Fatigue & Damage Tolerance for Aerospace Engineers

In-company course
5 one-day sessions
Upon request
English / Dutch
Upon request

Course Objective

“Provides a comprehensive understanding of fatigue and fracture mechanics, giving engineers the tools for fatigue & damage tolerance evaluation.”

About the Course

Did you know that the number of structural failures due to fatigue is much larger than due to static overload? Managing and preventing problems due to metal fatigue should be considered a key capability of an aerospace structural engineer. Safe operation of your aircraft is important to you; you want to avoid any critical situation.
In this 5-day course engineers will get acquainted with fatigue & damage tolerance evaluation. Although the damage tolerance part is dedicated to aerospace engineering, the topic is quite well applicable outside aerospace. The participants will learn the basics and fundamentals of fatigue and fracture mechanics and the methods and tools for fatigue & damage tolerance evaluation.
The course consists of 5 one-day sessions.

Your Instructor

Johannes Homan | Fatigue & Damage Tolerance Specialist


Module 1 Introduction
  1. What is fatigue?
  2. Why is fatigue important?
  3. Fatigue mechanisms & phenomena
Module 2 Fatigue of Materials
  1. Effect of materials
  2. Effect of mean stresses
  3. Type of loading
Module 3 Effect of notches
  1. Stress concentrations
  2. Notch sensitivity factor
Module 4 Fatigue Analysis – Nominal Stresses
  1. Introduction
  2. Fatigue predictions using nominal stresses
  3. Examples
  4. Safety Factors
Module 5 Fatigue Analysis – Local Stresses
  1. Fatigue prediction using local stresses
  2. Examples
  3. Fatigue prediction using FEA
Module 6 Designing Against Fatigue
  1. Design process
  2. Accuracy of fatigue analyses
  3. Practical examples of good and bad design
Module 7 Fatigue of Joints
  1. Fatigue analyses for welded joints
  2. Bolts loaded in tension
  3. Bolts & rivets loaded in shear
Module 8 Variable Amplitude Loading
  1. Load spectra
  2. Cycle counting
  3. Damage accumulation
Module 9 Residual Stresses & Surface Conditions
  1. Residual stresses
  2. Surface conditions
Module 10 Linear Elastic Mechanics & Fatigue
  1. Stress Intensity Factors
  2. Crack growth under constant amplitude loading
  3. Crack growth under spectrum loading
  4. Residual strength (fracture toughness, R-curves)
  5. Crack growth and residual strength analysis
Module 11 Testing & Scatter
  1. Experimental approach
  2. Coupon testing through to full scale testing
  3. Quantification of scatter
  4. Scatter factors and coupling with safety factors
Module 12 Fatigue & Damage Tolerance Evaluation
  1. Maintenance policies in relation to fatigue
  2. Reactive and preventive maintenance
  3. F&DT damage predictions
  4. Design & Safety concepts


After this course

  • You have a solid fundamental understanding of the mechanism of fatigue, and know how to interpret fatigue calculation codes.
  • You know how to identify fatigue critical locations, and are familiar with the analysis methods so as to be able to predict component life.
  • You understand how fatigue behaviour is impacted by the mean stress, the surface condition, surface treatment and corrosion.
  • You have seen the concepts for damage accumulation and combined fatigue loading.
  • You have a solid overview of damage tolerance design and calculation methods. 

Who should attend this course

  • Those involved in structural design or reviewing designs:
    • Stress engineers
    • Design designers
    • Test engineers
    • Aircraft certification engineers
    • Design approval representative engineers
    • Airline maintenance engineers
  • Prerequisites:
    • An understanding of loads and stresses
    • Basic understanding of material behaviour
  • Level:
    • Intermediate
What to expect

This course consists of instructor-led live sessions with presentations, exercises and discussions of questions. During each session, participants can ask questions to the instructor which will be answered.


A personal certificate will be made available to each participant upon full attendance.


Will I be able to download the training material?

Yes, course content will be available for download.

Can I ask questions to the instructor?

Yes, interactive Q&A sessions are part of the sessions in this course and allow you to interact with the instructor and ask questions.

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What do others say

A great course to understand deeply how fatigue and crack growth processes work and with procedures to face on the analysis in the reality. Ignacio Mato, Premium Aerotec

The course is good both as an introduction to a F&DT engineer (though challenging) and as a source of a basic knowledge for a practising engineer. Valery Shafikov, Assystem

Great course! Really useful and complete! Javier Gutierrez Alvarez, Bishop GmbH

Very useful course for design engineers to support the knowledge of fatigue behaviour of aerospace structures and design features. Helpful to support you in the function with signature delegation. Tobias Modl, Premium Aerotec

A very complete training combining strong theoretical background with the teacher’s practical experience. But perhaps the most important point is that this course forces students to think by themselves and keep a critical mind as to what they can find in the literature. Nicolas Goots, SABCA

This course contains vital information for every stress engineer working in aerospace. Almost all topics related to fatigue and damage tolerance are discussed with sufficient detail. Taking this course will have a significant benifit to my job. ir. Christophe Ceusters, SABCA

Complete course, gives a good overview of fatigue and damage tolerance. The coursebook gives a clear explanation with practical examples and exercises. More than sufficient to explain the fatigue problems to other students. ir. Marcel van Varik, Inholland University of Applied Sciences

Highly recommended course for specific group, you need an aerospace degree, pref. MSc or BSc with experience otherwise the pace is too fast. Highly specialized course for very specific group of specialist engineers. Rick Bakker, ADSE

An intensive in-depth course based on practical experience in both aerospace and other industries. Aart Verbaas, ADSE