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Composite Structures 142 (2016) 7177

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Composite Structures
journal homepage: www.elsevier.com/locate/compstruct

Fatigue bearing failure of CFRP composite in bolted joints exposed to


biaxial variable amplitude loading at elevated temperature
Zlatan Kapidzic a,c,, Hans Ansell a,c, Joakim Schn b, Kjell Simonsson c
a

Saab AB, SE-581 88 Linkping, Sweden


Swedish Defence Research Agency, FOI, SE-172 90 Stockholm, Sweden
c
Division of Solid Mechanics, Linkping University, SE-581 83 Linkping, Sweden
b

a r t i c l e

i n f o

Article history:
Available online 22 January 2016
Keywords:
Carbonepoxy
Thermally induced load
Fatigue bearing failure
Variable amplitude loading

a b s t r a c t
Hybrid structures that contain compositealuminium interfaces tend to develop internal loads at
elevated temperatures. In long bolted joints, the thermally induced bolt loads are superimposed onto
the mechanically applied load and can induce a biaxial bearing load state. This paper presents an experimental and numerical study of the bearing fatigue failure of carbonepoxy laminate specimens, exposed
to uniaxial and biaxial variable amplitude loading at 90 C. A specifically designed experimental rig was
used, where both the mechanical and the thermally induced bolt loads were applied by means of
mechanical load actuators. A fatigue model based on the kinetic theory of fracture for polymers, which
was previously implemented for constant amplitude loading, is expanded to account for the variable
amplitude load history. The results suggest that the biaxial loading gives a longer fatigue life than the
uniaxial loading for the same maximum peak resultant force. This result can be utilized as a conservative
dimensioning strategy by designing biaxially loaded joints in terms of maximum peak resultant bearing
load using uniaxial fatigue data.
2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

1. Introduction
Aircraft structures consisting of aluminium alloys and carbon
fibre reinforced polymer (CFRP) composites build up internal stresses when exposed to elevated temperature. The stresses develop at
the material interfaces due to the difference in the thermal expansion properties of the constituent materials. Aircraft structure
components are commonly joined along long, bolted installations
which are known to be fatigue sensitive. Depending on the joint
length, the thermally induced bolt loads at these sites might be
of significant magnitude and should therefore be considered.
Moreover, when the thermally induced bolt load and the mechanical bolt load are not parallel to each other, a biaxial bearing load
state is created in the joint, where the two applied load components also vary with different frequencies and sequences. Normally, the fatigue performance of typical structural joints is
characterised for uniaxial loading and there are no standard test
procedures that take into consideration the biaxial loading. In
structural testing of large aircraft components, it is costly and complicated to apply elevated temperature conditions. There is, there Corresponding author at: Saab AB, SE-581 88 Linkping, Sweden. Tel.: +46 (0)
13183884.
E-mail address: zlatan.kapidzic@saabgroup.com (Z. Kapidzic).
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.compstruct.2016.01.064
0263-8223/ 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

fore, a need to delimit this problem to a manageable size, so that it


be can be studied for various conditions.
This study investigates the influence of the biaxial bearing load
state on the fatigue life of bolted CFPR laminate specimens,
exposed to variable amplitude (VA) loading at elevated temperature. It is an extension of the work concerning loading in constant
amplitude (CA), previously performed by the authors [1,2], and
includes experimental testing and implementation of a fatigue failure prediction model for VA loading.
Bearing fatigue failure in different CFRP laminates at CA has
been investigated experimentally in several studies [37]. Fractographic examinations of the bearing plane of the laminates commonly showed kinking, ply-buckling and shear damage of the
on-axis plies, tensile and/or shear cracking of the off-axis plies
and delaminations of the plies. In all cases a considerable increase
of the joint compliance, due to the bearing stiffness reduction, was
observed and in some cases bolt failure occurred. A few studies of
bolted joints [810] included VA fatigue loading. Saunders et al. [8]
found similar type damage as described above. In [9,10], the
authors concluded that the load states constituting the load ranges
which are below 50% of the maximum load range of a typical
fighter aircraft sequence can be eliminated without significantly

72

Z. Kapidzic et al. / Composite Structures 142 (2016) 7177

affecting the fatigue life. It was also found that the Miners rule
predictions gave unconservative results.
A review by Post et al. [11] classified available fatigue modelling
techniques for composite materials exposed to VA loading into
damage accumulation law techniques, residual strength or stiffness degradation techniques and techniques based on micromechanical properties. A number of models were evaluated in
terms of their predictive capability and the results varied in accuracy over the studied range of materials and spectra. The authors
stated that the VA fatigue life predictions probably will continue
to rely on the empirical phenomenological models, until the fatigue micro-mechanisms are better understood. They also pointed
out that the performance of the most models is usually evaluated
in CA loading or block loading with only few load levels, and in this
case, only for uniaxial fatigue loading of un-notched specimens. In
structural applications, with biaxial stress states and stress concentrations, the models suited for uniaxial loading may therefore
not work as well. Another drawback is that most models require
a substantial amount of material characterisation in terms of constant life diagrams and/or the residual stiffness/strength. There is,
therefore, a need for a modelling technique which is based on better understanding of the physics of fatigue damage mechanisms,
with less need for experimental material characterisation and
which gives accurate predictions for structural applications.
The present paper, expands the CA model from [1], to include
the effects of VA loading. We base the modelling on the work in
[1215], where the basic assumption is that the initiation of the
fatigue damage takes place in the matrix. The matrix stresses for
the uniaxial and the biaxial bearing problem are computed using
the multi-continuum theory [16,17] within a finite element (FE)
code. As in [1], the failure criterion is based on the kinetic theory
of fracture for polymers [1820], where the rate of creation of
the matrix cracks is described as a thermally activated process promoted by the cyclic loading. The advantage of this approach is that
the effects of the ambient temperature, the loading frequency and
the load ratio are naturally included into the prediction model,
which significantly reduces the need for material characterisation
by testing. Another benefit is that the VA loading can be included
in a straight forward manner. So far, the kinetic theory of fracture
has received little attention in the literature concerning composite
fatigue and only a few validating examples are published. It is our
ambition to, through this work, contribute to development and
validation of an effective fatigue life prediction model which takes
into account VA loading.
In the experimental part of this work, the problem of application of thermally induced loads on a bolted structure is simplified
by the development of a test rig where the biaxial loads are applied
by mechanical actuators to small specimens.

th

(a) Hybrid joint

th

(b) Two-bolt specimen


Fig. 1. Mechanically and thermally induced bolt loads in a composite plate in a
hybrid bolted joint, and a two-bolt specimen idealisation.

the study. In order to simplify the problem, we assume that the


bearing failure in the joint is equivalent to the failure in a twobolt specimen, cf. Fig. 1(b). This assumption reduces the cost and
the time for specimen manufacturing, testing and simulations,
and allows for design of a set-up where the loading conditions
and the temperature can be varied effectively and their effects on
the fatigue life studied. The study is restricted to a constant thermally induced bolt load, F th , of a magnitude which is approximately half of the static bearing failure load.
The objectives of this work are:
 To develop an experimental set-up and perform VA fatigue
bearing tests of two-bolt specimens, in uniaxial (F th 0) and
biaxial (F th const.) loading at elevated temperature.
 To implement a fatigue prediction model which is capable of
predicting the fatigue life of the VA loaded composite bolted
joint.
 To determine the influence of the thermally induced load, F th ,
on the fatigue life.

2. Problem formulation and objectives


3. Experimental procedure
The structural problem of interest is a long, spanwise, hybrid
aluminiumcomposite bolted joint, typically found in aircraft
wings, see Fig. 1(a). We assume that no stresses have developed
in the joint due to the assembly procedure. The environment temperature and the frictional heat, caused by the air flow against the
wing skin, increase the temperature in the structure, giving rise to
thermally induced bolt loads, F th , in the direction of the bolt row.
These bolt loads are maximal at the ends of the joint and tend to
zero towards the middle of it. The operational flight loads, caused
by wing bending, are transferred through the joint as bolt loads, F,
in the direction normal to the bolt row and they vary with a different frequency and spectrum than the thermally induced loads.
We focus on the composite bearing failure at the end bolt in the
joint, thus the stresses by-passing the bolt hole are excluded from

The experiments were performed using laminate specimens


with 48 plies of HTA/6376C carbon/epoxy prepreg, manufactured
in a quasi-isotropic lay-up sequence, Fig. 2. Each specimen was
clamped between four L-shaped steel plates, pairwise fastened
with two protruding-head titanium bolts, constituting a doublelap joint, see Fig. 3. The contact area between the steel plate and
the specimen was machined into a shape of a circular washer. Prior
to the test, the bolts were tightened to 11.5 Nm with a torque
wrench. The mechanical load, F, was applied in the vertical direction to the free end of the specimen while the steel plates were
clamped into the lower grip by a holed plate. In the horizontal
direction, the thermally induced load, F th , was applied on the
L-shaped plates by hydraulic actuators via steel arms connected

Z. Kapidzic et al. / Composite Structures 142 (2016) 7177

fied further, by a cycle elimination procedure, with the purpose


to shorten the fatigue testing time. First, the sequence is cycle
counted using the rain-flow count method. This method is an algorithmic procedure used for transformation of the load history,
which is characterized by successive maxima and minima, into sets
of load reversals of different ranges. The load states which constitute the rain-flow counted load ranges which are below 30% of the
maximum load range were eliminated from the sequence and we
refer to this as 30% cycle elimination level. The number of endlevels were reduced by approximately 78%, which greatly accelerated the testing. Also, all compressive load states were eliminated,
assuming that they make no contribution to the bearing failure.
Fig. 5(a) shows the plots of peaks, troughs and ranges versus their
number of exceedances in the sequence before and after the elimination, valid for 200 flights.
The mechanical load sequence of 200 flight was applied in force
control with a sinusoidal wave shape and a frequency of 2 Hz and
was repeated until the specimen failed. Two different magnitudes
of maximum peak load in the sequence, F peak;max , were tested in
both uniaxial and biaxial loading. In order to ensure the relevant
material properties, the specimen was placed inside a furnace,
see Figs. 3 and 4, where the air was heated by an air-heating element to 90 C. During the testing, the temperature was measured
by a sensor, placed close to a fastener on one of the L-plates and
the sensor signal was used to regulate the temperature. The
applied forces, grip displacements, horizontal actuator movements
and the number of cycles to failure were measured and recorded.

20

40

+45
0

-45

20

80

90
Material: HTA/6376C
Lay-up: [45/0/90]6S
tply = 0.13 mm
t = 6.24 mm
240

Fig. 2. Specimen dimensions, lay-up and material.

Specimen

Furnace

th

th

73

load

th
time

Fig. 3. Load application in the experimental set-up.

to a surrounding steel frame, Fig. 4. The same hydraulic hose supplied pressure to both horizontal actuators, assuring that they
exerted the same force on each side of the specimen. The steel
frame was suspended by chains and springs and was free to move
in all directions, thus no resulting horizontal force was applied on
the vertical load frame.
Totally 18 specimens, 9 in uniaxial- and 9 in biaxial loading,
were tested until failure. Prior to application of the mechanical
load sequence, the biaxially loaded specimens were subjected to
the constant horizontal force of F th 25 kN, which was maintained
until failure, see Fig. 3. In both load cases, a modified version of the
standard sequence for testing of fighter aircraft wing structure,
FALSTAFF [21], named Short FALSTAFF was used for the mechanical
load, F. Following the findings of [9,10], this sequence was modi-

Peaks and troughs, percentage


of maximum peak load [%]

100

Shfalstaff
Shfalstaff 30%

80

60

40

20

0 0
10

10

10

10

10

Number of exceedances

(a) Peaks and troughs.

Ranges, percentage
of maximum peak load [%]

100

Shfalstaff
Shfalstaff 30%

80

60

40

20

0 0
10

10

10

10

10

Number of exceedances

(b) Ranges.
Fig. 4. Experimental set-up.

Fig. 5. Number of exceedances of peak, troughs and ranges in 200 flights of Short
FALSTAFF sequence with 0% and 30% cycle elimination level.

Z. Kapidzic et al. / Composite Structures 142 (2016) 7177

74

4. Modelling

i
peak

4.1. Fatigue prediction model


In the previous work by the authors [1], composite fatigue was
described as a process initiated in the matrix and at the fibrematrix interface, where successive crack accumulation leads to material degradation and failure. Motivated by this, the kinetic theory of
fracture was adopted as the modelling framework for the fatigue
failure process and the multi-continuum theory was implemented
in an FE-program to obtain the matrix stress in the context of CA
loading. Important aspects of the implementation of the
FE-program, the multi-continuum theory, the derivation of the
damage equation and fitting of the model parameters are
explained in [1] and will not be repeated here. The reader is therefore referred to [1] for details. In order to adapt the fatigue model
to VA loading, we start by considering the derived expression for
the damage index n,

where nT  1:58; k is the Boltzmann constant, h is Plancks constant, T is the absolute temperature, U and c are the model parameters referring to the activation energy and the activation volume
respectively, rs is the effective matrix stress history, t is the time
and s is an integration variable. The damage index is initially zero
and when it reaches 1 the material point is considered to have
failed, i.e. a microcrack has formed. In the context of CA, the temperature increase due to the energy dissipation during the cycling
was described by
g

T T 0 wfN Dr2

where T 0 is the ambient temperature, w and g are material parameters which are assumed to be temperature independent, N is the
number of cycles, f is the loading frequency and Dr is the CA effective matrix stress range. The effective matrix stress history in CA
loading was expressed as

rs rm ra sin2pf s  p=2

where rm rmax rmin =2 is the mean stress, ra rmax  rmin =2


is the stress amplitude, rmax and rmin are the maximum and minimum stress levels.
All three equations Eq. (1)(3) need to be modified for VA loading. In order to solve the integral in Eq. (1) for VA loading, the stress
in Eq. (3) is reformulated to be defined for each cycle i, over the
time period of length 1=f , between two consecutive troughs
ritrough and ri1
trough ,

r s
i

rim1 ria1 sin2pf s  p=2


rim2 ria2 sin2pf s  p=2

for

0 < s < 2f1

for

1
2f

< s < 1f

rim1 ripeak ritrough =2; ria1 ripeak  ritrough =2; rim2 ripeak
i1
rtrough =2 and ria2 ripeak  ri1
=2, see Fig. 6.
trough
where

The integral in Eq. (1) is then rewritten as the sum of integrals


for N applied cycles which gives the damage index

nt nT 1  exp 


 Z 1=f
 i  !!
U
cr s
ds
exp
exp  i
i
h
0
kT
kT

i
N
X
kT
i1

5
The summation in Eq. (5) can be done incrementally over the
entire loading history, performing the integration over each cycle
in the order in which they appear in the sequence. We refer to this

i+1
trough

1/f

i
trough

Fig. 6. The ith cycle of VA loading between two troughs.

Table 1
Models parameter for HTA/6376C at room temperature (RT) and at 90 C.

U (kJ/mol)
c (kJ/MPa/mol)
w ( C/MPa2s)

RT

90 C

156
0.9

197
2.7

0:304  103
0.143

0:304  103
0.143

100

Peaks and troughs, percentage


of maximum peak load [%]

i
m2

i
m1

50
BFKB
0

BFKB 30%
BFKB 50%

-50

-100 0
10

10

10

10

10

Number of exceedances

(a) Peaks and troughs.


200

Ranges, percentage
of maximum peak load [%]


Z t

 


kT
U
crs
ds
exp 
nt nT 1  exp 
exp
h
kT
kT
0

i
a2

i
a1

150
BFKB
100

BFKB 30%
BFKB 50%

50

0 0
10

10

10

10

10

Number of exceedances

(b) Ranges.
Fig. 7. Number of exceedances of peak, troughs and ranges in 200 FLH of the BFKB
sequence with 0%, 30% and 50% cycle elimination levels.

Z. Kapidzic et al. / Composite Structures 142 (2016) 7177

0.55

ent cycles, the temperature is not. To alleviate this difficulty a constant temperature is applied to all cycles within each sequence
repetition of 200 flights and is recalculated, by Eq. (6), at the beginning of the next sequence repetition. If the sequence is repeated
many times, Eq. (6) gives, in a sense, the average temperature
within each repetition.
Both the cycle-by-cycle and the block-by-block method require
the effective matrix stress to be known on each load reversal level.
The stress was computed in the composite specimen by an
FE-program written in MATLAB [22] and described in [1].

Exp. 0%
Exp. 30%

[%]

Exp. 50%
Sim. 0%

min|)

0.5

max(|

max|,

Sim. 30%
Sim. 50%

T0= 20 C
f = 10 Hz
0.45 U = 156 kJ/mol
= 0.9 kJ/MPa/mol
= 0.30410-3 C/MPa2s
= 0.143
0.4
1
2

4.2. Model parameters and model validation

log(FLH) [hours]
Fig. 8. Comparison of the predictions (Sim.) to the RT strain-life experimental data
(Exp.) from VA tests performed on HTA/6376C laminates with 45=0=903S layup
and a 6 mm hole, using BFKB sequence with 0%, 30% and 50% cycle elimination
levels, from [23].

as the cycle-by-cycle integration. Using this approach allows us to


assign a temperature, T i , to each cycle i and to include it in the integration. The temperature is obtained by modification of Eq. (2) to
g

T i T 0 wfN Dr2av

where

PNseq

Drav

j1

Drj Nj

N seq

is the weighted stress range for a sequence of N seq cycles, where


each rain-flow counted range Drj occurs Nj times and where N is
the number of cycles up to cycle i. The number of cycles to failure,
N f , is computed by combining Eqs. (4)(6) and iteratively running
through the load sequence for each cycle and then repeating the
sequence until n 1. The integration is performed numerically in
MATLAB [22] using the built-in functions for the purpose.
If the maximum sequence stress level is low, the sequence must
be repeated many times and a large number of cycles must be integrated, which becomes computationally expensive. To circumvent
this problem an alternative integration method is proposed. It is
based on the fact that some cycles are often repeated within the
sequence. Instead of individually integrating such cycles each time
they appear, as in the cycle-by-cycle integration, we simply multiply the number of their occurrences with the integral for one cycle,
in order to calculate the contribution for the whole block of identical cycles. We refer to this as the block-by-block integration.
The problem is that, even if the stresses are the same in two differ-

The fatigue prediction model was calibrated in [1] using CA


fatigue data for un-notched specimens at room temperature to fit
the four model parameters U; c; w and g. The values for U and c
at 90 C were assumed based on observations found in the literature. In context of VA loading the same parameter values, listed
in Table 1, are used.
In [1] the model was validated against CA fatigue data from
tests on open hole specimens. Now, the validation on open hole
specimens will be performed in context of VA loading. For this purpose a fighter aircraft fin sequence, valid for 200 flight hours (FLH),
denoted BFKB, with 0%, 30% and 50% cycle elimination levels is
used, see Fig. 7, together with the test results from [23]. The stresses in the specimen with a hole are computed using an FE-model
and the failure is considered to have occurred when the first point
in a 45 ply at the hole edge has failed, as in [1]. A comparison of
the prediction and experimental results, in terms of maximum
applied absolute strain, shows a good correspondence, see Fig. 8.
The predictions are performed using the cycle-by-cycle integration on all strain levels and using the block-by-block integration
only on the lowest strain level. The difference that the two
approaches have on the variation of the temperature and the damage index is illustrated in Fig. 9 for the case of 30% cycle elimination level. Notice that the block-by-block integration is used only
on the lowest strain level, e 0:45%, since the other two strain
levels give fatigue lives which are not longer than one sequence
repetition of 200 FLH.
5. Results and discussion
The bearing failure of the bolted specimens typically resulted in
bolt hole elongation in the direction of the maximum bolt load
resultant, similar to the failure of specimens tested in CA, cf. [1].
Fig. 10 shows that the grip displacement, upeak;max , measured at
the maximum applied mechanical peak load in the sequence,

350

= 0.5 %
= 0.5 %

340

= 0.45 %

0.8
Cycle by cycle
Block by block

320

T [K]

= 0.45 %
= 0.48 %

= 0.48 %

330

0.6

310

0.4

300

0.2

290

75

109

219

329

439

549

FLH [hours]
(a) Temperature, T.

659

769

Cycle by cycle
Block by block
0

109

219

329

439

549

659

769

FLH [hours]
(b) Damage index, n.

Fig. 9. Predictions of temperature variation and the damage index in the critical point of the HTA/6376C laminate with a 6 mm hole, using BFKB sequence with 30% cycle
elimination level.

Z. Kapidzic et al. / Composite Structures 142 (2016) 7177

76

damage. Based on the observed similarity, we assume that the


bearing fatigue damage progression that takes place in the VA
loading is of the same type as in the CA loading. Therefore, we also
adopt the same definition of the structural bearing failure as in [1],
i.e. that the failure occurs when a microcrack is initiated outside
the washer area.
Fig. 11 shows the predictions of the fatigue life versus the maximum peak mechanical bearing stress, rbpeak;max F peak;max =2tD,

peak,max

utrough

Grip displacement [mm]

u
4
3
2

where t is the laminate thickness and D is the bolt hole diameter.


The predictions show good correspondence with the experimental
results, although a large scatter is observed in the experiments. It is
also obvious that the Miners rule predictions tend to be unconservative, as seen in other studies. A number of specimens loaded uniaxially at low stress levels failed due to the fatigue failure of the
bolts, as shown in Figs. 11 and 12. Although the composite material
around the bolt holes in these specimens was damaged, these
results cannot be considered to be representative for the bearing
fatigue failure in the composite. The bearing fatigue life of the composite should be longer than obtained by these tests.
Fig. 11 indicates that the biaxial loading results in a shorter fatigue life, for the same level of the maximum peak mechanical load,
which was also the case in CA loading. This result seems reasonable, because the presence of the thermally induced load, F th ,
increases the maximum resultant force, resulting in a shorter fatigue life. Plotting the same data in terms of the maximum peak
q
resultant bearing stress, rbres;max F peak;max =22 F 2th =tD, we

1
0

15

10

x 10

N [cycles]
(a) Uniaxial case, F peak,max = 80 kN.
3

upeak,max
u

Grip displacement [mm]

2.5

trough

u
uth

2
1.5
1
0.5
0

10

12

14

N [cycles]

see in Fig. 12, that the biaxial loading gives longer fatigue life than
the uniaxial loading for the same rbres;max . An explanation for this is
that the resultant bearing load range is smaller in the biaxial case.
This result implies that using uniaxial data for dimensioning of
biaxially loaded bolted joints, in terms of the maximum resultant
bearing stress, gives a conservative design. Although the conducted
experiments and the analysis work consider only constant thermally induced load, the conclusion must apply to a general variation of it. The model and the experimental program can be
adapted to include variable thermally induced load.
The fatigue model performs reasonably well, considering that it
includes only four parameters which are derived from smooth
specimen CA tests, performed at room temperature and at different
frequency. This is very efficient but it comes with a cost of having
to compute the matrix stresses. Also, the introduction of the temperature variation, due to the cycling, results in a more complex
model, especially for VA loading. An alternative way to incorporate

16
4
x 10

(b) Biaxial case, F peak,max = 70 kN and Fth = 25 kN.


Fig. 10. Grip displacement from experiments.

1000
Exp. uniaxial
Exp. uniaxial bolt failure

Exp. biaxial

900

Exp. biaxial bolt failure

Sim. uniaxial
Sim. biaxial
Miner's rule uniaxial
Miner's rule biaxial

700

b
max

[MPa]

800

T0 = 90 C
f = 2 Hz
U = 197 kJ/mol
= 2.7 kJ/MPa/mol
= 0.304.10-3 C/MPa2s
= 0.143

400

1000
Exp. uniaxial
Exp. uniaxial bolt failure

Exp. biaxial

900

Exp. biaxial bolt failure

log(FLIGHTS) [ ]
Fig. 11. Experimental results (Exp.) from uniaxial and biaxial tests compared to the
prediction results (Sim.) and Miners rule predictions in terms of the maximum
peak mechanical bearing stress.

[MPa]

500

b
res,max

600

Sim. uniaxial
Sim. biaxial

800

700

600

F peak;max , and the grip displacement, utrough , at the trough that follows immediately after, increase continuously during the cycling,
while their difference, Du, is constant. In the biaxial loading, the
horizontal actuator movement, uth is also increasing to failure. This
softening behaviour is interpreted as the result of continuous fatigue damage accumulation during the cycling. Similar results were
obtained in CA loading [1], where a fractography study also was
performed to confirm this and to study the characteristics of the

T0 = 90 C
f = 2 Hz
U = 197 kJ/mol
= 2.7 kJ/MPa/mol
= 0.304.10-3 C/MPa2s
= 0.143

500

400

log(FLIGHTS) [ ]
Fig. 12. Experimental results (Exp.) from uniaxial and biaxial tests compared to the
prediction results (Sim.) in terms of the maximum peak resultant bearing stress.

Z. Kapidzic et al. / Composite Structures 142 (2016) 7177

77

400
1

390

380

T [K]

0.8
0.6
0.4

370

360

Cycle by cycle
Block by block
0

2000

4000

6000

8000

Cycle by cycle
Block by block

0.2
0

2000

4000

6000

Number of flights

Number of flights

(a) Temperature, T.

(b) Damage index, n.

8000

10000

Fig. 13. Predictions of temperature variation and the damage index in the critical point of the uniaxially loaded bolted laminate specimen at

the increase of the temperature due to the cycling is to assign the


rate of temperature per cycle as a function of the stress variation
during the cycle. The temperature variation during the loading
can then be obtained incrementally by summation, just like the
damage index. The drawback of this approach is that the temperature rate can be experimentally determined in CA loading [24], but
might be difficult to determine for a single stress cycle with different troughs as in Fig. 6. We were, however, able to avoid this complexity somewhat and still get fairly good results by introduction
of Eq. (6) and the block-by-block approach, see Fig. 13. It seems
to have worked for the two sequences considered in this study,
but it is not certain that it would work for any sequence. More
validation work, including different material systems, lay-ups,
frequencies, temperatures, load sequences and structural geometries needs to be performed.
Another shortcoming of the model is that it is incapable of predicting the softening behaviour of the material that was observed,
cf. Fig. 10. The model could be expanded in this regard to include
the degradation of the stiffness and/or strength, based on the evolution of the damage index.
6. Conclusions
An experimental campaign is presented, in which hybrid metalcomposite bolted joint specimens were testes in variable amplitude loading, in a specifically designed rig to assess the bearing
behaviour under thermally induced loads coupled to mechanical
loads. Introduction of thermally induced load resulted in shorter
fatigue life, for the same maximum mechanical load sequence
level. If the influence is compared in terms of the maximum peak
resultant bearing load, the biaxial loading, i.e. including the thermally induced load, results in a longer fatigue life than the uniaxial
loading. An explanation for this is the smaller effective stress range
in the biaxial case. This result can be utilized in design of biaxially
loaded bolted joints, where the joint can be conservatively dimensioned in terms of maximum peak resultant bearing load using
uniaxial fatigue life data. The experimental results were supported
by predictions made using a fatigue model, which was previously
implemented for CA loading and modified here to account for VA
loading.
Acknowledgements
The authors would like to acknowledge the support from Swedish Armed Forces, Swedish Defence Materiel Administration and
Swedish Governmental Agency for Innovation Systems who funded
the work presented in this article.

rbpeak;max 850 MPa.

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