establish current DTA capabilities for rotorcraft as well as opportunities for improvement. Practical DTA methods were applied in a typical rotorcraft development environment. These methods were developed to advance previous research and provide practical, reliable, and validated analytical methods for crack growth analyses that account for the effects of residual stress-based life enhancement processes such as cold-worked holes. The objectives were:

  • design and manufacture aluminum coupons of increasing complexity to generate the data needed to review analysis predictions
  • review current analysis methods abilities in accounting for stress fields resulting from residual stress treatments
  • experimental validation of commercial-off-the-shelf analysis methods to predict crack growth in bodies containing residual stresses
  • baselining DTA design tool capability for rotorcraft components
  • quantifying the capability of existing damage tolerance techniques to properly account for the benefits of existing and new life enhancement processes for rotorcraft applications

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