Fatigue properties of cut and welded high strength steels Quality aspects in design and production

University dissertation from KTH Royal Institute of Technology

Abstract: This doctoral thesis concerns fatigue of welded structures. Welding is one of the world’s most common joining methods and it is frequently used in several structural applications in many fields. Some examples are construction vehicles, loader cranes, trucks, busses, forestry and agricultural machines, bridges and ships. Since these structures are subjected to repeated loading, fatigue is the most common cause of failure.A novel numerical algorithm has been developed which assesses the welded surface and calculates and quantifies weld quality parameters and the presence of defects which are critical in fatigue applications. The algorithm is designed for implementation in serial production. It will provide robust and reliable feedback on the quality being produced, which is essential if high strength steels are utilized.Two welding procedures which can increase the weld quality in as welded conditions have been assessed. These procedures utilize welding in different positions and pendling techniques, which can be accomplished using the existing welding equipment. It was found that by using these methods, the fatigue strength can be increased compared to normal weld quality.Furthermore, two fatigue assessment methods ability to account for increased weld quality in low cycle and high cycle fatigue applications has been studied. One of these methods showed sufficient accuracy in predicting the fatigue strength with small scatter and also account for increased weld quality.When implementing thinner high strength steels, the overall stress level in the structure increase. Therefore, other locations such as the steel cut edges may become critical for fatigue failure unless they are not designed and manufactured with the same quality as the welded joint. The influence of surface quality on cut edges was studied and the fatigue strength was estimated using international standards and a fatigue strength model for cut edges.