Sensitivity Study of Staircase Fatigue Tests Using Monte Carlo Simulation
The staircase fatigue test method is a well-established, but poorly understood probe for determining fatigue strength mean and standard deviation. The sensitivity of results to underlying distributions was studied using Monte Carlo simulation by repeatedly sampling known distributions of hypothetical fatigue strength data with the staircase test method. In this paper, the effects of the underlying distribution on staircase test results are presented with emphasis on original normal, lognormal, Weibull and bimodal data. The results indicate that the mean fatigue strength determined by the staircase testing protocol is largely unaffected by the underlying distribution, but the standard deviation is not. Suggestions for conducting staircase tests are provided.