High cycle fatigue is the major governing failure mode in aerospace structures and gas turbine engines. Different design tools are available to predict number of cycles to failure for a component subjected to fatigue loads. An energy-based fatigue life prediction framework was previously developed in recent research for prediction of axial, bending and torsional fatigue life at various stress ratios. The framework for the prediction of fatigue life via energy analysis was based on a new constitutive law, which states the following: the amount of energy required to fracture a material is constant. A 1-D ROD element for unixial fatigue, a BEAM element for bending fatigue and a QUAD-4 element for biaxial fatigue were developed by authors based on this constitutive law. In this study, the energy expressions that construct the new constitutive law are integrated into minimum potential energy formulation to develop a new HEX-8 BRICK finite element for fatigue life prediction. The newly developed HEX-8 BRICK element has 8 nodes and each node has 3 degrees of freedom (DOF) in x, y and z directions. This element is further modified to add the rotational and bending DOFs for application to real world three dimensional (3D) structures and components. HEX-8 BRICK fatigue finite element has capability to predict the number of cycles to failure for 3-D objects subjected to multiaxial stresses. The new HEX-8 element is benchmarked with previously developed uniaxial tension/compression finite element in order to verify the new development. The comparison of finite element method (FEM) results to existing experimental fatigue data, verifies the new finite element development for fatigue life prediction. The final output of this finite element analysis is in the form of number of cycles to failure for each element in ascending or descending order. Therefore, the new finite element framework can predict the number of cycles to failure at each location in gas turbine engine structural components. The new finite element provides a very useful tool for fatigue life prediction in gas turbine engine components as it provides a complete picture of fatiguing process. The performance of the HEX-8 fatigue finite element is demonstrated by comparison of life prediction results for A16061-T6 to previously developed multiaxial fatigue life prediction approach by the authors. Another set of comparison is made to results for type 304 stainless steel data.

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