Riveted Lap Joints in a Pressurized Aircraft Fuselage

  • Andrzej Skorupa
  • Małgorzata Skorupa
Part of the Solid Mechanics and Its Applications book series (SMIA, volume 189)


The contemporary transport aircraft fuselage is a skin structure supported by frames and stringers, Fig. 1.1. The skin and the stiffening elements carry the flight loads including those due to cabin pressurization. The stringers are joined by riveting, bonding or spot welding directly to the skin, as exemplified in Fig. 1.2. In order to connect the skin with the frames, two different solutions can be applied. One of these, addressed as the shear-tied frame, involves attaching the frame directly to the skin and tear straps, Fig. 1.2. Another possibility, illustrated in Fig. 1.3, is to connect the frames only to the stringers by means of stringer clips. This solution is referred to as the floating frames. The internal tear straps, Fig. 1.4, located at and sometimes also between the frame stations, force longitudinal skin cracks (parallel to the fuselage axis) to turn circumferentially. If this situation takes place between the tear straps, a segment of the skin bends back creating an opening. This phenomenon, described as “flapping”, is a safe failure mode that limits the failure to the affected bay only (Kosai et al. 1992). A thin skin will flap more easily than a thick one (Maclin 1991). More information on flapping one can find in Swift (Swift 1987). Some aspects are also considered further on in this book. The straps can carry the load of the cracked skin. These crack stopper bands, although undesirable from the production point of view, are applied in several types of aircraft. Sometimes, instead of the fail-safe straps, waffle pattern doublers bonded to the skin are used, Fig. 1.5. Different types of crack stopper bands (integral, riveted and bonded made of the 2024-T3 and 7075-T6 Al alloys, a Ti alloy and ARALL) and their capability to cause crack growth retardation are reported by Schijve (1990).


Spot Welding Adhesive Bonding Crack Growth Retardation Aircraft Fuselage Floating Frame 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Flugge, W.: Stress problems in pressurized cabins, NACA TN 2612 (February 1952)Google Scholar
  2. Hartman, A.: Fatigue tests on single lap joints in clad 2024-T3 aluminium alloy manufactured by a combination of riveting and adhesive bonding. Report NLR M.2170. NLR, Amsterdam (1966)Google Scholar
  3. Hartman, A., Duyn, G.C.: A comparative investigation on the fatigue strength at fluctuating tension of several types of riveted lap joints, a series of bolted and some series of glued lap joints of 24 ST Alclad. Report NLR M.1857. NLR, Amsterdam (1952)Google Scholar
  4. Hartman, A., Schijve, J.: The effect of secondary bending on the fatigue strength of 2024-T3 Alclad riveted joints. Report NLR TR 69116U. NLR, Amsterdam (1969)Google Scholar
  5. Kosai, M., Kobayashi, A.S., Ramulu, M.: Tear straps in airplane fuselage. In: Atluri S.N., Harris C.E., Hoggart A., Miller N., Sampath S.N. (eds.) International Workshop on Structural Integrity of Ageing Airplanes, Durability of Metal Aircraft Structures, Atlanta, GA, 31 Mar–2 Apr 1992, pp. 443–457. Atlanta Technical Publications, Atlanta (1992)Google Scholar
  6. Le Telier, L., Repiton, F.: Full-scale testing and analysis of Falcon 7X curved panels with butt joints. In: Lazaretti, L., Salvetti, S. (eds.) Proceedings of 24th ICAF Symposium, Durability and Damage Tolerance of Aircraft Structures, Naples, Italy, 16–18 May 2007, pp. 340–358. Publications of Pacini, Naples (2007)Google Scholar
  7. Maclin, J.R.: Performance of fuselage pressure structure. In: Harris, C.E. (ed.) Proceedings of 3rd International Conference on Aging Aircraft and Structural Airworthiness, Washington D.C., 19–21 Nov 1991, vol. 3160, pp. 67–74. NASA Conference Publications (1991)Google Scholar
  8. Niu, M.C.Y.: Airframe. Stress Analysis and Sizing, 2nd edn. Conmilit Press Ltd., Hong Kong (1999)Google Scholar
  9. Schijve, J.: Crack stoppers and ARALL laminates. Eng. Fract. Mech. 37, 405–421 (1990)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Schijve, J.: Fatigue of Structures and Materials, 2nd edn. Springer, Dordrecht/Heidelberg/London/New York (2009a) (with CD-Rom)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Schijve, J.: Fatigue damage in aircraft structures, not wanted, but tolerated? Int. J. Fatigue 31, 998–1011 (2009b)zbMATHCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Swift, T.: Damage tolerance in pressurized fuselages. In: Simpson, D.L. (ed.) Proceedings of 14th ICAF Symposium, New Materials and Fatigue Resistant Aircraft Design, Ottawa, Canada, 8–12 June 1987. 11th Plantema Memorial Lecture, pp. 1–77. EMAS, Warley (1987)Google Scholar
  13. Wanhill, R.J.H.: Some practical considerations for fatigue and corrosion damage assessment of ageing aircraft. Report NLR TP 96253 L. NLR, Amsterdam (1996)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andrzej Skorupa
    • 1
  • Małgorzata Skorupa
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and RoboticsAGH University of Science and TechnologyKrakówPoland

Personalised recommendations