Stability and Integrity of Aerospace Structures

Universidad Carlos III de Madrid

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Stability and Integrity of Aerospace Structures

  • Host University

    Universidad Carlos III de Madrid

  • Location

    Madrid, Spain

  • Area of Study

    Aerospace Engineering

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Prerequisites


    Advanced Mathematics
    Aerospace Materials I and II
    Introduction to Structural Analysis
    Aerospace Structures

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • ECTS Credits

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    Stability and integrity of aerospace structures (251 - 15345)
    Study: Bachelor in Aerospace Engineering
    Semester 2/Spring Semester
    3RD Year Course/Upper Division

    Students Are Expected to Have Completed:

    Advanced Mathematics
    Aerospace Materials I and II
    Introduction to Structural Analysis
    Aerospace Structures

    Compentences and Skills that will be Acquired and Learning Results:

    - Understanding of the concept of instability and the loading conditions in which it appears.
    - Ability to calculate the onset of instability in aerospace structures.
    - Understanding the effects that cycling loading, stress level and geometric configuration have on the life of structural members.
    - Understanding the mechanism by which cracks grow and variables that affect their growth rate.
    - Ability to calculate when aerospace structures will fail when subjected to cycling loading.
    - Knowledge of design concepts and inspection methods that will safeguard aerospace structures from catastrophic failure.

    Description of Contents: Course Description

    1) Stress Analysis of Aircraft Components
    - Structural Idealization
    - Wing spar and box beams
    - Wings
    - Fuselage

    2) Structural Stability
    - Columns:
    Elastic buckling of ideal columns. Euler Curve. Inelastic buckling of columns. Euler-Engesser Curve. Real effects on column stability: Imperfections. Local Buckling and Crippling. The Johnson-Euler curve.
    - Plates:
    Elastic buckling of plates (compression, bending, shear and combined loading). Plastic effects in plate buckling. Effect of panel curvature. Panel failure: compression and shear panels. Diagonal Tension.

    3) Structural Integrity:
    - Constant and variable amplitude fatigue:
    SN Curves. Stress concentrations. Cycle counting. Cumulative damage rules. Residual stresses. Design Criteria.
    - Linear Elastic Fracture Mechanics:
    Energy release rate and Stress Intensity Factors. Plastic zone size. Fracture Toughness and failure prediction. Thickness effects on Fracture Toughness. The plane strain Fracture Toughness test.
    - Fatigue Crack Growth:
    Fatigue crack growth rate curve. Stress ratio effects. Paris Law and other analytical representations.
    - Damage Tolerance Analysis:
    Life prediction. Closed form integration for constant Beta and Paris Law. Retardation effects. Design Criteria.

    Learning Activities and Methodology:

    Theory sessions.
    Problem sessions working individually and in groups.
    Experimental and numerical Lab-sessions.

    Assessment System:

    End-of-term exam (60%)
    Class tests (24%)
    Lab sessions (16%)

    In order to pass the subject the following two conditions must be met:

    1) A minimum grade of 5.0 (End-of-term + continuous evaluation) must be obtained,
    2) A minimum grade of 4.0 in the end-of-term exam must be obtained.

    Basic Bibliography:

    Anderson, T. L.. Fracture Mechanics: Fundamentals and Applications. CRC Press. 1995
    Megson. Aircraft Structures for Engineering Students. Elsevier. 2012
    Ralph I. Stephens, et. al.. Metal Fatigue in Engineering. Wiley. 2001
    Timoshenko & Gere. Theory of Elastic Stability. McGraw Hill. 1985

    Additional Bibliography:

    Broek, David. The practical use of fracture mechanics. Springer. 1989
    Bruhn, E.F.. Analysis and design of flight vehicle structures. Jacobs. 1973
    James Gere and Stephen Timoshenko. Mechanics of Materials. PWS Publishing. 1990 (or newer).
    Jan R. Wrigth. Introduction to Aircraft Stability and Loads. John Wiley & Sons. 2007
    John M. Barsom and Stanley T. Rolfe. Fracture and Fatigue Control in Structures. ASTM. 1999

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

ECTS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System) credits are converted to semester credits/quarter units differently among U.S. universities. Students should confirm the conversion scale used at their home university when determining credit transfer.


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