Uncertainty in fatigue life prediction of structures subject to Gaussian loads

Anders Bengtsson and Igor Rychlik

Centre for Mathematical Sciences
Mathematical Statistics
Lund Institute of Technology,
Lund University,

ISSN 1403-9338
In this report we shall concentrate on Gaussian (or close to Gaussian) loads acting on a structure. The goal is to compute a measure of risk for fatigue of a component during a specific time period and the so called ``safety index'' will be used to combine different types of uncertainties. The presented methodology can be applied in a more general situation of environmental loads which properties may vary with time of the year. The load is assumed to be ``locally'' stationary such that the mean load is constant (and taken to be zero) but the variance of a load can change slowly with time. Non-stationary hierarchical processes, separable into a stationary Gaussian process and a process describing the load amplitude and period, e.g. processes with Pierson-Moskowitz or JONSWAP spectrum, are treated in detail. The variability of a load, relevant for the fatigue accumulation process, will be described by means of rainflow cycles counted in the load. Moreover, common damage intensity approximations are reviewed and evaluated in a simulation study.