Вы находитесь на странице: 1из 16

Marine Structures 16 (2003) 185–200


Fatigue analysis of welded joints:

state of development
Wolfgang Fricke*
Technical University Hamburg-Harburg, AB 3-06, L ammersieth 90, D-22305 Hamburg, Germany

Received 21 January 2002; accepted 7 October 2002


The literature on fatigue analysis of welded joints is reviewed, considering mainly papers
and books published during the past 10–15 years. After a short introduction, the different
approaches for fatigue analyses are covered, i.e. the nominal stress approach, the structural or
ot str
ess appro
ach,, the notch
notch str
ess and notch
notch intens
ity approa
ch, the notch
notch str
ch and
and final
ly the
the crac
k prop
n appr
ch.. Only
Only seam
ed join
ts are
considered, and not the behaviour of spot-welds, which is a very special field. Due to the
vast amoun
amountt of releva
nt literat
ure,, some
some specifi
specificc areas
areas are
are left
left for other
other review
reviewss or only
touched, i.e. fatigue testing and evaluation, fatigue loading and variable amplitude effects,
environmental effects and fatigue reliability.
r 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.

1. Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 186
2. Fatigue analysis approaches . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 187
3. Nominal stress approach . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 188
4. Structural or hot-spot stress approach . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 189
5. Notch stress approach . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 191
6. Notch intensity approach . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 192
7. Notch strain approach . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 192
8. Crack propagation approach . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 193
9. Introduction to references . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 195
References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 195

*Tel.: +49-40-428-32-3148; fax: +49-40-428-32-3337.

E-mail address: w.fricke@tu-harburg.de (W. Fricke).

0951-833 9/03/$/$ - see front matter
matter r 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.
PII: S 0 9 5 1 - 8 3 3 9 ( 0 2 ) 0 0 0 7 5 - 8
186 W. Fricke / Marine Structures 16 (2003) 185–200

1. Introduction

Fatigue of materials is a very complex process, which is still today not fully
understood. The damage of the material starts in the crystalline structure and
becomes visible in a later stage by plastic deformation, formation of micro-cracks on
slip bands, coalescence of micro cracks and finally propagation of a main crack.
Many influence factors complicate the subject. The behaviour of different materials
and the effect of these influence factors has been and is being extensively
investigated. Very often, the phenomena are analysed and further evaluated with
the aim of wider application.
Fatigue of welds is even more complex. Welding strongly affects the material by
the process of heating and subsequent cooling as well as by the fusion process with
additional filler material, resulting in inhomogeneous and different materials.
Furthermore, a weld is usually far from being perfect, containing inclusions, pores,
cavities, undercuts etc. The shape of the weld profile and non-welded root gaps
create high stress concentrations with widely varying geometry parameters. Last but
not least residual stresses and distortions due to the welding process affect the fatigue
As a consequence, fatigue failures appear in welded structures mostly at the welds
rather than in the base metal, even if the latter contains notches such as openings or
re-entrant corners. For this reason, fatigue analyses are of high practical interest for
all cyclic loaded welded structures, such as ships, offshore structures, cranes, bridges,
vehicles, railcars etc. In view of the complexity of the subject and the wide area of 
application it is not surprising that several approaches for fatigue analysis of welded
 joints exist. However, it is almost impossible to follow up the great amount of related
literature dealing with fatigue testing and the development or application of 
approaches to consider all the different influence parameters.
Much effort is spent in working groups of several organisations with the aim to
follow the development, to condense information and to derive recommendations
and codes. Two examples of such organisations should be mentioned here, in
which also the author is involved: (a) the International Institute of Welding
(IIW) with representatives from National Welding Societies all over the world, and
(b) the International Ship and Offshore Structures Congress (ISSC), where the
members of various Committees summarise and present the state-of-the-art every 3
years [1].
Due to the vast amount of literature, the following report can review only a
limited number of relevant publications and will concentrate exactly on ‘fatigue
analysis of welded joints’. In this connection, only seam-welded joints are
considered, whereas the analysis and behaviour of spot-welds is a specific area
treated quite differently and being mostly applied to thin-walled structures.
Furthermore, the following areas, each of which could be the subject of similar
reviews, have been left out here or are only touched:

* Fatigue testing and evaluation of welded joints and structures,

* Fatigue loading and the effect of variable amplitudes on life prediction,
W. Fricke / Marine Structures 16 (2003) 185–200 187

* Consideration of environmental effects (in particular corrosion),

* Application of reliability methods to the fatigue assessment (fatigue reliability).

On the other hand, much progress has been achieved during the past years in the
development of approaches considering the local geometry and material effects,
which will form the main part of the following review.
Before different areas of the fatigue assessment of welded joints are covered, some
books are mentioned in the following, which give introduction into the subject and
summarise the fundamentals as well as recent developments. Among others, Suresh
[2] gives a comprehensive description of the mechanics and micro-mechanics of 
fatigue in metals. The topic of the textbook by Dowling [3] is the mechanical
behaviour of materials in general, but emphasis is placed on practical methods of 
predicting the fatigue life of mechanical parts and structural members. The new book
by Schijve [4] aims at the understanding of the fatigue mechanism in the material and
how it can be affected by a large variety of practical conditions, helping to design a
structure for durability and thus against fatigue. Bannantine [5] explains in detail the
fatigue analysis methods related to crack initiation and propagation in base metal
and provide a separate manual containing a great number of solutions of practical
problems. Carpinteri [6] summarises several topics of fatigue crack propagation in a
2-volume handbook.
In connection with welded joints, the books by Gurney [7] and Maddox [8] have
certainly to be mentioned, presenting investigations on the fatigue behaviour of 
welds as well as fundamentals of the fatigue strength assessment together with design
rules and applications. Comprehensive information on procedures and data for
fatigue strength assessment from the viewpoint of special applications (offshore
structures; vehicles) is contained in [9,10]. Radaj [11] presents the fatigue strength
characteristics of welded joints and outlines different approaches for their
assessment. More recently, Radaj and Sonsino [12] have given a comprehensive
overview on the assessment of welded joints by local approaches together with
analysis procedures and application examples. Both books include an extensive list
of references including early and fundamental papers as well as in particular German

2. Fatigue analysis approaches

Different approaches exist for the fatigue analysis of welded joints, which can be
distinguished by the parameters used for the description of the fatigue life N  or
fatigue strength. Fig. 1 shows the different parameters together with characteristic
diagrams. In general, the approaches can be subdivided into the following categories:

* Nominal stress approach, using the nominal stress range Dsn determined by the
external or internal loads and by the related cross section properties.
* Structural or hot-spot stress approach, using the structural stress range Dss at the
weld to consider additionally the effect of the structural discontinuity.
188 W. Fricke / Marine Structures 16 (2003) 185–200

Fig. 1. Approaches for description of the fatigue strength and life, after [12].

* Notch stress and notch intensity approach, using the elastic notch stress range
Dsk  or an equivalent parameter such as the stress intensity to take the notch effect
of the weld toe or root into account.
* Notch strain approach, using the local elastic–plastic strain range Dek  and/or
other parameters describing the relevant damage process in the material.
* Crack propagation approach, using special parameters such as the J -integral or
the range of the stress intensity DK  to describe the increase of the crack length per
cycle, i.e. the crack propagation rate d a=dN :

This categorisation is used in the following to review the related papers published.

3. Nominal stress approach

The fatigue assessment according to the nominal stress approach uses standard
S 2N  curves together with detail classes of basic joints which can be found in several
Standards and guidelines and which are mainly based on the statistical evaluation of 
relevant fatigue tests in the 1970s [13,14], where also uniform scatter bands have been
defined for the S 2N  curves. Later, a harmonised set of  S 2N  curves and an
associated catalogue of details was agreed upon internationally and issued by the
IIW [15], which contains joints at aluminium alloys in addition to steel. It is
interesting to note that the recent Norwegian structural design code combines the
IIW classification and the class designations used in several British and related
Standards [16].
Over the past few years, the consideration of several influence factors in fatigue
analyses has been investigated, such as the mean stress effect and in particular the so-
called plate thickness effect, which has to be taken into account in case of welded
 joints at relatively thick plates [7]. Recent proposals based on various investigations
can be found in Refs. [17] and [18]. The consideration of the opposite effect for welds
at relatively thin sheets (2–6 mm) has been investigated by Gurney [19], who
established a suitable parameter for the use in design.
W. Fricke / Marine Structures 16 (2003) 185–200 189

Bi-axial stress states require special attention, especially if the stress

components are not acting in-phase. These are in the nominal stress approach
usually considered by interaction equations. B ackstrom and Marquis [20] re-
. .

analysed eight different experimental investigations and applied three potential

interaction equations from different codes, giving mostly conservative results for
proportional and non-proportional loading, however, showing a relatively large
Petinov et al. [21] criticise the lost similitude between test specimens and real
structures and propose that only the initial phase of the fatigue life, which is
governed by the local conditions, should be described by adjusted S 2N  curves. The
subsequent crack propagation should be analysed separately, taking the effects of 
the surrounding structure and loading into account. This proposal is principally
followed by local approaches.

4. Structural or hot-spot stress approach

The structural or hot-spot stress approach, sometimes also called geometric

stress approach, considers the stress increase due to the structural configuration or in
other words, the macro-geometry. The idea to exclude the local stress concentration
due to the weld toe by using the stress or strain at a certain distance away from the
weld toe is related to experimental investigations performed in the 1960s by Peterson,
Manson and Haibach, see [12]. The hot-spot stress approach with the definition of 
reference points for the stress evaluation and extrapolation at certain distances away
from the weld, which depend on the plate or shell thickness, was developed in the
1970s in a combined effort by classification societies and operators of offshore
installations together with research institutes. The objective was the fatigue strength
assessment of tubular joints. The development is reviewed and summarised,
e.g. in [9,22–24].
Various codes and recommendations exist for load assumptions, for
stress evaluation and extrapolation, for parametric formulae of hot-spot
stress concentration factors (SCFs) and for the definition of an appropriate
S 2N  curve [24]. In this connection, also IIW has issued recommendations,
which have recently been revised [25]. They contain new parametric SCFs
for welded circular and rectangular hollow sections, allowing an improved
combination of different load components. Parallel to this, van Wingerde et al.
[26] present simplified design formulae and graphs to facilitate the SCF-determina-
tion of K-shaped connections. Analytical expressions for SCFs of circumferential
welds in tubulars under consideration of fabrication tolerances are given by
Lotsberg [27].
The structural or hot-spot stress is a fictitious value; however, Radaj [11]
demonstrated that in plate or shell structures it corresponds to the sum of membrane
and bending stress at the weld toe, which can be determined either by surface
extrapolation or inner linearisation of the stress. He presented applications of the
approach to several welded plate structures. Fricke and Petershagen [28] derived a
190 W. Fricke / Marine Structures 16 (2003) 185–200

generalised hot-spot stress approach for plate structures using Radaj’s local
approach [11] and applied it to complex welded structures.
The hot-spot stress approach for welded plate structures was further developed
particularly in Japan [29,30], France [22] and Finland [31]. Maddox [32] has recently
re-evaluated several fatigue tests using the stress extrapolation recommended by IIW
[15] to validate the related design S 2N  curve. Detailed recommendations for the
determination of hot-spot stresses are given by Niemi [31]. However, several
applications showed that the stress results are still affected by the finite element
meshing and element properties. Additional recommendations for finite element
modelling and hot-spot stress evaluation are given by Huther et al. [33] and by
Fricke [34], the latter based on extensive round-robin stress analyses. A
comprehensive IIW-guidance for the structural stress approach is currently under
preparation [35].
The appropriate selection of reference points for the stress evaluation and the
definition of the hot-spot S 2N  curve is still under debate. Labesse and Recho [36]
discuss the selection by the example of a T-joint and make a new proposal to take
into account effects of the loading mode. Tveiten and Moan [37] describe the
development and verification of a new and general method for the structural stress
extrapolation, being based on the asymptotic behaviour of the stresses adjacent to an
idealised notch and the definition of a stress extrapolation from points outside the
region affected by the singularity. Soh [38] found that the stresses in the vicinity of 
the welded brace/chord intersections of tubular joints computed with solid elements
do not satisfy the free surface conditions and developed a correction procedure to
improve the accuracy of computed stresses. Dong [39] utilises the structural stress
definition by Radaj [11] and evaluates the structural stress at the weld toe position
from finite element results by using principles of elementary structural mechanics.
Mesh insensitivity is demonstrated by several examples, however, mostly on 2D basic
The above-mentioned definition fails at in-plane notches such as welded edge
gussets, where plate thickness is no more a relevant parameter for the definition of 
the reference points for stress evaluation. Niemi and Tanskanen [40] as well as Fricke
[34] propose alternative procedures for the hot-spot stress analysis in such cases,
using absolute distances for the reference points.
The bi-axial fatigue data for welded connections mentioned in the previous
chapter have been re-analysed by B ackstrom and Marquis [41] also on the basis of 
. .

hot-spot stresses according to three design criteria, of which the hot-spot critical
plane model was most successful in resolving the data to a single hot-spot S 2N  line.
Other parameters such as the mean stress and thickness effect are treated in a
similar way as in the nominal stress approach. Misalignment effects are, however,
considered separately in the applied stress. Based on earlier investigations by
Maddox [8] and others, a procedure is given in [15].
Several applications of the structural or hot-spot stress approach in different
industrial areas give insight into specific problems and solutions, such as details in
ship and offshore structures [42–47], structures for mechanical engineering [48],
vehicles [49,50] or steel bridges [51].
W. Fricke / Marine Structures 16 (2003) 185–200 191

5. Notch stress approach

The analysis and assessment of the elastic notch stress at the weld toe or root
contain the problems of high or even infinite stress peaks at sharp notches and of 
micro-structural support effects reducing the stress relevant for the crack initiation
and propagation. Different micro-structural support hypotheses exist, which are
further described in textbooks such as [11]: the stress gradient approach according to
Siebel and Stieler, the stress averaging approach according to Neuber and the surface
layer approach according to Peterson. More recently, approaches have been
proposed which are based on highly stressed volume [52] or the stress at a critical
distance from the notch root [53].
Corresponding approaches developed for welded joints cover generally the crack
initiation phase up to a certain crack depth, which is differently defined (between 0.1
and 0.5 mm). Lawrence et al. [54,55] proposed a procedure for the evaluation of the
fatigue notch factor, which is based on Peterson’s hypothesis [56] and which shows a
maximum value for the weld toe radius of approx. 0.25 mm taken as worst case
condition. The crack initiation life is obtained using the elastic part of the strain
S 2N  curve (Basquin relation). The approach has been applied to several cases,
where the subsequent crack propagation phase is treated separately [57–59].
Radaj [11] developed an approach based on Neuber’s micro-structural support
hypothesis by suggesting an additional fictitious radius r f  at the notch, which allows
the local stress to be analysed directly without requiring an SCF or fatigue notch
factor. By assuming plane strain condition at the notch and the von Mises strength
criterion for ductile material, he found for steel a value of  r f  1 mm, which may be

applied in a worst-case approach as notch radius, i.e. assuming a sharp notch at the
weld toe. Radaj [11,12] gives also characteristic values for endurable stress ranges.
The approach is frequently applied also in the finite life range by assuming a typical
slope exponent of the S 2N  curve [15,60]. The applicability of the approach to
welded joints in aluminium alloy and the associated micro-structural support effect
have been investigated by Sonsino et al. [61].
Seeger et al. [62,63] (see also [12]) proposed a notch stress approach for welded
  joints, which uses also the toe radius of 1 mm at steel; however, he considers this
radius as the mean of values in reality. A large number of welded T- and Y-joints
with plate thickness between 8 and 40 mm was investigated with respect to their
fatigue strength and elastic notch stress, allowing characteristic values of the notch
stress S 2N  curve to be derived.
The analysis of the notch stress to be used in the approaches mentioned may be
based on the theory of elasticity or on numerical methods such as FEM or BEM
(finite or boundary element method). Useful are also SCFs available for standard
cases, which can be found a.o. in [55,64–67]. Further demonstration examples and
applications are described in [11,12,68,69].
The notch stress approach allows certain effects to be considered in a refined way.
Janosch et al. [70,71] show that the weld quality, in particular the weld profile, can be
well assessed by the notch stress approach. For instance, undercuts occurring with
different welding processes can be recorded and subsequently assessed using the
192 W. Fricke / Marine Structures 16 (2003) 185–200

notch stress approach. Furthermore, the geometry of fillet-welded joints can be

optimised with respect to fatigue, taking all geometrical influence factors into
Also the effects of multi-axial loading and residual stresses have successfully been
considered in the notch stress approach [70]. Comprehensive investigations of welds
under biaxial constant and variable amplitude loading [72,73] show that in-phase
loading can be treated well by conventional hypotheses, while good fatigue
predictions under out-of-phase loading can be achieved particularly by the so-called
equivalent effective shear stress hypothesis in case of ductile materials such as fine-
grained steel. However, for semi-ductile metals such as aluminium alloys, the
consideration of the plane with the maximum normal/shear stress combination has
shown to be superior to others.

6. Notch intensity approach

The elastic stress field around sharp notches can alternatively be described by the
theoretical solution for V-shaped notches under symmetric and anti-symmetric
loading. Williams showed already 50 years ago the solution for different opening
angles of the V-notch containing the stress singularity, which is well known for
crack-like notches. Verreman and Nie [74] proposed from observations to use the
related notch stress intensity factor (N-SIF) as a parameter describing the crack
initiation life of welds including short crack propagation up to a crack depth of 
approx. 0.5 mm. Lazzarin and Tovo [75] quantified the contributions of the
symmetric and anti-symmetric loading modes for different geometries of welds and
re-analysed experimental data in terms of the new stress field parameter. This re-
analysis was extended in [76] and supplemented by various aluminium-welded joints,
yielding a single scatter band for each material when related to the N-SIF approach.
Further applications of the approach demonstrate the limits of the structural stress
approach [77] and of local strain measurements close to the weld toe [78]. On the
other hand, Atzori et al. [79] show that the N-SIF approach can directly be coupled
with the well-established crack propagation approach. Good agreement is achieved
between prediction and published test data when assuming an initial crack length of 
0.3 mm for the subsequent crack propagation part.

7. Notch strain approach

Contrary to the above, the notch strain approach considers the local elastic–plastic
stress and strain in the notch. The elements of the approach, which has been
successfully applied to notches at base material, include the computation of the local
stress and strain taking into account the elastic support effect of the surrounding
material and the cyclic material behaviour, i.e. the stress–strain relation as well as the
crack initiation life. Data of various materials obtained from tests can be found, e.g.
in [80].
W. Fricke / Marine Structures 16 (2003) 185–200 193

The approach has been applied also to welded joints to predict the crack initiation
life particularly for load cycle numbers less than 10 5, where local plasticity effects are
more pronounced. Lawrence et al. [54] used the approach for the description of the
crack initiation period up to a depth of approximately 0.25 mm. In order to take
local plasticity and cyclic relaxation at the notch root into account, Neuber’s macro-
structural support formula is extended by an additive residual stress term together
with a relation by Jhansale and Topper [81]. The consideration of residual stresses
has been shown to be particularly important [59,82].
The approach has been further developed in respect of its crack initiation aspects
[58,83]. Different models for the prediction of the so-called short crack propagation
phase are discussed by Hou and Charng [84], who compare the calculated ratio
between crack initiation and propagation with observations.
An alternative approach is related to Seeger et al. (described e.g. in [12]), which is
based more on the ‘‘classical’’ elements used in connection with base metal, i.e.
stress–strain relation by Ramberg and Osgood, Neuber’s macro-structural support
effect, stress–strain path approximated according to Masing and strain S 2N  curve
according to Manson, Coffin and Morrow or, alternatively, a damage parameter
P 2N  curve, where [85] is preferred.
The notch strain approach for welded joints has been further developed by
Sonsino [52] in respect of multiaxial fatigue, modifying Neuber’s macro-structural
support formula in case of mild-notches, introducing an equivalent notch strain to
describe multiaxial low-cycle fatigue and converting the hypothesis of highly stressed
volume into a strain related criterion. Glinka [86] proposed an energy density
approach for the calculation of the localised yielding near notches and cracks.
Applications of the notch strain approach to welded joints can be found a.o. in

8. Crack propagation approach

The history of the crack propagation approach for fatigue assessment has been
reviewed by Smith [89] and more recently also by Paris [90], giving some insight into
the dramatic development during the past 40 years. Today, the approach is well
established particularly for the fatigue assessment of welded joints, where the crack
propagation phase is typically longer than the crack initiation phase if failure is
defined, for instance, by a through-thickness crack. By calibrating the initial crack
length, the fatigue assessment of welded joints is sometimes even performed using the
propagation approach only. On the other hand, the approach offers the one and only
way for several cases, such as a fitness for purpose assessment of structural members
with flaws or other crack-like defects.
The elements of the approach are the crack propagation equations, normally
according to Paris and Erdogan, the stress intensity factor including magnification at
weld toes (M k -factor), the crack shape and path governed normally by mode-I
loading, material parameters and other influence factors such as mean or residual
stress and sequence effects under variable amplitude loading (recently extensively
194 W. Fricke / Marine Structures 16 (2003) 185–200

reviewed in [91,92]). In addition to the books mentioned in the beginning, Dijkstra

and van Straalen [93] give an overview on practical application to welded joints,
presenting fracture mechanics analyses and making reference to the relevant
literature, which has grown very fast. For that reason, the following review
concentrates on certain topics.
Standard handbooks on stress intensity factors (SIFs) are frequently not
applicable to welded joints. Following the work by Maddox in the 1970s (see [8]),
several investigations have been performed on semi-elliptical cracks at T-butt welded
 joints varying the geometry and loading parameters [94–101]. Hobbacher presented
SIFs for various types of welded joints [102] including in-plane side gussets [103].
Several results are summarised together with assumptions for material parameters in
the relevant IIW-recommendations [15,104].
The crack path and shape development at welds was investigated a.o. in [105]. Bell
et al. [106,107] as well as Pang and Grey [108] studied the coalescence of multiple
cracks at transverse welds and developed empirical models for its consideration.
The crack propagation approach has been used to investigate the effect of special
geometrical influence factors on the fatigue life, e.g. the effects of a longitudinal
attachment [109], the misalignment of load-carrying cruciform joints [68] and the
effects of undercuts and residual stresses at misaligned butt-joints [110]. Here, the
undercuts were found to have the most significant geometrical effect on the fatigue
The approach has also been applied to relatively complex structures. Sumi [111]
recommends the weight function method to consider arbitrary load combinations.
The crack propagation may be strongly affected by load-shedding effects, as
exemplified by Xu and Bea [112]. In tubular joints, special methodologies and
geometry functions have been developed to improve the correlation between
predicted and measured aspect ratio patterns of the crack shape [113,114].
Several recent investigations have focussed on the following additional aspects:
One aspect is the effect of crack closure on the propagation rate, which Elber [115]
proposed to consider by an effective range DK eff  of the SIF. The major
difficulty in practical situations is the estimation of the effective part of the cycle,
which is influenced by the plastic wake left behind the crack tip. Hou and Lawrence
[83] use a strip-yield model developed earlier by Newman for simulating the crack
closure of welded joints showing typically a steep stress gradient. Frequently, the
finite element method is applied. McClung [116] addresses in a critical review several
modelling issues regarding crack closure and describes applications to different
Another aspect is the short crack behaviour, which is related also to the notch
stress and strain approach as well as to crack closure effects. As demonstrated a.o.
by Newman et al. [117], the growth behaviour including threshold value of small
cracks differs considerably from that of large cracks. They introduced a correction of 
the effective SIF range for the plastic cyclic zone and a constraint factor accounting
for 3D state-of-stress effects to model the observed trends. The total life prediction
was demonstrated using inclusion-particle sizes. Hou and Charng [84] show that the
short-crack propagation based approach, when it includes crack nucleation, gives
W. Fricke / Marine Structures 16 (2003) 185–200 195

more consistent results compared with experimental data than the local stress
As an alternative to the effective SIF range DK eff ; a new parameter called re-tensile
plastic zone’s generated load (RPG load) has been proposed by Toyosada and Niwa
[118] determining an effective SIF range ( DK RPG ) corresponding to the load under
which the re-tensile plastic zone appears in the loading process. Based on this
parameter, the crack propagation rate appears to be linear in a wide range from the
region of very slow growth rate to the region of stable crack growth. The physical
meaning is further discussed in [119].
Finally, the aspects of remaining life assessment and damage tolerant design
should be addressed, which have gained in significance in the light of severe accidents
and the extended use of ageing structures. In this respect, the crack propagation
approach plays a key role to assess the remaining life and structural redundancy
[104,120,121] and to establish rational inspection planning.

9. Introduction to references

The references selected concentrate on the subject ‘fatigue analysis of welded

  joints’, while specific topics such as spot-welds, fatigue evaluation and testing,
fatigue loading and the effects of variable amplitudes, environmental effects and
fatigue reliability are excluded or only touched as explained in the Introduction. In
order to further limit the number of references, emphasis is placed on the past 10–15
years. Earlier essential papers are mostly quoted in textbooks, so that the full history
needs not be covered.
References in English as well as those published in Journals are generally
preferred, as well as one key paper in case of similar publications by the same author.
Of special interest might be the books [2–4,7,8,11,12] mentioned also in the
Introduction, providing an overview on the phenomenon of fatigue and the
possibilities for fatigue analyses.


[1] Ohtsubo H, Sumi Y, editors. Proceedings of the 14th International Ship and Offshore Structures
Congress. Report of Committee III.2—fatigue and fracture. Amsterdam: Elsevier Science, 2000.
[2] Suresh S. Fatigue of materials, 2nd Ed.. Cambridge: University Press, 2002.
[3] Dowling NE. Mechanical behaviour of materials—engineering methods for deformation, fracture
and fatigue, 2nd Ed.. Englewood Cliffs, MA: Prentice-Hall, 1998.
[4] Schijve J. Fatigue of structures and materials. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 2001.
[5] Bannantine JA. Fundamentals of metal fatigue analysis. New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, 1990.
[6] Carpinteri A, editor. Handbook of fatigue crack propagation in metallic structures. Amsterdam:
Elsevier Science, 1994.
[7] Gurney TR. Fatigue of welded structures. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1979.
[8] Maddox S. Fatigue strength of welded structures. Cambridge: Abington Publishers, 1991.
[9] Almar-Næss A, editor. Fatigue handbook—offshore structures. Trondheim: Tapir Publishers, 1985.
196 W. Fricke / Marine Structures 16 (2003) 185–200

[10] Rice RC, editor. SAE Fatigue design handbook. Warrendale, USA: Society of Automotive
Engineers, 1997.
[11] Radaj D. Design and analysis of fatigue-resistant welded structures. Cambridge: Abington
Publishers, 1990.
[12] Radaj D, Sonsino CM. Fatigue assessment of welded joints by local approaches. Cambridge:
Abington Publishers, 1998.
[13] Gurney TR, Maddox SJ. A re-analysis of fatigue data for welded joints in steel. Welding Research
Int 1973;3(4):1–54.
[14] Olivier R, Ritter D. Catalogue of S–N curves of welded joints in structural steel, vol. 1–5. Report no.
56. Dusseldorf: DVS-Verlag, 1979.

[15] Hobbacher A, editor. Recommendations for fatigue strength of welded components. Cambridge:
Abington Publishers, 1996.
[16] Lotsberg I, Larsen KP. Fatigue design in the new Norwegian structural design code. Proceeding of 
the Nordic Steel Conference, Bergen, 1998.
[17] Ørjasaeter O. Effect of plate thickness on fatigue of welded components. IIW-Doc. XIII-1582-95/
XV-890-95, International Institute of Welding, Paris 1995.
[18] Yagi J, Machida S, Matoba M, Tomita Y, Soya I. Thickness effect criterion for the fatigue strength
evaluation of welded steel structures. J Offsh Mech Arct Eng 1993;115:58–65.
[19] Gurney TR. Fatigue of thin-walled joints under complex loading. Cambridge: Abington Publishers,
[20] Backstrom M, Marquis G. Evaluation of interaction equations for multiaxial loaded
. .

welded structures. Proceedings of the Sixth International Conference on Biaxial/Multiaxial

Fatigue & Fracture, Lisbon, Vol. 1. European Structural Integrity Society (ESIS) 2001,
p. 65–72.
[21] Petinov SV, Reemsnyder HS, Thayamballi AK. The similitude of fatigue damage principle:
application in S–N curves-based fatigue design. In: Marquis G, Solin S, editors. Fatigue design and
reliability. Amsterdam: Elsevier, 1999.
[22] Huther M, Lieurade H-P. Application of the hot spot stress method. Proceedings of the
International Conference on Performance of Dynamically Loaded Welded Structure. New York:
WRC, 1997. p. 332–8.
[23] Marshall PW. Design of welded tubular connections—basis and use of AWS code provisions.
Amsterdam: Elsevier, 1992.
[24] van Wingerde AM, Packer JA, Wardenier J. Criteria for the fatigue assessment of hollow structural
section connections. J Constr Steel Res 1995;35:71–115.
[25] Zhao X-L, Herion S, Packer JA, Wardenier J. Design guide for circular and rectangular hollow
section welded joints under fatigue loading. Cologne: CIDECT, T UV Verlag, 2000.

[26] van Wingerde AM, Packer JA, Wardenier J. Simplified SCF formulae and graphs for CHS and RHS
K- and KK-connections. J Constr Steel Res 2001;57:221–52.
[27] Lotsberg I. Stress concentration factors at circumferential welds in tubulars. Mar Struct
[28] Fricke W, Petershagen H. Detail design of welded ship structures based on hot spot stresses. In:
Caldwell JB, Ward G, editors. Practical design of ships and mobile units. Amsterdam: Elsevier
Science, 1992.
[29] Nagamoto R, Matoba M, Kawasaki T, Inoue K, Hori T, Iino N, Fukuoka T. Model fatigue test
results of welded structural element and proposal for fatigue design procedure. Naval Arch Ocean
Eng 1993;30:133–42.
[30] Nihei K, Inamura F, Koe S. Study on hot spot stress for fatigue assessment of fillet welded
structure. Proceedings of the Seventh International Offshore and Polar Conference, vol. IV. 1997.
p. 557–64.
[31] Niemi E, editors. Recommendations concerning stress determination for fatigue analysis of welded
components. Cambridge: Abington Publishers, 1995.
[32] Maddox S. Recommended design S–N  curves for fatigue assessment of FPSO’s. Proceedings of the
ISOPE’2001, Stavanger.
W. Fricke / Marine Structures 16 (2003) 185–200 197

[33] Huther I, Gorski S, Lieurade HP, Laborde S, Recho N. Longitudinal non loaded welded joints
geometrical stress approach. Weld World 1999;43(3):20–6.
[34] Fricke W. Recommended hot-spot analysis procedure for structural details of ships and FPSOs
based on round-robin FE analyses. Int J Offshore & Polar Engng 2002;12(1):40–8.
[35] Niemi E. Structural stress approach to fatigue analysis of welded components—designer’s
guide. IIW-Doc. XIII-1819-00/XV-1090-01 (Final Draft), International Institute of Welding,
Paris 2001.
[36] Labesse F, Recho N. Geometrical stress level at the weld toe and associated local effects. Weld
World 1999;43(1):23–32.
[37] Tveiten BW, Moan T. Determination of structural stress for fatigue assessment of welded
aluminium ship details. Mar Struct 2000;13:189–212.
[38] Soh AK. Improved procedure for the determination of hot spot stresses in tubular joints. Fatigue
Fract Eng Mater Struct 1997;20(12):1709–18.
[39] Dong P. A structural stress definition and numerical implementation for fatigue analyses. Int
J Fatigue 2001;23(10):865–76.
[40] Niemi E, Tanskanen P. Hot spot stress determination for welded edge gussets. Weld World
[41] Backstrom M, Marquis G. A review of multiaxial fatigue of weldments: experimental results, design
. .

code and critical plane approaches. Fatigue Fract Eng Mater Struct 2001;24:279–91.
[42] Cramer EH, L seth R, Olaisen K. Fatigue assessment of ship structures. Mar Struct 1995;8:
[43] Fricke W, Paetzold H. Fatigue strength assessment of scallops—an example for the application of 
nominal and local stress approaches. Mar Struct 1995;8:407–47.
[44] Lotsberg I, Nygard M, Thomsen T. Fatigue of ship shaped production and storage units. OTC-

Paper 8775, Proceedings of the Offshore Technology Conference, Houston, 1998.

[45] Ma K-T, Srinivassan S, Zhang H, Healy B, Peng H. Developing design criteria for connections
around cutout (slot) openings. SNAME Trans 2000;108:227–48.
[46] Paetzold H, Doerk O, Kierkegaard H. Fatigue behaviour of different bracket connections. In: Wu
Y-S, Cui, W-C, Zhou G-J, editors. Practical design of ships and other floating structures.
Amsterdam: Elsevier Science, 2001.
[47] Violette FLM, Shenoi RA. On the fatigue performance prediction of ship structural details. RINA
spring meetings. London: Royal Institution of Naval Architects, 1998.
[48] Glinsner K, Sridharan N, Unterleutner K. Design of fatigue resistant complex welded structures
with CAE tools. Engineering Design in Welded Constructions. Oxford: Permanon-Press, 1992.
p. 93–101.
[49] Fayard J-L, Bignonnet A, Dang Van K. Fatigue design criterion for welded structures. Fatigue
Fract Eng Mater Struct 1996;19(6):723–9.
[50] Savaidis G, Vormwald M. Hot-spot stress evaluation of fatigue in welded structural connections
supported by finite element analysis. Int J Fatigue 2000;22:85–91.
[51] Miki C, Tateishi K. Fatigue design of cope hole details in steel bridges. Int J Fatigue 1997;19(6):
[52] Sonsino CM. Multiaxial fatigue of welded joints under in-phase and out-of-phase local strains and
stresses. Int J Fatigue 1995;17(1):55–70.
[53] Taylor D, Wang G. A critical distance theory which unifies the prediction of fatigue limits for large
and small cracks and notches. In: Wu XR, Wang ZG, editors. Proceedings of the Fatigue’99, vol. I,
Beijing, China: Higher Education Press.
[54] Lawrence FV, Mattos R, Burk JD. Estimating the fatigue crack initiation life in welds. ASTM STP
648. Philadelphia, 1978. p. 134–58.
[55] Yung JY, Lawrence FV. Analytical and graphical aids for the fatigue design of weldments. Fatigue
Fract Eng Mater Struct 1985;8(3):223–41.
[56] Peterson RE. Stress concentration factors. New York: Wiley, 1974.
[57] Brandt U, Lawrence FV, Sonsino CM. Fatigue crack initiation and growth in AlMg4,5Mn butt
weldments. Fatigue Fract Eng Mater Struct 2001;24:117–26.
198 W. Fricke / Marine Structures 16 (2003) 185–200

[58] Lawrence FV, Dimitrakis SD, Chen N. The fatigue resistance of automotive weldments. Proceedings
of the International Conference on Performance of Dynamically Loaded Welded Structure. New
York: WRC, 1997. p. 254–64.
[59] Testin RA, Yung JY, Lawrence FV, Rice RC. Predicting the fatigue resistance of steel weldments.
Weld J Res Suppl 1987;66(4):93s–8s.
[60] Petershagen H. Dynamic behaviour of welded ships. Proceedings of the International Conference on
Performance of Dynamically Loaded Welded Structure. New York: WRC, 1997. p. 67–73.
[61] Sonsino CM, Radaj D, Brandt U, Lehrke HP. Fatigue assessment of welded joints in AlMg 4.5Mn
aluminium alloy (AA 5083) by local approaches. Int J Fatigue 1999;21:985–99.
[62] Kottgen VB, Olivier R, Seeger T. Fatigue analysis of welded connections based on local stresses (in

German). In: DVS-Report No 133, DVS-Verlag, D usseldorf 1991; English translation in IIW-doc.

XIII-1408-91/XV-802-92, International Institute of Welding.

[63] Kottgen VB, Olivier R, Seeger T. The damage of the large wind energy converter GROWIAN— 

fatigue strength analysis of the critical welded joints (in German). Konstruktion 45, 1993, p. 1–9,
and partly in: IIW-Doc. XIII-1497-1993, International Institute of Welding.
[64] Anthes RJ, Kottgen VB, Seeger T. Notch factors of butt welds and cruciform joints (in German).

Schweien Schneiden 1993;45(12):685–8.

[65] Iida K, Uemura T. Stress concentration factors formulae widely used in Japan. Fatigue Fract Eng
Mater Struct 1996;19(6):779–86.
[66] Lehrke HP. Calculation of stress concentration factors for welded joints (in German). Konstruktion
[67] Radaj D, Zhang S. Notch Effect of welded joints subjected to antiplane shear loading. Eng Fract
Mech 1992;43(4):663–9.
[68] Lie ST, Lan S. A boundary element analysis of misaligned load-carrying cruciform welded joints. Int
J Fatigue 1998;20(6):433–9.
[69] Radaj D, Sonsino C, Flade D. Prediction of service fatigue strength of a welded tubular joint on the
basis of local approaches. Int J Fatigue 1998;20(6):471–80.
[70] Janosch JJ, Debiez S, Clerge M, Dang Van K. Application of the local mechanical approach for
optimizing the fatigue strength of fillet weld assemblies. Proceedings of the International Conference
on Performance of Dynamically Loaded Welded Structure. New York: WRC, 1997. p. 265–72.
[71] Janosch JJ, Debiez S. Influence of the shape of undercut on the fatigue strength of fillet welded
assemblies—application of the local approach. Weld World 1998;41:350–60.
[72] Sonsino CM, Maddox SJ. Multiaxial fatigue of welded structures—problems and present solutions.
Proceedings of the Sixth lnternational Conference on Biaxial/Multiaxial Fatigue and Fracture,
Lisbon, Ed. European Structural Integrity Society (ESIS), vol. I, 2001. p. 3–15.
[73] Yousefi F, Witt M, Zenner H. Fatigue strength of welded joints under multi-axial loading:
experiments and calculations. Fatigue Fract Eng Mater Struct 2001;24:319–55.
[74] Verreman Y, Nie B. Early development of fatigue cracking at manual fillet welds. Fatigue Fract Eng
Mater Struct 1996;19:664–81.
[75] Lazzarin P, Tovo R. A notch intensity factor approach to the stress intensity of welds. Fatigue Fract
Eng Mater Struct 1998;21:1089–103.
[76] Lazzarin P, Livieri P. Notch stress intensity factors and fatigue strength of aluminium and steel
welded joints. Int J Fatigue 2001;23:225–32.
[77] Tovo R, Lazzarin P. Relationship between local and structural stress in the evaluation of the weld
toe stress distribution. Int J Fatigue 1999;21:1063–78.
[78] Atzori B, Meneghetti G. Fatigue strength of fillet welded structural steels: finite elements, strain
gauges and reality. Int J Fatigue 2001;23:713–21.
[79] Atzori B, Lazzarin P, Tovo R. From a local stress approach to fracture mechanics: a comprehensive
evaluation of the fatigue strength of welded joints. Fatigue Fract Eng Mater Struct 1999;22:369–81.
[80] Boller C, Seeger T. Materials data for cyclic loading, Part A–E. Amsterdam: Elsevier, 1987.
[81] Jhansale HR, Topper TH. Engineering analysis of the inelastic stress response of a structural metal
under variable cyclic strains. ASTM STP 519. Cyclic stress–strain behaviour—analysis, experi-
mentation and fatigue prediction. Philadelphia, 1973. p. 246–70.
W. Fricke / Marine Structures 16 (2003) 185–200 199

[82] Lawrence FV, Burk JD, Yung YK. Influence of residual stress on the predicted fatigue life of 
weldments. ASTM STP 776. Residual stress effects in fatigue. Philadelphia, 1982. p. 33–43.
[83] Hou CY, Lawrence FV. Crack closure in weldments. Fatigue Fract Eng Mater Struct
[84] Hou C-Y, Charng J-J. Models for the estimation of weldment fatigue crack initiation life. Int
J Fatigue 1997;19(7):537–41.
[85] Smith KN, Watson P, Topper TH. A stress–strain function for the fatigue of metals. J Mater
[86] Glinka G. Energy density approach to calculation of inelastic strain–stress near notches and cracks.
Eng Fract Mech 1985;22(3):485–508.
[87] Conle FA, Chu C-C. Fatigue analysis and the local stress–strain approach in complex vehicular
structures. Int J Fatigue 1998;19(Suppl. 1):S317–23.
[88] Jakubczak H, Glinka G. Fatigue analysis of manufacturing defects in weldments. Int J Fatigue
[89] Smith RA. Thirty years of fatigue crack growth—a historical review. Smith RA, editor. In: Fatigue
Crack Growth, 30 Years of Progress. Oxford: Pergamon Press, 1986. p. 1–16.
[90] Paris PC. Fracture mechanics and fatigue: a historical perspective. Fatigue Fract Eng Mater Struct
[91] Skorupa M. Load interaction effects during fatigue crack growth under variable amplitude
loading—a literature review. Part I: empirical trends. Fatigue Fract Eng Mater Struct 1998;21:
[92] Skorupa M. Load interaction effects during fatigue crack growth under variable amplitude
loading—a literature review. Part II: qualitative interpretations. Fatigue Fract Eng Mater Struct
[93] Dijkstra OD, van Straalen IJ. Fracture mechanics and fatigue of welded structures. Proceedings of 
the International Conference on Performance of Dynamically Loaded Welded Structure. New York:
WRC, 1997. p. 225–39.
[94] Bowness D, Lee MMK. Prediction of weld toe magnification factors for semi-elliptical cracks in
T-butt joints. Int J Fatigue 2000;22:369–87.
[95] Bowness D, Lee MMK. Prediction of weld toe magnification factors for semi-elliptical cracks in
T-butt joints—comparison with existing solutions. Int J Fatigue 2000;22:389–96.
[96] Brennan FP, Dover WD, Kar e RF, Hellier AK. Parametric equations for T-butt weld toe stress

intensity factors. Int J Fatigue 1999;21:1051–62.

[97] Fu B, Haswell JV, Bettess P. Weld magnification factors for semi-elliptical surface cracks in fillet-
welded T-butt joint models. Int J Fract 1993;63:155–71.
[98] Niu X, Glinka G. The weld profile effect on stress intensity factors in weldments. Int J Fract
[99] Niu X, Glinka G. Stress Intensity factors for semi-elliptical surface cracks in welded joints. Int
J Fract 1989;40:255–70.
[100] van Straalen IJ, Dijkstra OD. Prediction of the fatigue behaviour of welded steel and aluminium
structures with the fracture mechanics approach. J Construct Steel Res 1993;27:68–88.
[101] Wang X, Lambert SB. Weight functions and stress intensity factor for semi-elliptical cracks in
T-plate welded joints. Fatigue Fract Eng Mater Struct 1998;21:99–117.
[102] Hobbacher A. Stress intensity factors of welded joints. Eng Fract Mech 1993;46(29):173–82.
[103] Hobbacher A. Stress intensity factors of plates under tensile load with welded-on flat side gussets.
Eng Fract Mech 1992;41(6):897–905.
[104] International Institute of Welding. IIW guidance of the fitness for purpose of welded structures— 
draft for development. Copenhagen: FORCES Institute, 1990.
[105] Tsai CL, Kim DS. Analysis of fatigue crack propagation behaviour in fillet-welded T-joint. Eng
Fract Mech 1990;36(4):653–60.
[106] Bell R, Vosikowsky O, Burns DJ, Mohaupt UH. A fracture mechanics model for life prediction of 
welded joints. In: Noordhoek C, de Back J, editors. Steel in marine structures. Amsterdam: Elsevier
Science, 1987.
200 W. Fricke / Marine Structures 16 (2003) 185–200

[107] Bell R, Vosikovsky O. A fatigue life prediction model for multiple cracks in welded joints for
offshore structures. Proceedings of the OMAE, vol. III-B. New York: ASME, 1992.
[108] Pang HLJ, Gray TGF. Fatigue analysis of surface cracks and fillet-welded toes. Fatigue Fract Eng
Mater Struct 1993;16(2):151–64.
[109] Smith IF, Gurney TR. Changes in the fatigue life of plates with attachments due to geometrical
effects. Welding J Res Suppl 1986;65:244s–50s.
[110] Nguyen NT, Wahab MA. The effect of undercut and residual stresses on fatigue behaviour of 
misaligned butt joints. Eng Fract Mech 1996;55(3):453–69.
[111] Sumi Y. Analysis of three-dimensional cracks in ship structures subjected to an arbitrary loading by
numerical weight function method. In: Wu Y-S, Cui W-C, Zhou G-J, editors. Practical design of 
ships and other floating structures. Amsterdam: Elsevier Science, 1999.
[112] Xu T, Bea R. Load shedding of fatigue in ship structures. Mar Struct 1997;10:49–80.
[113] Etube LS, Brennan FP, Dover WD. A new method for predicting stress intensity factors in cracked
welded tubular joints. Int J Fatigue 2000;22:447–56.
[114] Kam JPC, Dover WD, Ma CN. The prediction of crack shape development for in-service cracks in
offshore welded tubular joints. Mar Struct 1995;8:37–65.
[115] Elber W. The significance of fatigue crack closure. ASTM STP 486. Damage tolerance in aircraft
structures. Philadelphia, 1971. p. 230–42.
[116] McClung RC. Finite element analysis of fatigue crack closure: a historical and critical review. In:
Wu XR, Wang ZG, editors. Proceedings of the Fatigue 99, vol. I. Beijing: Higher Education Press,
[117] Newman Jr. JC, Phillips EP, Swain MH. Fatigue life prediction methodology using small crack
theory. Int J Fatigue 1999;21:109–19.
[118] Toyosada M, Niwa T. The significance of RPG load for fatigue crack propagation and the
development of a compliance measuring system. Int J Fract 1994;67:217–30.
[119] Toyosada M, Niwa T, Sakai J. Physical meaning of  DK RP and fatigue crack propagation in the
residual stress distribution field. Int J Fatigue 1997;19(Suppl. 1):S161–6.
[120] Harrison JD. Damage tolerant design. Smith RA, editor. In: Fatigue crack growth, 30 years of 
progress. Oxford: Pergamon Press, 1986. p. 117–31.
[121] Sumi Y. Fatigue crack propagation and computational remaining life assessment of ship structures.
J Mar Sci Technol 1998;3:102–12.