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An Analytical Tool for Fracture ControlThe structural integrity of critical NASA space flight hardware is ensured through a damage tolerance program which is dictated in the fracture control requirements. The goal of a fracture control program is to ensure proper material selection and control, control of working stress levels, use of fracture resistant design concepts, manufacturing process control, and the use of qualified inspection procedures. The damage tolerance philosophy assumes that all components contain initial defects and the damage accumulation process is thus entirely crack propagation. The service capability of fracture critical components is determined by analysis and/or test. A large percentage of NASA fracture critical hardware is certified by analysis only and it is therefore imperative that the analysis code utilized contain the latest state of the art technology. Not all space contractors and vendors are able to develop and maintain an analysis code which meets this requirement. A response to this need has been fulfilled by the development of the NASA/FLAGRO (NASGRO) fracture mechanics code here at the Johnson Space Center. The NASGRO code is based primarily in Linear Elastic Fracture Mechanics (LEFM) and is continually updated to meet to needs of the user community. Development assistance comes from other NASA centers as well as the European Space Agency (ESA). The code currently has a vast materials data file (over 350 different entries) which defines the material strength, fracture toughness, crack growth rate, and crack growth threshold. The code also allows for user defined inputs of data from other sources. The code also provides a large library of stress intensity factor solutions for numerous geometries and loading conditions.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Johnson Space Center
Document Type
Conference Paper
Patin, Raymond M.
(NASA Johnson Space Center Houston, TX United States)
Forman, Royce G.
(NASA Johnson Space Center Houston, TX United States)
Date Acquired
August 17, 2013
Publication Date
May 1, 1994
Publication Information
Publication: Dual-Use Space Technology Transfer Conference and Exhibition
Volume: 1
Subject Category
Structural Mechanics
Accession Number
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
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