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Cumulative Damage Models and

Multi-Stress Fatigue Life Prediction


W. HWANG AND K. S. HAN

Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering


State University of New York at Buffalo
Buffalo, New York 14260
(Received August 1, 1984)
(Revised March 6, 1985)

ABSTRACT
Cumulative damage during fatigue is studied analytically. Extensive reviews are performed on the published damage models. Three different cumulative damage models
are defined using several physical variables such as fatigue modulus and resultant
strain. Proposed model I is defined using fatigue modulus, while models II and III are
defined using resultant strains. Proposed models are derived as functions of normalized applied stress level, r, and number of fatigue cycle, n. It is verified that the
proposed cumulative damage model III has better agreement with the two stress level
fatigue experimental data than other models.

INTRODUCTION
SERVICES,
DURING
jected varing

ENGINEERING STRUCTURES AND MACHINES ARE SUB-

or random loadings as well as constant amplitude


loadings. The nature of multi-stress level fatigue is more complicated than
constant amplitude stress fatigue. There have been numerous studies [1-23,
25-32] to explain multi-stress level fatigue phenomena and predict its life by
cumulative damage model approaches, approaches without a damage model,
and statistical approaches, etc. Cumulative damage model approach could be
classified as damage models defined by number of cycles and material char-

to

acteristic variables.

Defining fatigue damage of composite materials is not a simple problem.


Failure modes of composite materials are complicated and quite different
from those of isotropic materials. For short fiber composite materials, fibermatrix debonding, fiber fracture, and matrix failure are the main possible
failure modes. For composite laminates, delamination is also a possible
failure mode, in addition to the above failure modes. Based on these failure
modes, crack length, crack density, delamination, and number of deboned
fibers are apparent damages, which can be detected through microscopes, or
NDT instruments. These variables could be used to define the damage.
Journal of

COMPOSITE MATERIALS, Vol. 20-March 1986


0021-9983/86/02 0125-29 $4.50/0
@ 1986 Technomic Publishing Co., Inc.

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125

126

Besides the above visible physical variables, modulus, acoustic emission,


residual strength, and strain, which would vary during fatigue loadings, may
be used to define the damage. A damage model defined by material
characteristic variables should be formulated as a function of number of
cycles and applied stress level in order to use it for calculation of the damage
and prediction of fatigue life. In this study, three different fatigue damage
models are proposed using fatigue modulus and resultant strain, and
evaluated for the two-stress-level fatigue life predictions.

STRUCTURE OF DAMAGE FUNCTION

Fatigue damage of a material depends on applied stress level, number of


fatigue cycles, frequency, temperature, moisture content and geometric shape
of the specimen, etc. The damage can be written as a functional form,

where,
number of

fatigue cycle
applied stress level
f : frequency
n:

r:

T: temperature
M: moisture content
As a first approach, constant frequency and environmental conditions are
assumed. In addition, the effect of temperature rise during a fatigue test is ignored. Then the Equation (1) is reduced,

It is also assumed that the function

following

two

F(n,r)

could be

expressed

as

either of

relations, i.e.,

or

With

an assumption of no initial damage, the damage functions should


satisfy following initial and final boundary conditions.
For a constant amplitude loading,

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127

For

sequence

loading,

where,
N: number of cycles to failure
number of load sequence until final failure
AD,: amount of damage accumulation during fatigue at stress level r,
m :

Damage function is also assumed a monotonically increasing function with


number of cycles. With this assumption and Equation (3), the damage function is plotted in Figure 1. The Equation (3.a) seems a function of n alone
explicitly but the equation has stress effect because of N which is related to
applied stress. Though the Equation (3.a) contains applied stress effect, the
damage model which do not have stress dependent constants are classified as
a stress independent damage model. The reason is that these damage models
can be represented by one function and one curve, as shown in Figure 2.
The damage function has a trend either A, B, or C in Figure 2. The trend
can be determined by first derivative of D, dDldn (damage rate), or second
derivative, d zDldn 2. Following determinations can be made;

Figure

1.

Damage as a function of number of cycles for different stress levels.

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128

Figure 2. Damage

as a

function of cycle ratio and damage trends.

Remaining fatigue life of two-stress and multi-stress level can be predicted


using the above three equations in the following manner;
Two-stress level fatigue life prediction:
1. Find n,2 , the cycle at the stress r2, which has equivalent damage under the
stress r, and cycle n, , by equating

or

2. Then the

predicted remaining life becomes,

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129

Multi-stress level

fatigue life prediction;


above procedure 1.

1. Same as the
2. Find n23 , the cycle at r3 which has equivalent
curred under stresses r, and r2 , by equating

damage accumulation

oc-

or

where,

4D<~ - ,

1)k: total amount of damage accumulation after

3. Do procedure 2 until finding n <&dquo;, 4. Then the remaining life becomes,

(k - I)&dquo; load

1)&dquo;,

It should be pointed out that I:1D2 is not the same asj(n2/N2). Since AD2 is
defined by the damage accumulated under the stress level r2 , it becomes,

The stress independent models predict the same fatigue life


3. It can be also proved in the following manner.

as

shown in

Figure

[Proof]
Since there is only

The damage

sum

one

function, from the Equation (6),

accumulated during fatigue at

stress

level r, and r2 becomes,

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130

Figure 3.

Four step

fatigue

life

prediction by stress-independent damage

models.

Substitution of Equation (11) into (12) provides,

Finally it

can

be written

From the final condition of constant

amplitude loading (Equation (4)),

The function f in Equations (14) and (15) is same, therefore the arguments of
the function must be equal.

Namely,

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131

The Equation (16) represents Palmgren-Miners rule. That means the stress
independent models predict same multi-stress level fatigue life though they
could have different damage accumulation procedure during the fatigue test.
There is another damage summation method, the so called equivalent stress
approach (Leve [1]). According to this summation method, the damage sum
could be expressed,

If Equation (17) is used for damage sum, each stress independent model
predicts a different fatigue life. But the equivalent stress approach, which is
from the direct consideration of the result, fails to explain the effect of sequence of loading as well as the damage accumulation procedure.

REVIEWS

Palmgren [2,3] proposed a linear and stress independent cumulative


damage rule which was developed further by Miner [4]. This is the first
cumulative damage theory and known as Palmgren-Miners rule or linear
damage rule. This rule defined the damage as the ratio of the number of
cycles of operation v.s. the number of cycles to failure, i.e.,

The damage model predicts a damage trend B in Figure 2. By mathematical


treatments, remaining life can be obtained as follows;
Remaining life for two-stress level

Remaining life for multi-stress level

Because of its simplicity, this rule is still widely used. But this rule fails to
predict the effect of load history. Experimental data indicate that the order in
which various stress levels are applied, does have significant influences on the
fatigue behavior of materials. It is a generally known fact that the PalmgrenMiners damage sum to failure is greater than unity for low-high tests and less
than unity for high-low tests.
A nonlinear damage model, which is called modified Palmgren-Miners

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132
was considered for predicting multi-stress level fatigue life
cisely. The damage is defined as follows;

rule,

more

pre-

Where C is constant and independent of applied stress. Therefore this model


is a stress-independent model and predicts the same remaining life with
Palmgren-Miners rule. According to Leve [ 1 ], the constant C is greater than
1. Then this damage model has a trend C in Figure 2.
Shanley [5] proposed a linear damage model, which is expressed as follows;

where,
S:

C,k :

applied

stress
constants (k is

greater than 1)
b : slope of the central portion of the S-N

curve

Marco-Starkey [6] presented a non-linear cumulative stress dependent


damage model which has a similar form as modified Palmgren-Miners
model. The damage model is;

Where C, is a stress dependent constant. The value of C, should be determined in order to predict multi-stress level fatigue life. But evaluation of C, is
not possible unless the damage model matched with some physical variables
which can be detectable during fatigue tests. Only the following inequalities
can be obtainable from the Equation (6) and Figure 4.

where,

Henry [7] proposed


assumptions.
1. The S-N curve
stress value

can

be

cumulative damage theory based

on

the

following

suitably represented empirically by cycle v.s.

where,

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over-

133

Figure 4. Marco-Starkeys damage as a

function of cycle ratio.

K: material constant
limit of a virgin specimen

81: fatigue

2. When fatigue damage accumulates, both the K and 81 is general will be affected. Thus damage will have a new fatigue limit and a new fatigue life at
each stress level above the new fatigue limit value.
3. The K value for any degree of damage is assumed to be proportional to the
new specimen fatigue limit corresponding to the degree of damage.
The

damage is

defined as,

where,

St : fatigue limit after damage


Using the above three assumptions, Henry formulated
predict fatigue limit after damage;

following equation

to

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134
As

final result, he

presented,

where,
x:

cycle ratio,

q: overstress

n IN

ratio, (S - Sl )lSl

Corten and Dolran [8-10] proposed


defined as follows:

cumulative damage theory which is

where,
m :

c,a :

number of damage nuclei


function of the stress condition

predicting multi-stress level fatigue life, they postulated the following.


1.During the two-stress repeated block stress histories, the predominant influence of stress history was accounted for by assuming that once damage
nuclei were introduced at high stress level r&dquo;, they remained and propagated during subsequent loadings at both high and low stresses.
2. The rate of propagation of damage nuclei was determined solely by the
stress amplitude, either r, or r2, regardless of previous stress history.
3. The a in Equation (28) is not a function of applied stress condition but a
For

constant.

By the above assumptions, they derived two stress level


dition which can be written,

The

fatigue failure con-

Equation (29) expanded for multi-stress fatigue; that is

It was further assumed that the stress-dependent ratio C, /Cl might be


equivalent to another ratio involving stresses Sl and S, that could be more
easily evaluated. Pursuing this thought, Corten and Dolan formulated the

relationship;

Substitution of Equation (31) into Equation (30) provides,

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135

Gatts [11] derived a life prediction equation using residual strength and
fatigue limit degradation approaches. He defined the damage as a power
function form of the load; that is

where,

St : fatigue limit
a:

following assumptions were used.


Residual strength degradation rate is proportional to the damage.
Fatigue limit is proportional to residual strength.
The damage function is related to strain energy associated with strains and
stresses that exceed the level of the fatigue limit.

For
1.
2.
3.

constant

developing

4. Failure

his theory,

occurs

when residual

strength is reduced to applied

he derived
For constant stress amplitude;

Using the above assumptions,

stress.

following equations.

At failure;

For

fatigue limit

where,

81: fatigue

limit of

virgin specimen

k, C :

constants
q: stress amplitude

q,:

ratio, S/S,
fatigue limit ratio, 8//81

Marin [12] proposed a cumulative damage theory based on the consideration of relations between damage as a function of cycle ratio and changes in
the S-N curve due to damage accumulation. As a result he derived a multistress level fatigue failure criterion which is exactly same as the CortenDorans criterion, Equation (32). Marin developed the Equation (32) further

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136

by assuming the S-N curve could be adequately approximated by an equation


of the form.

Using Equation (37), Equation (32) could be written

as

where,

It is interesting to note that the Marins criterion reduces to Palmgren-Miners


hypothesis if p 0.
Manson [ 13,14] presented a double linear damage rule based on the fatigue
cycles for crack initiation and crack propagation. He assumed that the crack
propagation period Np can be written in terms of the total life N by the equa=

tions,

Where C is a constant to be determined.


The crack initiation cycle is

Finally he presented following criteria by applying Palmgren-Miners rule to


crack initiation and crack propagation cycles.
For crack initiation period

For the crack

propagation period;

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137

Owen and Howe [15] studied about debonding and resin cracking of a
glass-reinforced plastic during fatigue. They concluded that resin cracking
could represent fatigue damage in the composite. A stress independent model
was established based on the experimental results; that is

Where B and C are constants. It is interesting that the two constants can be
reduced to one if the failure condition (D 1 when n N) is considered, i.e.:
=

This model predicts the same multi-stress level fatigue life with PalmgrenMiners rule since it is a stress-independent model.
Subramanyan [16] proposed a non-linear cumulative damage model based
on S-N curve, fatigue limit and isodamage line in S-N curve. As the final
results, he presented following equations.

Damage model;

where,

Nt

number of cycles at

Two stress level

Multi-stress level

fatigue limit

fatigue life;

fatigue life;

where,
x, :

n, IN,

(8, + 1 - 81)(8, - 81)


stress at ith loading
limit
S,: fatigue
t~:

S, : applied

Later Srivatsavan and Subramanyan [17] studied this model further

sidering the effect of fatigue limit reduction.

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by con-

138

Lemaitre and Plumtree [ 18] proposed damage models in creep, fatigue and
Their fatigue damage model can be expressed;

creep-fatigue interaction.

where,
=

a =

1 /(p + 1 )
11(c + p + 1)

when strain is controlled


when stress is controlled

p: material constant
c:

For

material constant, may be found from S-N

curve

damage accumulation, they suggested,

multi-stress level fatigue life with Palmgren[19] stated that the constant depends upon the
testing conditions including strain range. Socie et. al. [20] determined the
value of p from crack length, load drop and strain accumulation measurement. For cast iron, they presented a following relation.

Equation (49) predicts

same

Miners rule. Later Plumtree

Their result shows that better agreement of Equation (49) with experimental
Palmgren-Miners rule for the programmed strain control tests.
Fong [21]equated a non-linear damage model with the following assumptions.

data than

1. The damage is function of normalized cycle ratio, x, only.


2. Damage varies linearly with D.

Namely,

where,

k, k :

constants

The solution to

The

Equation (51),

damage trend depends

on

with initial and failure conditions, is,

the value of k. The trend is A, B, and C in

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139

Figure 2 when k is negative, null, and positive, respectively. Throughout his


research, this damage model is matched with many physical variables such as
residual strength, maximum damage length, number of debonded fibers and
total resin crack length, etc.
There have been other damage models defined by physical variables during
fatigue test but not equated as a function of fatigue cycles. Cole et. al. [22]
studied the damage in composite materials by non-destructive techniques.
They determined the attenuation due to the damage from the total attenuation and undamaged material attenuation. Dibenedetto and Salee [23] investigated fatigue crack propagation in graphite fiber reinforced nylon 66. In
this study, the rate of damage (crack propagation rate) is defined by the rate
of change of compliance with time, dCldt. Fitzgerald [24] suggested a
damage model defined by undamaged and damaged modulus. This damage
model was investigated further by Wang et. al. [25] for fatigue of short fiber
SMC composite. Wang et. al. [26] also presented a shear fatigue damage
model defined by shear modulus.
The disperse nature of fatigue data is well known. Some efforts have been
given to study multi-stress level fatigue by statistical approaches. Yang et. al.
[27,28] predicted multi-stress level fatigue life by a residual strength degradation model. Chou [29] proposed a percent-failure damage model. He defined
the damage by the percentage of failure occurred during the load. Johnsen
and Dover [30] expanded Palmgren-Miners rule by Monte Carlo method.
They assumed that value of damage sum at failure follows normal distribution and the fatigue life at an applied stress level is lognormally distributed.
They presented the following life prediction equation.

where,
Z:

damage

sum

at failure

1, 2,
n &dquo;&dquo; Z and N, : random variables
n, : constant

(i

...,

m -

1)

NEW FATIGUE DAMAGE MODELS

Three different fatigue damage models are defined using fatigue modulus
and resultant strain. Those models are made mainly for the purpose of
predicting multi-stress level fatigue life. To derive the damage models as functions of number of cycle, the assumptions used in Reference [34] are needed.
The values of material constants B and C, which can be evaluated by one
stress level fatigue test, are used for the prediction of remaining fatigue life. It
is also postulated that the constant amplitude fatigue life is well followed by
the life equation which is derived in Reference [34].

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140

Fatigue Damage Model I


The fatigue modulus, which varies with number of cycle during fatigue,
could be used to define the damage. The fatigue damage, D, which satisfies
the initial and final boundary conditions, is defined as follows;
1. Proposed

Substitution of Equations (7) and (8) in Reference [34] into the above equation provides,

Equation (55) has exactly same form with modified Palmgren-Miners model.
The constant C is determined by one stress level fatigue life equation, in
Reference [34]. It is expected that C is between null and unity regardless of
material system. Therefore this model predicts damage trend A in Figure 2.
The Equation (55) represents a stress-independent damage model. This result
is mainly due to the assumption that fatigue modulus is function of number
of cycle, n alone (refer to Reference [34]). If the stress effects on the fatigue
modulus were found, this model might be derived as a stress-dependent
model.
2.

Proposed Fatigue Damage Model II


Fatigue damage is defined by the ratio of the resultant strain
v.s. the failure strain,

at nth

cycle

The resultant strains are defined in the Figure 5. By the fatigue modulus concept, the applied stress and resultant strain could be written,

From the Equation (10) in Reference


failure strain could be expressed,

Substituting Equations (57)

[34] and the strain failure criterion, the

and (58) into

Equation (56) gives,

Consideration of Equation (7) in Reference [34]

on

the above

equation pro-

vides,

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141

Figure 5.

Schematic stress-strain relation

during cyclic loading.

where,

The damage in Equation


Reference [34]).

(60)

can

be also

expressed

as

followings (Refer

to

This model predicts damage amount r at n 0 (when stress reaches maximum applied stress level during first fatigue cycle) as shown in the Figure 6.
At a specific fatigue cycle, the damage is proportional to applied stress level
according to this model. This relation is presented in the Figure 7. The r, in
the Figure 7 is the applied stress level which has fatigue life N, cycles and r1 is
fatigue limit.
Multi-stress level fatigue life can be predicted by the procedure in the structure of damage function of this study. Two-stress level fatigue life is ex=

pressed as follows;

3. Proposed

Fatigue Damage Model

Fatigue damage is defined

as

III

follows;

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Figure 6. Proposed damage mode/

Figure

7. Stress effect

on

the

11 representation.

damage at a specific loading cycle, proposed model 11.

142

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143

where,

Substitution of Equations (57), (58), and (64) into Equation (63) provides,

The

Equation (7) in Reference [34]

Consideration of the

Equation (66)

can

on

be rewritten,

the

Equation (65) provides,

If the constant amplitude fatigue life Equation (13) in Reference [34] is considered on the damage Equation (67), the damage could be also equated as

follows,

This model predicts damage trend A in the Figure 2. The relation between
damage amount and applied stress level at a specific fatigue cycle can be also
predicted. Figure 8 shows this relation.
Mathematical calculations provide following equivalent cycles for two
stress level fatigue.

EVALUATION OF DAMAGE AND TWO STRESS-LEVEL


FATIGUE LIFE
Theoretical

damages are calculated and depicted in the Figures 9-13 at each


using the results of Reference [34]. The effect of applied
applied
stress level on the damage at a fatigue cycle are also predicted and plotted in
the Figures 14 and 15 for the proposed models II and III, respectively. The
stress level, r
0.33 in the Figures 14 and 15 is regarded as an approximate
fatigue limit which denotes a stress level predicted by the Equation (13) in
Reference [34] when the fatigue life in 106 cycles.
Two stress level fatigue life is predicted in the case of low-high test and
high-low test. The predicted values are compared with the experimental data
which are presented by Han and Hamdi [31]. The lower stress level is 38.52
ksi (r 0.6) and the higher stress level is 44.94 ksi (r 0.7). The value of n, is
stress level

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Figure 8.

Stress effect

on

the

damage at a specific loading cycle, proposed model III.

Figure 9. Damage prediction by proposed model L


144

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Figure

Figure

10.

11.

Damage predIctIOn

Damage prediction

at each

at each

applled stress level by proposed model II.

applted stress level by proposed model 1/.

145

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Figure

Figure

12.

13.

Damage prediction

Damage prediction

at each

at each

applied stress level by proposed model III.

applied stress level by proposed mode/ 11/.

146

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Rgure

14. Prediction of stress effect on the

damage at a specific loading cycle, proposed model

II.

Rgure

15. Prediction of stress effect on the damage at a specific loading

cycle, proposed model

III.

147

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148
Table 1. Comparison of predicted two-stress-level
fatigue life with experimental data.

* Palmgren- MinersRule,

Modified

Palmgren-Miners Rule, and Owen-Howes Rule

Table 2. Two-stress-level

damage sum

to failure

10,000 cycles for the low-high test while 300 cycles for the high-low test. The
specimen material is glass fiber cloth epoxy composites (G-10 CR). The
fatigue life used here is the mean log fatigue life of ten experimental data
(both low-high and high-low tests). The results are presented in the Table 1.
The comparison shows that the presented model III has better agreement with
experimental data than the other models. The damage sums to failure are
evaluated in the Table 2. As it is expected, the result shows that the PalmgrenMiners damage sum to failure is greater than unity for low-high test and less
than unity for high-low test.
CONCLUDING REMARKS

(1) To explain multi-stress level fatigue phenomena and predict its life, the
cumulative damage model approach may be useful.
(2) For understanding multi-stress level fatigue phenomena, it is desirable
to define cumulative damage model by physical variables than by number of
cycles. It is because the direct use of number of cycles to define damage model
can not escape the empirical relation though the damage model predicts
multi-stress level fatigue life well.
(3) Fatigue modulus and resultant strain could be used as parameters of

representing damage.

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149

(4) Further investigation on the cyclic stress-strain behavior could provide


improved final damage functions using the proposed damage concepts.
(5) It seems impossible to establish a universal fatigue damage model right
now. But the effort must be given to find it. As an attempt to establish a
universal fatigue damage model, the following requirements are proposed.
a. It should explain fatigue phenomena at an applied stress level.
b. It should explain fatigue phenomena for an overall applied stress range.
i) During a cycle at a high applied stress level the material should be more
damaged than that of at a low applied stress level.
ii) If it is true that failure occurs at each maximum applied stress level,
then the final damage (damage just before failure) at a low applied
stress level should be larger than that of a high applied stress level.
c. It should explain multi-stress level fatigue phenomena.
d. It is desirable to establish the fatigue damage model without S-N curve.
more

REFERENCES
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Madayag, Ed., pp. 170-203 (1960).
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68, pp. 339-341 (1924).
3.

Palmgren, A., Ball and Roller Bearing Engineering


, translated by G. Palmgren, et al. 1st ed.,
(1945).
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15. Owen, M. J. and Howe, R. J., "The Accumulation of Damage in a Glass-Reinforced Plastic
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pp. 82-84
4. Miner, M.

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150
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16.

APPENDIX 1 : DAMAGE MODELS


1.

Palmgren-Miners Model

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2. Modified

3.

Palmgren-Miners Model

Shanleys Model

4. Marco-Starkeys Model

5.

Henrys Model

where,

6. Corten-Dolans Model

7. Gatts Model

8. Mansons Model
For Crack Initiation

For Crack

Propagation

9. Owen-Howes Model

10.

Subramanyans Model

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11. Lemaitre-Plumtrees Model

12.

Fongs Model

13. Coles Model

where,
C: attenuation of virgin specimen
A : total attenuation
AD: attenuation due to damage
14. Dibenedetto-Salees Model

where,

15.

Fitzgerald-Wangs Model

where,
E: modulus at a fatigue cycle
E* : reference modulus

16. Wools Model

17. Chous Model

18.

Proposed Model

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19.

Proposed Model II

20.

Proposed Model

III

APPENDIX 2: COMPARISON OF DAMAGE MODELS

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