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At the present time there is a great interest in damage tolerance of aircraft structures both for existing aircraft (aging aircraft, life extension programs) and new aircraft which are still in the design phase. Damage Tolerance has a wide coverage because of the large variety of aircraft (transport aircraft, fighters, and helicopters), different types of structural concepts (e.g. integral vs. non-integral) and structural materials (metallic materials, composites, hybrid laminates).

The Aerospace Engineering department of Delft University is organizing a conference on concepts of Damage Tolerance of Aircraft Structure with the central question how to prove that damage to the structure does not impair the integrity of the structure. Damage may be due to fatigue crack initiation, but damage tolerance is also essential in view of various other sources of damage which can grow by fatigue under service load spectra. Airworthiness regulations recognize the growth of initial damage and require a valid proof that the aircraft can be safely used if increasing damage is present. The present issues are associated with concepts about multiple site damage, widespread fatigue damage, corrosion damage, impact damage, residual strength of the damaged structure, finite-element analysis, component testing, full-scale tests, inspection procedures, load spectra measurements, etc.

In the conference the emphasis will be on methods and procedures for establishing the damage tolerance properties of aircraft structures. The aim is to have case history type papers describing the various steps made for assessing the damage tolerance of an aircraft structure. Relevant aspects are designing for damage tolerance, selection of principal structural elements, arguments for the damage to be applied, experimental efforts, and finally how the airworthiness regulations are satisfied. Within the scope of the Conference it is not the purpose to have papers on theoretical prediction models and probability calculations. However, papers covering different types of aircraft and structural materials are welcome.
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