Comparing stress gradient and other concepts for fatigue analysis of notched components
Nowadays simulation of the fatigue life is an essential part of the development of components in the automotive and machinery industry. Weak points can be identified fast and reliable with respect to stiffness, strength and lightweight. A pure virtual optimization of the design can be performed without the need of prototypes. Only for the production release a final test is necessary. A lot of parameters influence the fatigue life as the local stress, material, surface roughness, size of the component, temperature etc. Notches have the strongest impact on fatigue life, depending on radius and shape. Stresses at the notch base are increased because the load flow is forced through a reduced cross section, or changes its direction around an inwardly curved edge. But notches cause not only an increase of the local stress. Also, the local fatigue strength is increased because of a support effect from the neighboring areas, where the stress is already reduced.