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Title: Development of Experimental Techniques and Predictive Tools to Characterise Thermo-Mechanical Fatigue Behaviour and Damage Mechanisms: DevTMF
Project No: 686600
Start date: 1st of February 2016
Duration: 48 months
Contact point: Svjetlana Stekovic, e-mail: svjetlana.stekovic@liu.se, +46 701 91 66 76
Daniel Leidermark, e-mail: daniel.leidermark@liu.se, +46 13 28 27 91

DevTMF is a research project funded by EU’ Horizon2020 new research and innovation programme and and Clean Sky 2, with an aim to characterise thermo-mechanical fatigue (TMF) behaviour of structural alloys of interest to allow for more accurate prediction of design lives of present and future gas turbine components. The project started 1st of February 2016 with a duration of 48 months. It brings together collective technical expertise and experience of working on thermo-mechanical fatigue (TMF) problems related to large aero-engines from three major centres of TMF research, namely Linköping, Swansea and Nottingham Universities, and also one major European aero-engine manufacturer Rolls-Royce plc.

Project aims and roadmap

The project plans to deliver significant technical innovations in following major topics to ensure world-leading competencies in aero engine and aircraft manufacturing sector for Europe:

  • Improvement and development of advanced standard and non-standard cutting-edge TMF experimental methods and harmonisation of the test methods to enable standardisation across the field by performing comprehensive studies into the phenomena for a range of representative parts,
  • Advanced metallurgical assessment of structural disc alloys taking into account the effect of multiple critical variables (e.g. R-ratio, phase, environment, dwell) to determine active damage mechanisms that control the life under TMF operating conditions, and
  • Physically based coupled models, with experimental validation, capable of predicting TMF initiation and propagation lives of components subjected to complex engine cycles and suitable for implementation in the computer programmes used to predict component lives.

Development of a TMF crack propagation experimental method is still in its infancy, as only a handful of high temperature TMF crack propagation (CP) testing facilities exist worldwide (including LiU, SU and UNOTT). Further, Rolls-Royce MTOC, DevTMF partners and other groups have formed a Working Group to develop a new Code of Practice for stress/load controlled TMF experimental initiation method as the procedural guidelines are still lacking. Therefore, significant innovations are required and will be delivered during the project in terms of the TMF experimental methods. Robust, statistical assessed and easily calibrated predictive TMF crack initiation and propagation models consistent with the damage mechanisms and sensitive to the fatigue damage process for life assessment of critical components developed in DevTMF will provide accurate extrapolations from a known set of results.

Project objectives

The main aim of the DevTMF project is to characterise TMF behaviour of two structural alloys of interest to allow for more accurate prediction of design lives of present and future gas turbine components. The ultimate goal is to enable further increase of operation and service life, which will subsequently provide environmental and economic benefits to the European gas turbine industry and Europe. To reach the aim of the project, the specific objectives are:
  • To validate TMF crack initiation (CI) and crack propagation (CP) test methods,
  • To perform conventional isothermal and advanced TMF CI and CP specimen tests of the chosen disc alloys,
  • To characterise the TMF behaviour and corresponding damage mechanisms in the alloys,
  • To develop advanced TMF CI and CP prediction models, and
  • To validate the predictive models by component representative TMF CI and CP tests.

Project partners

The consortium offers a unique team with which to undertake the significant challenges associated with this TMF lifing programme. The partners are: Project meeting at the University of Nottingham, March 2017
Project meeting at the University of Nottingham, March 2017.


Latest project meeting took place at the University of Nottingham between 28-29 March 2017. The purpose of the meeting was to:
  • Give a review of the activities from 2016 including the project progress, achieved results, deliverables and milestones,
  • For each WP leader to present scientific progress since the project start,
  • Overview of engine features and requirements on TMF,
  • Discuss dissemination activities especially plans for standardisation of TMF CP method,
  • Present and discuss previous experience and data on TMF CP, and
  • Go through reporting and its requirements as the first reporting period ends at the end of July 2017.
The meeting was chaired by both the Project Coordinator (Svjetlana Stekovic) and WP3 leader (Chris Hyde).


  • S. Stekovic, M. Whittaker, C. Hyde, O.M.D.M Messé, S. Pattison, Towards the Elaboration of the European Code of Practice for Thermo-Mechanical Fatigue Crack Growth, TMF Workshop 2016, April 2016, Berlin, Germany.

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Page responsible: Bo Torstenfelt
Last updated: 2017-05-09