Journal of Failure Analysis and Prevention

, Volume 12, Issue 6, pp 670–682 | Cite as

Evaluation of the Effects of Corrosion on Fatigue Life of Clad Aluminum Alloy 2024-T3-Riveted Lap Joints with Acoustic Emission Monitoring

  • A. Chukwujekwu Okafor
  • Christopher Nnadili
Technical Article---Peer-Reviewed


Corrosion affects the fatigue life of clad aluminum alloy-riveted lap joints, such as those found on an aircraft fuselage structure. Single-, double-, and triple-column-riveted lap joint specimens were fabricated and corroded in a Q-Fog accelerated corrosion chamber for five months using an ASTM G85-A5 prohesion test. Specimens were taken out of the chamber every 4 weeks, and the corrosion products which had been deposited on them were removed by immersion in concentrated nitric acid. For each corroded specimen, the mass loss with corresponding corrosion rate was determined. The specimens were fatigue loaded to failure on an MTS Universal Testing Machine with acoustic emission monitoring. Results indicate that exposure of lap joint specimens to this corrosive environment increased corrosion (mass loss), corrosion rate, and significantly reduced fatigue life. For a prolonged exposure in the corrosive environment, the fatigue life was reduced to zero, which has significant implication for aging aircraft. Acoustic emission monitoring successfully detected fatigue failure. Two failure modes, multisite crack damage and shear of the rivets, were observed.


Corrosion Fatigue life Accelerated corrosion testing Riveted lap joints Acoustic emission 



This research was partially supported by the Air Force Research Laboratory through contract to Missouri University of Science and Technology Center for Aerospace Manufacturing Technology, Contract No. FA8650-04-704. The Graduate Research Assistantship funds from this grant, and the Intelligent Systems Center, as well as the Graduate Teaching Assistantship provided by the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Missouri University of Science and Technology, are gratefully acknowledged. The authors would like to thank Dr. K. Chandrashekhara and Dr. M. Bohner for serving as committee members and examining this study. The authors would also like to thank Dr. C. Ramsey for his assistance in the failure analysis of failed specimens; Dr. F. Blum for granting access to his lab to conduct corrosion removal tests; Dr. M. Van de Mark for lending his ultrasonic bath; and Mr. J. Bradshaw for his assistance in using the MTS 880 Universal Testing Machine for conducting fatigue tests.


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Copyright information

© ASM International 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Nondestructive Evaluation and Structural Health Monitoring Laboratory, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace EngineeringMissouri University of Science and TechnologyRollaUSA

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