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Structural Engineering and Mechanics
  Volume 35, Number 5, July30 2010 , pages 571-592

A new finite element procedure for fatigue life prediction of AL6061 plates under multiaxial loadings
Wasim Tarar, M.-H. Herman Shen, Tommy George and Charles Cross

    An energy-based fatigue life prediction framework was previously developed by the authors for prediction of axial, bending and shear fatigue life at various stress ratios. The framework for the prediction of fatigue life via energy analysis was based on a new constitutive law, which states the following: the amount of energy required to fracture a material is constant. In the first part of this study, energy expressions that construct the constitutive law are equated in the form of total strain energy and the distortion energy dissipated in a fatigue cycle. The resulting equation is further evaluated to acquire the equivalent stress per cycle using energy based methodologies. The equivalent stress expressions are developed both for biaxial and multiaxial fatigue loads and are used to predict the number of cycles to failure based on previously developed prediction criterion. The equivalent stress expressions developed in this study are further used in a new finite element procedure to predict the fatigue life for two and three dimensional structures. In the second part of this study, a new Quadrilateral fatigue finite element is developed through integration of constitutive law into minimum potential energy formulation. This new QUAD-4 element is capable of simulating biaxial fatigue problems. The final output of this finite element analysis both using equivalent stress approach and using the new QUAD-4 fatigue element, is in the form of number of cycles to failure for each element on a scale in ascending or descending order. Therefore, the new finite element framework can provide the number of cycles to failure at each location in gas turbine engine structural components. In order to obtain experimental data for comparison, an Al6061-T6 plate is tested using a previously developed vibration based testing framework. The finite element analysis is performed for Al6061-T6 aluminum and the results are compared with experimental results.
Key Words
    cycles; equivalent stress; energy; fatigue; finite element analysis; structures; uniaxial.
Wasim Tarar: Department of Aerospace Engineering, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210, USA
M.-H. Herman Shen: Department of Aerospace Engineering, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210, USA
Tommy George: Air Force Research Laboratory Wright-Patterson AFB, OH 45433, USA
Charles Cross: Air Force Research Laboratory Wright-Patterson AFB, OH 45433, USA

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