The objective of this work is to perform a fatigue reliability analysis of a load-carrying fillet welded cruciform joint based on the local strain approach. The effective notch stresses of the weld root and toe of the cruciform joint, where the fatigue cracks are usually initiated, are estimated by the finite element method and the fatigue notch factors of these two locations as a function of the weld leg and slit lengths are explicitly represented by response surface models. Within the context of the local strain approach, a critical fatigue notch factor that can exactly trigger fatigue failure is proposed. The statistical descriptors of the critical fatigue notch factor are determined by using the Monte Carlo simulation method, in which the nominal stress range, material properties and fatigue damage at failure are treated as random variables. The limit state functions of the weld root and toe are formulated based on the response surface models and critical fatigue notch factors. The first order reliability method is applied to evaluate the reliability against the fatigue damage. Finally, the cruciform joint system, composed by the two fatigue-prone locations, is evaluated as a series system of components.

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