Crack growth life model for fatigue susceptible structural components in aging aircraft

Karen C. Chou*, Glenn C. Cox, Allison M. Lockwood

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


A total life model was developed to assess the service life of aging aircraft. The primary focus of this paper is the development of crack growth life projection using the response surface method. Crack growth life projection is a necessary component of the total life model. The study showed that the number of load cycles N needed for a crack to propagate to a specified size can be linearly related to the geometric parameter, material, and stress level of the component considered when all the variables are transformed to logarithmic values. By the Central Limit theorem, the In N was approximated by Gaussian distribution. This Gaussian model compared well with the histograms of the number of load cycles generated from simulated crack growth curves. The outcome of this study will aid engineers in designing their crack growth experiments to develop the stochastic crack growth models for service life assessments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)29-50
Number of pages22
JournalStructural Engineering and Mechanics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2004


  • Aging aircraft
  • Central limit theorem
  • Crack growth
  • Fatigue
  • Gaussian distribution
  • Kolmogorov-Smirnov test
  • Point estimate method
  • Response surface method
  • Statistical analysis
  • Structural reliability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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