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Reliability-based management of fatigue failures Open Access


Other title
residual stress
ultrasonic peening
crack propagation
fracture mechanics
crack initiation
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Josi, Georg
Supervisor and department
Grondin, Gilbert Y. (Civil and Environmental Engineering)
Examining committee member and department
Moussa, Walied (Mechanical Engineering)
Bindiganavile, Vivek S. (Civil and Environmental Engineering)
Kanvinde, Amit (Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of California, Davis)
Szymanski, Jozef (Civil and Environmental Engineering)
Adeeb, Samer (Civil and Environmental Engineering)
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Date accepted
Graduation date
Doctor of Philosophy
Degree level
Fatigue assessments have been carried out predominantly with quasi-deterministic approaches, such as the use of Sā€“N curves. However, both the loading and the resistance of fatigue prone components are subjected to significant uncertainties. Consequently, a prediction of the remaining fatigue life based on deterministic load and resistance models can lead to unreliable results. This work presents a general reliability-based approach to predict fatigue life of steel components. The approach incorporates prediction of fatigue crack initiation, modeled with a strain-based correlation approach, and propagation, modeled using a linear elastic fracture mechanics approach, and is applicable to new, cracked or repaired structural components. Based on the analysis of existing test results and additional crack initiation and propagation tests on weld metal, the relevant probabilistic fatigue material properties of grade 350WT steel and a matching weld metal were established. An experimental program was carried out on welded details tested either in the as-welded, stress-relieved, conventionally peened, or ultrasonically peened condition. It was demonstrated that ultrasonic peening is superior to the other investigated post weld treatment methods. Using finite element analyses, the results of the tests were deterministically predicted for several different initial conditions, including initial flaw and crack sizes and locations, as well as different levels of residual stresses. A model incorporating an initial flaw and accounting for crack closure and the threshold stress intensity factor range was retained. A probabilistic analysis using Monte Carlo Simulation was carried out to calibrate the relevant parameters. A general reliability-based approach, which includes both the loading and resistance sides of the limit state function was proposed and applied to three practical examples: prediction of test results from two test programs and the prediction of the remaining fatigue life of a cracked component as a function of the safety index. These three applications demonstrated that accurate fatigue life predictions targeting a predefined safety index are achieved.
License granted by Georg Josi ( on 2010-01-28T22:36:57Z (GMT): Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of the above terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis, and except as herein provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
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