The South Ural Scientists Research Fatigue of Materials


Unique development results of a young engineer and researcher from the Aircraft Department of SUSU Polytechnic Institute, Alexey Yerpalov, with the use of accurate calculations on resources can prolong service life of aircraft, automotive or railway vehicles.

Research scientist of the Aircraft Department, 26-year-old Alexey Yerpalov is planning on defending dissertation concerning “Characteristic research of material fatigue resistance and calculation of structural life under asymmetric random load”; nonetheless, the results of his research at the regional level have already been acknowledged by academic community. In the frameworks of Project 5-100 the young scientist has obtained a grant from the contest called “Young Scientists Support – 2016” and has published several research articles, two of which have been published in top-50% Scopus journals. Nowadays nobody in Russia conducts similar research, nonetheless, according to the scientist’s opinion, they are necessary in order to prolong service life of aircraft, automotive or railway vehicles. For this purpose, it is necessary to determine fatigue properties of the material and calculate its damage under the influence of vibratory forces.

“Vibrations of different intensity influence absolutely all constructions – whether it is an automobile, an aircraft or a sea craft," - says Alexey Yerpalov. - "Let’s consider automobile transport as an example: when driving on asphalt, the auto will be influenced by insignificant vibrations, but on an earth road the vibrations are more serious. Prolonged exposure to vibrations leads to qualitative changes of constructions, which more often are of fatigue character. This means that sooner or later the construction under prolonged exposure to vibrations will be destroyed. There are different methods for fatigue endurance assessment; one of the parameters which influence the endurance is asymmetry of the load that I research in my dissertation work.”

During the Soviet period, the problem of fatigue endurance of materials had been researched by such distinguished scientists and university professors as L.A. Shefer, N.I. Grinenko, I.G. Zavalich, V.G. Yezhov and others. But analog technique and absence of modern computers at that moment hadn’t allowed for performing accurate calculations. Nowadays modern electrodynamic vibration stands of different power capacity which allow for conducting the most difficult tests with their immediate digitization have been purchased by SUSU for its Laboratory for Experimental Mechanics.

“Modern science has made great progress; the world has got new electronics, new developments, flawless computer facilities which allow for performing more accurate calculations and obtain assumptions, if compared to the Soviet times. We also need taking into account the modern tendency to decrease material consumption, along with construction’s ergonomics. For example, if an automobile’s material is lighter, it is more efficient as it requires less petrol. However the light construction should also be strong. And strong not only on an impact, but also under prolonged exposure to vibrations. All my research possesses applied character and targeted at the increase of accuracy when calculating durability of structures. Based on this research we can provide recommendations which in the future can be used by manufacturers in order to improve their models, says Alexey Yerpalov.

Development results of Alexey Yerpalov’s research are successfully used in the State Rocket Center named after Academician V.P. Makeev (a part of the Roskosmos structure), which has been collaborating with the young scientist for more than a year. Besides, the assessment methods can be implemented in civil engineering enterprises, aircraft engineering, shipbuilding or automobile construction. As an example, in order to improve durability and security characteristics of light or heavy vehicles.

“Uniqueness of the research lays in focusing on the asymmetric random load, emphasizes the engineer and researcher. In fact, such tests can be performed for any company; we can research its samples and obtain fatigue properties of the material. However, the research itself is very expensive; in order to create statistic base for just one type of material, we need to break about 100 samples and test the material in 5-6 levels of load. Only big industrial enterprises can afford this.”

For each test, Alexey Yerpalov wrote and registered unique computer programs. In the nearest future, the young scientist is planning to defend his dissertation, written under supervision of Doctor of Engineering Science, Professor Leopold Anatolyevich Shefer; he is also planning to teach at the University’s Aircraft Department and keep on his research in the field which, according to the scientist’s words, can be researched for one’s whole life and whose results will always be useful for society.

Oksana Kuvakina, photo by Oleg Igoshin
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