Fatigue life estimation in welded joints under multiaxial loadings
Welded joints are frequently locations for cracks initiation and propagation that may cause fatigue failure of engineering structures. Biaxial or triaxial stress-strain states are present in the vicinity of welded joints, due to local geometrical constraints, welding processes and/or multiaxial external loadings. Fatigue life evaluation of welded joints under multiaxial proportional (in-phase) cyclic loading can be performed by using conventional hypotheses (e.g. see the von Mises criterion or the Tresca criterion) on the basis of local approaches. On the contrary, the fatigue life predictions of welded joints under non-proportional (out-of-phase) cyclic loading are generally unsafe if these conventional hypotheses are used. A criterion initially proposed by the authors for smooth and notched structural components has been extended to the fatigue assessment of welded joints. In more detail, fatigue life of welded joints under multiaxial stress states can be evaluated by considering a nonlinear combination of the shear stress amplitude (acting on the critical plane) and the amplitude and the mean value of the normal stress (acting on the critical plane). In the present paper, fatigue lifetimes predicted through the proposed criterion are compared with experimental fatigue life data available in the literature, related to fatigue biaxial tests.