Defect tolerance assessment of ARIANE 5 structures on the basis of damage mechanics material modelling
Damage mechanics based material models have been applied to establish fracture control procedures for the failure prediction of ARIANE 5 main structural components as the booster cases including welds, the main stage, and the upper stage cryogenic tank. The main goals of the damage mechanics based investigations were the accurate failure prediction, the clarification of dependency of fracture toughness on geometry, the calibration of analytical methods and the interpretation and optimisation of small scale fracture tests for material characterization and quality assurance. The results of these investigations allowed a failure prediction accuracy with analytical tools which is close to 3D numerical simulations. This could be demonstrated both with ductile (Gurson) and brittle (RKR) damage mechanics models.