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R&D Journal

On-line version ISSN 2309-8988
Print version ISSN 0257-9669


JORDAAN, JP. Four-point bending fatigue test specimen design by FEA. R&D j. (Matieland, Online) [online]. 2018, vol.34, pp.1-8. ISSN 2309-8988.

The FEA method is utilised in the geometric design of test specimens for use in four-point plane beam bending fatigue testing. A purpose-designed and -made testing jig is employed in the test routines. The specimen geometry is adjusted from a standard, prismatic, rectangular cross-section to a unique or nonstandard, non-prismatic, complex geometry that nearly ensures fatigue crack initiation on the free surface of the specimen away from areas of contact. The proposed method enables the engineer to retain the in-service or prevailing surface condition of the specimen material, while evaluating fatigue properties of interest at full force reversal. Due to the relatively complex specimen geometry, simple analytical methods typically used for average stress calculations in mechanical testing routines are substituted by the FEA method, allowing for accurate predictions of bending stresses, as well as reliable predictions of the location of fatigue crack initiation. The process of interaction between analysis and testing is demonstrated, resulting in a specimen design that is easy to manufacture and simple to test. Several test specimens are subjected to fatigue testing, demonstrating the accuracy and predictability of results.

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