Fatigue crack growth in laser shock peened aerofoils subjected to foreign object damage

  • Sven Klaus Spanrad

    Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


    Foreign Object Damage (FOD) is one of the main life limiting factors for aeroengine fan blades. The FOD impacts during takeoff and landing cause severe damage to aerofoils, resulting in reduced air safety and life time with an estimated annual cost of $4 billion for the aeroengine industry. Advanced surface treatments, such as Laser Shock Peening (LSP) have significantly improved the fatigue strength and crack growth resistance of critical components under FOD. However, it is not yet possible to predict the protective residual stresses and utilise their full potential for enhancing fatigue resistance and damage tolerance capacity in service. This research programme aims to utilise some of the established methods for fatigue tolerance assessment of critical components, based on fracture mechanics principles, to address the effects of complex residual stresses due to LSP and FOD on fatigue crack growth in aerofoils under simulated service loading conditions.
    The experimental study involved fatigue testing of LSPed and FODed specimens with a geometry representative of fan blades made from Ti-6Al-4V alloy. A four point bend fatigue test setup was designed and calibrated. A real-time computer-controlled crack growth monitoring system and optical crack monitoring techniques were developed. Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) and Back-Scatter Electron (BSE) were used to conduct metallographic and fractographic studies, including crack initiation, early fatigue crack growth and FOD damage characterisation. The fracture mechanics analyses used the weight function method and the finite element method to obtain a modified stress intensity factor considering residual stresses due to LSP and FOD. Fatigue crack growth data under low cycle fatigue(LCF), high cycle fatigue (HCF) and combined LCF and HCF loading conditions were correlated using a standard and the modified stress intensity factors. The influence of impact angles and loading conditions on fatigue crack growth behaviour was assessed, and the results were compared with those from untreated FODed specimens.
    Date of Award2011
    Original languageEnglish
    Awarding Institution
    • University of Portsmouth
    SupervisorJie Tong (Supervisor) & Liguo G. Zhao (Supervisor)

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