Techniques for Contact Considerations in Fatigue Life Estimations of Automotive Structures
Contacts or interactions commonly exist between adjacent components in automotive structures, and most of the time they dominate stress status of the components. However, when the routine pseudo stress approach is employed in fatigue life estimations, simulating contacts present special challenges. This may result in coarse stress status and corresponding coarser fatigue life estimations at the contact locations. In this paper, concept, development and procedures of two techniques to consider contacts in fatigue life estimations of automotive structures are described in detail. One is still pseudo stress approach based, but employs additional 1-D connection elements to simulate contacts. The other is nonlinear stress approach based, but equivalent constantly repeating cyclic critical load cases are introduced and utilized. The contacts are simulated by interface setup provided in the software.