Design of welded structures for fatigue limit state is normally carried out by means of either linear or bilinear S-N curves which have been found adequate to predict crack initiation only. To properly assess the effects of design, fabrication, inspection and repair strategy for structure degradation due to crack growth, Fracture mechanics (FM) models need to be applied. In this paper, alternative S-N and FM formulations of fatigue are investigated. Probabilistic fracture mechanics approach predicts the fatigue life of welded steel structure in the presence of cracks under random spectrum loading. It is based on a recently proposed bi-linear relationship to model fatigue crack growth and incorporates a failure criterion to describe the interaction between fracture and plastic collapse. Uncertainty modeling, especially on fatigue crack growth parameters, is undertaken with the aid of recently published data in support of the bilinear crack growth relationship. Results pertaining to fatigue reliability and fatigue crack size evolution are presented using the Monte Carlo Simulation Technique, and emphasis is placed on a comparison between linear and bi-linear crack growth models. The bi-linear S-N curve and crack growth model are found to lead to higher fatigue life estimates and shows sensitivity to many other parameters in addition to the stress state of the component. These findings implicate inspection schemes for components of the marine structures to ensure minimization of the surprises due to wide scatter of the fatigue phenomenon in marine environment. Variations in system configuration, service life and coefficients of crack growth laws have been studied on the parametric basis.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.