A Finite Element Based Methodology for Combined Crack Initiation and Crack Growth Prediction in Welded Structures
Understanding total fatigue life of welded joints is crucial to developing durable products. Traditional fatigue analysis methods have focused independently on either crack initiation or crack growth. Each of these methods has strengths but neither method predicts the total life of the part from fabrication to fracture. Recently the SAE Fatigue Design and Evaluation committee evaluated and validated a fatigue analysis technique that can predict the total life of the weld, from microscopic crack initiation to crack growth and finally to fracture. This paper describes a finite element-based (FE) methodology for implementing this total life fatigue analysis in a CAE environment.