Gas Turbine Engine Disk Retirement-for-Cause: An Application of Fracture Mechanics and NDE

[+] Author and Article Information
C. G. Annis, M. C. VanWanderham, J. A. Harris, D. L. Sims

Materials and Mechanics Technology Lab., Pratt & Whitney Aircraft, Government Products Division, West Palm Beach, Fla.

J. Eng. Power 103(1), 198-200 (Jan 01, 1981) (3 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3230696 History: Received December 27, 1979; Online September 28, 2009


Historically, gas turbine engine disks are retired when they accrue an analytically determined lifetime where the first fatigue crack per 1000 disks could be expected. By definition then, 99.9 percent of these components are being retired prematurely. Retirement-for-cause (RFC) is a procedure, based on fracture mechanics, which would allow safe utilization of the full life capacities of each individual disk. Since gas turbine disks are among the most costly of engine components, adopting a RFC philosophy could result in substantial systems life cycle cost savings. These would accrue from reduced replacement costs, conservation of strategic materials such as cobalt, and energy savings.

Copyright © 1981 by ASME
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