Probabalistic Risk Assessment of a Turbine Disk

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Current Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) rotor design certification practices risk assessment using a probabilistic framework focused on only the life-limiting defect location of a component. This method generates conservative approximations of the operational risk. The first section of this article covers a discretization method, which allows for a transition from this relative risk to an absolute risk where the component is discretized into regions called zones. General guidelines were established for the zone-refinement process based on the stress gradient topology in order to reach risk convergence. The second section covers a risk assessment method for predicting the total fatigue life due to fatigue induced damage. The total fatigue life incorporates a dual mechanism approach including the crack initiation life and propagation life while simultaneously determining the associated initial flaw sizes. A microstructure-based model was employed to address uncertainties in material response and relate crack initiation life with crack size, while propagation life was characterized large crack growth laws. The two proposed methods were applied to a representative Inconel 718 turbine disk. The zone-based method reduces the conservative approaches, while showing effects of feature-based inspection on the risk assessment. In the fatigue damage assessment, the predicted initial crack distribution was found to be the most sensitive probabilistic parameter and can be used to establish an enhanced inspection planning.



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