The European Pressure Vessel Standard EN 13445 (harmonized Standard acc. to PED 2014/68/EU) provides in its Part 3 (Design) a simplified method for fatigue assessment (Clause 17) and a detailed method of fatigue assessment (Clause 18). While the new revision of Clause 17 has already been adopted, Clause 18 “Detailed Assessment of Fatigue Life” is now available as a consolidated revision in inquiry phase. This major and comprehensive revision has been developed within the framework of the European working group CEN/TC 54/WG 53 – Design methods and constitutes a crucial step towards a modern and user-friendly engineering fatigue assessment method. The overall structure and amendments of Clause 18 are to be presented. All these amendments aim at a significant increase in user friendliness and clear guidelines for application. The following items are to be mentioned in that context:

• Fatigue assessment of welded components based on structural stress and structural hot-spot stress approaches,

• Detailed guidelines for determining relevant stresses and stress ranges,

• Cycle counting proposals in the context of the fatigue assessment method including a critical plane approach.

The fatigue assessment of welded components is separated from the fatigue assessment of un-welded parts as it has already been done in previous versions with respective methodological differences. Stress analyses for clause 18 are usually based on detailed finite element analyses (FEA). As an essential amendment for the user, the determination of structural stress ranges for the fatigue assessment of welds is further detailed in a new appropriate annex.

Different applicable methods for the determination of structural stresses are explained in connection with the requirements of the finite element models and analyses. The cycle counting issue is comprehensively treated in the context of different design and operation situations (design transients, operational stress-time-histories). The description is detailed towards a critical plane approach. Detailed proposals for implementation in an algorithmic programming framework are given making the described methods ready to use.

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