Structures are subjected to a number of individual loads. These loads vary in amplitude and phase, resulting in multiaxial loading and fatigue. The fatigue analysis technique presented here is based on available models for multiaxial cyclic plasticity, notch correction, critical plane and rainflow counting, and damage estimation. Integration of these models with elastic finite-element analysis (FEA) is discussed, and an example of the fatigue design process from FEA to life prediction is presented.
Understanding the damaging nature of a multiaxial load history is difficult because it is not obvious how these loads combine to produce fatigue damage at a critical location. When joined with the aforementioned computational techniques, use of current visualization hardware and software tools can provide a designer or test engineer considerable insight into the damaging nature of a multiaxial load history. Visualization examples are presented to illustrate the capability and utility of this approach and show the potential options for visual output.