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With the continuing trends toward structural weight reduction, performance optimization, and the application of improved materials, fatigue analysis has become an essential and integral part of the ground vehicle design process. The roots of contemporary life prediction methods, dating back over 100 years, are first identified followed by a review of their development and implementation in automotive design. Examples of the application of fatigue technology in product development and evaluation are presented to demonstrate current capabilities. The complexities of real engineering structures and service environments are emphasized along with probabilistic approaches for dealing with variability and uncertainty.
fatigue, durability, reliability, design methods, automotive structures, sensitivity analysis, probabilistic design
Professor, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA