On the use of nominal stresses to predict the fatigue strength of welded joints under biaxial cyclic loading


Correspondence: R. Tovo. E-mail: rtovo@ing.unife.it


In this paper, the modified Wöhler curve method proposed by Susmel and Lazzarin is employed to predict the fatigue life of welded connections subjected to biaxial cyclic loading. This criterion is reformulated here in order not to take into account the mean stress effect, as suggested by several design codes (at least when welded connections are not completely stress relieved). The accuracy of the proposed method in fatigue lifetime estimation was evaluated by using a number of data sets taken from the literature. The modified Wöhler curve method was applied in terms of nominal stresses and was calibrated using the uniaxial and torsional fatigue curve determined by reanalysing the experimental data, as well as using the standard fatigue curves of the Eurocode 3. The proposed approach was seen to be successful, giving multiaxial fatigue life predictions located within the widest scatter band related either to uniaxial or to torsional data, independently of both out-of-phase angle and load ratio value. Finally, the accuracy of the modified Wöhler curve method was compared to the one obtained by applying the procedure suggested by the Eurocode 3: the proposed criterion is demonstrated to be much more accurate and reliable than the standard one.