Mechanical Engineering Faculty Research


A Study of Fatigue and Fracture Response of Cantilevered Luminaire Structures Made from Aluminum Alloy 6063

Document Type


Publication Date

Summer 7-15-2010


In the experimental results elegantly and exhaustively elaborated upon in this paper the local stresses, obtained from finite element analysis, was used to develop estimates of the stress intensity factor (SIF). In combination with crack growth data, the fatigue lives of both the through-plate and an integrally stiffened socket connection were estimated using software developed by the U.S. Air Force (and referred to as AFGROW). The fatigue life estimates correlated well with the test results provided the crack growth rate data was obtained under conditions of minimal closure at higher stress ratios (of the order R = 0.7). In an attempt to establish the fatigue lives in the high cycle regime, the measured residual stresses had to be included in the analysis. For identical stress ranges, the 25 mm thick through-plate socket connection exhibited noticeably lower fatigue lives when compared to the integrally stiffened shoe-base structure. Scanning electron microscopy observations revealed pockets of well-defined striations consistent with stable growth of the crack through the microstructure prior to the onset of unstable crack growth culminating in catastrophic fracture. In the slow growth region, the fracture surface revealed pockets of shallow, well-defined striations that were uniformly spaced indicative of the occurrence of localized microplastic deformation.

Publication Title

Materials Science and Engineering: A





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