The International Committee on Aeronautical Fatigue and Structural Integrity (ICAF) was formed in 1951 (under the name “International Committee on Aeronautical Fatigue”) in response to growing concerns regarding fatigue problems in metal aircraft structures. ICAF is an informal organization that consists of the General Secretary and the National Delegates from the seventeen member countries. In 2010 the name was changed to the present one in order to clarify that the scope of the committee had broadened over the years and now also includes topics such as damage formation and growth in composite structures, structural health and loads monitoring, probabilistic modeling of structural integrity, corrosion control, etcetera. The acronym ICAF was maintained.
The stated aims of ICAF are to encourage contacts between people actively engaged in aircraft structural integrity problems and to exchange information, experience, opinions and ideas concerning aeronautical fatigue and fatigue-related subjects. To this end a conference and a symposium are organized every two years for attendance by representatives of industry, universities and institutes, military specialists, regulatory agencies and aircraft operators throughout the world. The two-day conference consists of reviews of aeronautical fatigue and other structural integrity activities presented by the National Delegates. It is followed by a three-day symposium for specialist papers presented by authors with design, manufacturing, airworthiness regulations, operations and research backgrounds. The symposium also includes the Plantema Memorial Lecture, delivered by a leading member of the structural integrity community, and the presentation of the Schijve Award to a selected young researcher. Participation in the ICAF meetings is open for anybody interested in the topics.
ICAF has no formal constitution or laws or funds. Its activities are possible only by the interest of the member countries and the activities of the National Delegates and the General Secretary, who is elected by the National Delegates from their ranks and is appointed for an indefinite period of time. The appointment of the National Delegates is also permanent. On resignation, a delegate nominates a successor for approval by the other delegates and the General Secretary. The National Delegates usually come from a non-profit research institute, although some delegates have a position in a university or within the aerospace industry.