Design optimization of cruciform specimens for biaxial fatigue loading
In order to correctly assess the biaxial fatigue material properties one must experimentally test different load conditions and stress levels. With the rise of new in-plane biaxial fatigue testing machines, using smaller and more efficient electrical motors, instead of the conventional hydraulic machines, it is necessary to reduce the specimen size and to ensure that the specimen geometry is appropriated for the load capacity installed. At the present time there are no standard specimen’s geometries and the indications on literature how to design an efficient test specimen are insufficient. The main goal of this paper is to present the methodology on how to obtain an optimal cruciform specimen geometry, with thickness reduction in the gauge area, appropriated for fatigue crack initiation, as a function of the base material sheet thickness used to build the specimen. The geometry is optimized for maximum stress using several parameters, ensuring that in the gauge area the stress is uniform and maximum with two limit phase shift loading conditions. Therefore the fatigue damage will always initiate on the center of the specimen, avoiding failure outside this region. Using the Renard Series of preferred numbers for the base material sheet thickness as a reference, the reaming geometry parameters are optimized using a derivative-free methodology, called direct multi search (DMS) method. The final optimal geometry as a function of the base material sheet thickness is proposed, as a guide line for cruciform specimens design, and as a possible contribution for a future standard on in-plane biaxial fatigue tests.
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