Fatigue Life Prediction on Steel Beam Bridges under Variable Amplitude Loading

Steel bridges are normally subjected to random loads with different traffic frequencies. They are structures with dynamic behavior and are subject to fatigue failure process, where the nucleation of a crack, growth and failure can occur. After locating and determining the size of an existing fault, it is important to predict the crack propagation and the convenient time for repair. Therefore, fracture mechanics and fatigue concepts are essential to the right approach to the problem. To study the fatigue crack growth, a computational code was developed by using the root mean square (RMS) and the cycle-by-cycle models. One observes the variable amplitude loading influence on the life structural prediction. Different loads histories and initial crack length were considered as input variables. Thus, it was evaluated the dispersion of results of the expected structural life choosing different initial parameters.

Fatigue Failure Analysis in AISI 304 Stainless Wind Turbine Shafts

Wind turbines are equipment of great importance for generating clean energy in countries and regions with abundant winds. However, complex loadings fluctuations to which they are subject can cause premature failure of these equipment due to the material fatigue process. This work evaluates fatigue failures in small AISI 304 stainless steel turbine shafts. Fractographic analysis techniques, chemical analyzes using energy dispersive spectrometry (EDS), and hardness tests were used to verify the origin of the failures, characterize the properties of the components and the material. The nucleation of cracks on the shafts' surface was observed due to a combined effect of variable stresses, geometric stress concentrating details, and surface wear, leading to the crack's propagation until the catastrophic failure. Beach marks were identified in the macrographic examination, characterizing the probable failure due to fatigue. The sensitization phenomenon was also observed.