Fatigue Fracture of Aircraft Engine Compressor Disks
Several compressor disks in military fighter and trainer aircraft gas turbine engines cracked prematurely in the bolt hole regions. The disks were made of precipitation-hardened AM355 martensitic stainless steel. Experimental and analytical work was performed on specimens from the fifth-stage compressor disk (judged to be the most crack-prone disk in the compressor) to determine the cause of the failures. Failure was attributed to high-strain low-cycle fatigue during service. It was also determined that the cyclic engine usage assumed in the original life calculations had been under estimated, which led to low-cycle fatigue cracking earlier than expected. Fracture mechanics analysis of the disks was carried out to assess their damage tolerance and to predict safe inspection intervals.