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Technical Paper

Testing of Welded and Machined A36 Steel T-Joint Configuration Specimens

For this latest SAE Fatigue Design and Evaluation project, fatigue tests were run by loading, in bending, both welded and machined T-Joint specimens that have the same geometry. The test rig setup consisted of a horizontally mounted actuator, with pinned joints at both ends, where the load is applied to the top of the vertical leg of the “upside down T” of a T-Joint specimen, while the horizontal legs of the “upside down T” were clamped to the bedplate. Specimens were tested until failure or until the specimen was unable to carry the commanded load. They were cycled under constant amplitude (at several load levels and R ratios), block cycle, and variable amplitude loadings. Welded and machined T-Joint specimens of the same geometry were included in the test plan such that fatigue life predictions could be compared to test lives for each case. Those comparisons would demonstrate the methodology’s relative predictive ability to manage welds, residual stress, etc...
Technical Paper

Comparison of Total Fatigue Life Predictions of Welded and Machined A36 Steel T-Joints

A new total fatigue life methodology was utilized to make fatigue life predictions, where total fatigue life is defined as crack initiation and subsequent crack propagation to a crack of known size or the component’s inability to carry load. Fatigue life predictions of an A36 steel T-joint geometry were calculated using the same total fatigue life methodology for both welded and machined test specimens that have the same geometry. The only significant difference between the two analyses was the inclusion of the measured weld residual stresses in the welded specimen life predictions. Constant amplitude tests at several load levels and R ratios were analyzed along with block cycle and variable amplitude loading tests. The accuracy of the life predictions relative to experimental test lives was excellent, with most within a factor of +/- two.