Conceptual design and sizing of airframe panels according to safe-life acoustic fatigue criteria

R. M. Ajaj, G. Allegri, A. T. Isikveren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


This paper presents a methodology that permits accounting for acoustic fatigue effects when sizing safe-life structural skin-stringer panels at the conceptual design stage of aircraft product development. The approach is based upon estimation of the maximum noise radiated from an entry-into-service year 2020 turbofan. Sonic fatigue endurance is assessed for different skin-stringer panels having different values of skin thickness, rib pitch and stringer pitch. Three different materials were considered in this study: aluminium 2024-T3 alloys (Al 2024-T3); carbon fibre-reinforced plastics (CFRP); and, glass reinforced fibre metal laminate (Hybrid Glare-3). The study resulted in CFRP having the most favourable sonic fatigue performance. In order to link economic considerations into technical decision making, the sonic endurance methods were coupled with an industry grade costing analysis tool (SEER-H™) to examine the impact of safe-life design on the panel cost and weight. The presented methodology has been shown to be sufficiently generic in nature and robust. This will not only assist in identifying acoustic fatigue as a potential critical design scenario, but will also increase throughput during conceptual design sizing and optimisation.

Original languageBritish English
Pages (from-to)15-27
Number of pages13
JournalAeronautical Journal
Issue number1163
StatePublished - Jan 2011


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