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Failure Modes of Aerospace Materials

Physical Monitoring Principles

Modeling of Load and Damage Mechanisms in SHM

  1. Kumar V. Jata1,
  2. Ajit Roy1,
  3. Triplicane A. Parthasarathy1,2

Published Online: 15 SEP 2009

DOI: 10.1002/9780470061626.shm010

Encyclopedia of Structural Health Monitoring

Encyclopedia of Structural Health Monitoring

How to Cite

Jata, K. V., Roy, A. and Parthasarathy, T. A. 2009. Failure Modes of Aerospace Materials. Encyclopedia of Structural Health Monitoring. .

Author Information

  1. 1

    Air Force Research Laboratory, Wright Patterson Air Force Base, Dayton, OH, USA

  2. 2

    Air Force Research Laboratory, UES Incorporated, Wright Patterson Air Force Base, Dayton, OH, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 SEP 2009


Understanding and interpreting aircraft structural and engine failure modes at a material level is important from the standpoint of employing superior fracture-resistant materials and predicting remaining useful life based on the micromechanics of materials. Failure modes can be understood by observing the fracture surface of a component from a low magnification to several orders of magnitude of magnification. It is also important to know the chemical composition of the material, primary, and secondary processing methods used to fabricate the product form. To predict the fracture modes, knowledge of operational environment and loads is required. Recently, there has been an increasing interest and need to design structural health monitoring systems to maintain systems based on the system condition. Instead of time-based maintenance, the new paradigm is to perform condition-based maintenance. Therefore, knowledge of material and structural failure modes is essential to incorporate this new approach. To perform the system health diagnosis, collaborative work between nondestructive evaluation (NDE) and structural health monitoring researchers is critical to build new health monitoring systems in the future. This article broadly discusses and summarizes failure modes of a few structural metallic alloys and polymer-based composites used in aerospace structures.


  • metals;
  • ceramics;
  • composites;
  • laminate;
  • deformation;
  • fracture;
  • failure;
  • creep;
  • fatigue;
  • corrosion;
  • oxidation;
  • aluminum