Fatigue, namely the failure mode linked to the action of cyclic loads, is an extremely important phenomenon in the structural assessment of a component.
It is estimated that up to 90% of failures in steel structures are due to fatigue and, since its discovery in the early 1800’s, has been largely studied and yet not fully understood in its entirety.
Understanding the physics
Numerous types of fatigue analysis have been developed over the years, such as high-cycle, low-cycle, stress-based, strain-based, uniaxial, multiaxial, etc.
It is important for the engineering analyst to have a full understanding of the physic of the problem to be able to select the correct approach to provide the correct answer on fatigue!
- Is the loading proportional?
- Is the operating temperature in a critical range for fatigue?
- Can defects or pre-existing cracks have an impact on the failure of the component?
- Does the actual material deviates from the standard data and how potential differences can impact the results of the fatigue assessment?
Fatigue lifetime calculations
The fatigue lifetime calculation indicates the lifetime of the product or construction and helps to schedule maintenance.
By applying a fatigue lifetime calculations any structural failure at a project can be reduced or even eliminated. The fatigue lifetime calculations can be performed at the end of the product development process or after operational usage. A combination of fatigue lifetime calculations and practical measurements provides a clear overview of the fatigue, lifetime and required maintenance intervals.