Evolution of residual stress during fatigue crack growth in an aluminium specimen with a bonded crack retarder

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The application of bonded crack retarders in critical aircraft integral structures has been of great interest recently for the improvement of damage tolerance. One potential disadvantage of bonded crack retarders is that the thermal residual stresses which are developed during the strap bonding process are detrimental to the performance of the structure. This investigation explores the distribution of thermal residual stresses developed in an aluminium substrate reinforced with GLARE (glass-fibre-reinforced epoxy) straps and the evolution of stresses during fatigue crack growth. Residual stress measurements were performed using neutron diffraction. The results show that tensile residual stresses are developed in the aluminium substrate as a consequence of the strap bonding process. In situ residual stress measurements during constant amplitude fatigue crack growth were performed and it was observed that the growth of the fatigue crack altered the initial residual stress.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12-16
JournalComposite Structures
Early online date4 Jun 2014
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2014
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Composite Structures. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Composite Structures [vol 117 (2014)] DOI: 10.1016/j.compstruct.2014.05.027.


  • bonded crack retarders
  • fatigue
  • residual stress
  • structural composites


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