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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/E058817/1
Title: Fatigue Crack Growth in Complex Residual Stress Fields due to Surface Treatment and Foreign Object Damage under Simulated Flight Cycles
Principal Investigator: Withers, Professor P
Other Investigators:
Preuss, Professor M
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
QinetiQ Rolls-Royce Plc (UK)
Department: Materials
Organisation: University of Manchester, The
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 01 October 2007 Ends: 30 September 2010 Value (£): 88,855
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Eng. Dynamics & Tribology Materials testing & eng.
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Aerospace, Defence and Marine Transport Systems and Vehicles
Related Grants:
Panel History:  
Summary on Grant Application Form
Damage tolerance approach has been employed in the assessment of structural integrity of critical aeroengine components, where a conjoint action of high cycle fatigue (HCF) and low cycle fatigue (LCF) often occurs. The low cycles are identified with the period between takeoff and landing, while high cycles are a result of inflight aerodynamically induced vibrations. It is imperative that fatigue integrity assessment of aero engine components is carried out under the combined HCF and LCF loading conditions to simulate in service loading conditions. The Portsmouth team has been one of the leading exponents in the study of fatigue crack growth under combined HCF and LCF loading conditions, in close collaboration with Rolls-Royce, QinetiQ and USAir Force for over 30 years. In recent years, foreign object damage (FOD) has been identified as one of the main life limiting factors for turbine blades. Impacts due to small hard particle ingestion during takeoff and landing can reach velocities up to 500 m/s and cause severe damage to aerofoils in aero engines. Damage due to FOD is estimated at 4 billion US dollars annually for the aeroengine industry. Reduction in fatigue strength due to projectile impacts has been studied exclusively for HCF loading conditions. The first study on the effects of combined HCF and LCF under FOD on crack growth was carried out at Portsmouth (GR/R79258, final report submitted). Significant progress has been made in the assessment of residual stresses and their effect on crack driving force. Specifically, tensile residual stresses were found in the vicinity of the crater root made by FOD; and the depth of these tensile stresses can reach to more than 0.2 mm. Upon application of a combined HCF and LCF loading block, the local stress ratios were elevated which prompted early crack growth preferentially from these sites, resulting in significantly increased crack growth rates, as compared with either HCF or LCF loading alone. For aerofoils, the accelerated crack growth was only revealed when the residual stresses due to FOD were considered in the calculation of crack driving force. The leading edge of aerofoils is particularly susceptible to FOD. In recent years, the introduction of surface treatments, such as laser shock peening (LSP) or low plasticity burnishing (LPB) have significantly improved the fatigue strength and crack growth resistance. Such treatments aim at producing significant compressive residual stresses along the leading edge of fan blades, such that the critical region of the blades becomes considerably more damage tolerant to avoid catastrophic failures. Typically, the depths of the compressive residual stresses can be achieved using LSP or LPB are 1-2 mm, as opposed to ~0.2 mm by conventional shot peening. A fundamental understanding of fatigue damage process due to FOD in the presence of LSP/LSB is vital, if they are to be utilized to the full potential in enhancing fatigue resistance of fracture critical components, particularly in the event of FOD.The proposed research aims at developing a predictive model for fatigue crack onset and early growth under simulated flight cycles. The model will take into account of the effect of residual stresses due to surface treatment as well as FOD. Dynamic impact will be modelled and the stabilised and the relaxation of residual stresses will be studied using the finite element analysis and validated by the X-ray diffraction method. The effectiveness of the surface treatment will be evaluated and the model will be validated using simulated inflight test data. Such studies are critical if onset and early crack growth due to FOD is to be modelled accurately, so that predictive tools may be made available to aeroengine industry for FOD-affected fatigue integrity. The work contributes to the safe design and life management of critical aeroengine components such as turbine blades.
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Organisation Website: http://www.man.ac.uk