Journal of Failure Analysis and Prevention

, Volume 17, Issue 4, pp 780–787 | Cite as

Mixed-Mode Stress Intensity Factor Determination of Riveted Lap Joints Used in Aircraft Fuselage Structures

  • S. Suresh Kumar
  • H. Ashwin Clement
  • R. Karthik
Technical Article---Peer-Reviewed


In the present work, mixed-mode stress intensity factor (SIF) of multiple cracks in a riveted lap joint has been determined, with and without the presence of stringer under two different (uniaxial and biaxial) loading conditions. Geometry correction factor (Y) has been determined with consideration of mode II and mode III fractures, and the effect of stringer on SIF of intermediate as well as edge cracks was investigated. Diametrically opposite surface cracks with various crack depth ratios (a/t) were considered for a typical longitudinal splice joint. At the crack middle region [(S/S 0) = 0], SIF of cracks estimated under uniaxial loading condition reduces gradually with crack depth ratio due to frictional contact, whereas in the case of biaxial loading, higher SIF was observed at lower crack depths [(a/t) = 2]. The presence of stringer reduces the SIF of multiple cracks as it decreases the secondary bending moment caused by the eccentric loading. Compression of crack surfaces is observed at regions closer to crack middle [(S/S 0) = −0.33] due to the presence of stringer, and mode I fracture was observed to be dominant at the crack surface region [(S/S 0) = ± 1]. Influence of mode II fracture is higher at the crack middle region due to crack interaction in unstiffened plates, whereas the effect reduces with the presence of stringer. A three-parameter relationship has been developed to estimate the SIF of multiple cracks in a riveted lap joint. The residual life of the riveted joints can be determined from the calculated mixed-mode SIF.


Stress Intensity factor Mixed-mode fracture Biaxial loading Crack depth ratio Stringer 

List of symbols


Crack length (mm)


Thickness of the sheet (mm)


Points along the crack front


Crack depth ratio


Geometric correction factor


Location ratio


Hoop stress (MPa)


Longitudinal tension (MPa)


Internal pressure (MPa)


Radius of the fuselage (mm)


Far field loading (MPa)


Mode I stress intensity factor (MPa√m)


Mode II stress intensity factor (MPa√m)


Mode III stress intensity factor (MPa√m)


Effective stress intensity factor (MPa√m)


Friction coefficient



This work was financially supported by the management of SSN College of Engineering, Chennai, India.


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Copyright information

© ASM International 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. Suresh Kumar
    • 1
  • H. Ashwin Clement
    • 1
  • R. Karthik
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Mechanical EngineeringSSN College of EngineeringChennaiIndia

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