This study is concerned with the design of vehicle structures through the use of Fatigue Equivalent Static Loads (FESL). A large percentage of failures of mechanical structures can be attributed to fatigue. Furthermore, it is also generally accepted that defective structural design is mostly caused by insufficient knowledge of the input loading. The fatigue loads experienced by vehicle structures are especially difficult to quantify. In the current competitive markets, it is essential to use a pro-active, timely and cost effective process to solve fatigue related problems. The heart of the FESL methodology is the ability to condense a large amount of input load data into a single fatigue load. This is achieved by calculating the damage of the measurements and converting it to an equivalent stress, through the use of a calibration matrix obtained from a unit-load finite element analysis. A Fatigue Equivalent Static Load can now be determined, and the vehicle structure can be evaluated for durability.
Dissertation (M Eng (Mechanical Engineering))--University of Pretoria, 2006.