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Approaches for assuring the mechanical durability of ground vehicle structures are reviewed in the context of continuing developments in computer-aided engineering tools. Examples involving service data acquisition, vehicle loads analysis, component stress analysis, damage analysis, and fatigue life prediction are presented to illustrate the impact of new technologies on vehicle design. Finally, some current problem areas and prospects for the development and implementation of improved design strategies are discussed.
materials, fatigue, life prediction, structural durability, data acquisition, computer simulation, material properties, fracture mechanics
Research staff member, Ford Motor Co., Dearborn, MI