An Overview of Durability and Damage Tolerance Methodology at NASA Langley Research Center

  • Jonathan B. Ransom
  • Edwards H. Glaessgen
  • James G. Ratcliffe
Conference paper
Part of the Springer Proceedings in Mathematics & Statistics book series (PROMS, volume 37)


The NASA Langley Research Center’s Research Directorate provides many of the research and technology development capabilities required by the present and future needs of NASA across three encompassing technology areas, namely, aerodynamics, aerothermodynamics and acoustics (AAA); structures and materials (SM); and Airborne Systems (AirSc). Researchers contribute to nine primary areas of expertise which include structures, hypersonics, materials, flight dynamics and control, measurement sciences, crew systems and aviation operations, aerodynamics, safety critical avionics systems, and acoustics. These areas of expertise cover virtually all of the important disciplines related to flight, including the agency’s main thrusts within structures and materials. Researchers in the structures and materials technology area are constantly working to develop advanced materials to enable efficient, high-performance aerospace concepts; efficient, physics-based analytical and computational methods for multidisciplinary design and analysis; and methods to quantify the behavior, durability, damage tolerance, and overall performance of advanced materials and structures.As part of the structures and materials technology area, the Durability, Damage Tolerance and Reliability Branch (DDTRB) conducts research and technology development of efficient, physics-based analytical and computational methods to enable multidisciplinary design and analysis of advanced materials and structures for aerospace applications, including evaluation of concepts, quantification of behavior, durability, and damage tolerance, and validation of performance.DDTRB has contributed to the development and implementation of many fracture mechanics methods aimed at predicting and characterizing damage in both metallic and composite materials. Engineering fracture mechanics plays a vital role in the development and certification of virtually every aerospace vehicle that has been developed since the mid-twentieth century. This chapter presents a selection of computational, analytical, and experimental strategies and methodologies that have been developed by the branch for simulating and assessing damage growth under monotonic and cyclic loading and for characterizing the damage tolerance of aerospace structures. It includes continuum-based mechanics as well as a new paradigm focused on simulating and characterizing fundamental damage processes, called damage science.


Fatigue Crack Growth Friction Stir Welding Crack Closure Linear Elastic Fracture Mechanic Strain Energy Release Rate 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The authors would like to thank the members of the Durability, Damage Tolerance, and Reliability Branch and for their contributions to this chapter. In particular, the authors are grateful to Dr. Ronald Kruger of the Durability, Damage Tolerance, and Reliability Branch and Dr. Bourama Toni from Virginia State University for their thorough review of this chapter.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jonathan B. Ransom
    • 1
  • Edwards H. Glaessgen
    • 1
  • James G. Ratcliffe
    • 1
  1. 1.Durability, Damage Tolerance and Reliability BranchNASA Langley Research CenterHamptonUSA

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