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Frequency domain fatigue Assessment of vehicle key support structures under Random Load Spectrum E-mail: Abstract. The research focuses on vehicle key support structures fatigue life predict in frequency domain and influence factors of fatigue life assessment results. Based on the power spectral density (PSD) of load time history signals, the calculation method for predicting fatigue life of components under random vibration is proposed by using random vibration theory, strength theory and Miner cumulative damage mode. Several kinds of frequency domain damage model are adopted in fatigue assessment of automotive components and the influence factors of these methods are discussed in the paper. 1. Introduction Fatigue life analysis is traditionally based on time signals of testing loading, usually in the form of stress or strain. In the approach finite element model of structures are established, counting methods such as Rainflow Cycle Counting, Peak Valley Extraction and Level Crossing Counting are applied to transfer irregular stress time histories into different constant range cycles, and suitable damage cumulate model such as Palmgren-Miner rule is adopted to calculate damage accumulation and fatigue life of structures. However, fatigue life analysis in time domain is restricted, because load spectrum of every detailed structure of vehicles components could not be measured in structural design stage. Automotive component dynamic stresses are generally random, and a long time domain signal must be recorded in order to accurately describe the random response. It is very difficult for finite element analysis to deal with long time-domain signal, but more convenient to analysis based on the signal in the frequency domain power spectral density. Therefore, it is fit for to predict fatigue life of vehicle components in frequency domain based on finite element analysis approach. Frequency domain analysis method according to the system external excitation, the power spectral density function (Power Spectral Density referred to as PSD) of structural details stress response can be obtained through dynamic simulation and finite element analysis, the probability density function of the stress range ( Probability Density Function, referred to as PDF) can be obtained from PSD, and the accumulated fatigue damage and fatigue life of dangerous parts of the structure can be obtained from PDF. As computers and computing technology improved, the frequency domain fatigue life predicts method have been started at the design phase of structures. In the paper the fatigue life of a McPherson suspension control arm is calculated and compared in time domain and frequency domain. Different kinds of frequency domain fatigue life predict approaches are adopted in fatigue assessment of automotive components and the influence factors of these methods are discussed. 2. Fatigue life analysis method in frequency domain Frequency domain based fatigue life analysis is an important method in solution to random vibration fatigue problem. The method simplified calculate complication of time domain based fatigue analysis and can be applied to solve damage accumulation problem of components subjected to complex random loading, typical application including offshore oil platform[1~4] and space aircraft. In 1964 Bendat[1] proposed the first significant step towards a method of determining fatigue life from PSDs. Bendat assumed that the probability density function (PDF) of peaks for a narrow band signal tended towards a Rayleigh distribution. The Bendat’s narrow band solution is extremely conservative because it overrated the probability density of peaks for wider band time histories. On the ground of Bendat’s method, several amended methods were proposed, including Wirsching model, Hancock model, Kam-dovor model, Steinberg model and Tunna model. In 1985 Dirlik proposed an empirical closed form solution to the broad band problem following extensive computer simulations using the Monte Carlo technique, preferable accuracy is acquired. The Dirlik’s empirical formula was verified theoretically by Bishop on the base of smooth gauss random hypothesis. Dirlik’s empirical formula is computational less complexity but shows little reduce on accuracy over Bishop’s method, which is used widely for fatigue analysis in frequency domain. The Dirlik’s formulation is given in equation (1). N ( S ) = E [ P ]Tp ( S ) (1) Where, N ( S ) is the number of stress cycles of range S N/mm2 expected in time T sec. E [ P ] m2 is the expected number of peaks, can be obtained by E [ P ] = . p ( S ) is PDF of peaks stress m4 range, which can be expressed as follows: D1 Q D2 Z 2 R 2 e + 2 e + D3 Ze Q R p( S ) = 2 m0 −z −z2 −z2 2 (2) 2 xm − γ 2 1 − γ − D1 + D12 D = 1 − D − D Z = S , D2 = , 3 1 2 , 2 m0 1+ γ 2 1− R 1.25( γ − D3 − D2 R ) γ − x m − D12 γ = m2 m Q= , R= , , xm = 1 2 m0 m 4 m0 D1 1 − γ − D1 + D1 D1 = Where m n is the n th moment of area of the PSD, which is obtained as: mn = ∫ f n ( ) m2 m4 ⋅ G ( f )df f Hz. (3) Where G ( f ) is the value of the single side PSD at frequency 3. Fatigue loading acquisition based on dynamic simulation Loadings are requisite for fatigue life analysis. But for some reason it is incapable to measure accuracy loadings for all positions. Dynamic simulation method based on prototype model is convenient to measure load time histories for all connecting point. In order to acquire loading of a suspension control arm, prototype model of McPherson suspension is established. 3.1. Dynamic model of McPherson suspension ADAMS software is used to modelling McPherson suspension multi-body system, in order to consider dynamic response of control arm, the degrees of freedom of control arm FEM model is condensed using the modified Craig-bampton Component Mode Synthesis (CMS) method and imported into multi-body dynamic model using modal neutral file (mnf). The condensed FEM model is also called flexible body, so the McPherson suspension model including flexible arm is considered as rigid1 flexible coupled model, as shown in Figure 1(on the left). It has 4 rigid bodies including spindle, spring, hydraulic damper and3tire, and 1 flexible control arm. The raw FEM model of control arm is shown in Figure 1 (on the right), it has 4383 nodes and 13489 tetra4 elements. The control arm is 2 connected with vehicle body by two bushings at point 3 and point 4, connected with hydraulic damper by hooker joint at point 1 and connected with spindle by a ball joint at point 2, as shown in Figure 2 1.The reference frame is also shown in the figure. 1 2 4 Z Y 3 X 1 2 Figure 1. McPherson suspension model and FEM control arm In order to excite suspension system and acquire dynamic loadings, road time domain modelling can be obtained based on inverse Fourier transform. Transformed these data between time and frequency domain, the corresponding PSD curves can be obtained. Time domain and frequency domain model of road profile is shown in Figure 2. 10 10 00 8 10 PSD ( 1/Hz) 1 0 2 0 3 0 T e (S c ) im es 4 0 5 0 6 Height (mm) 50 0 10 4 10 2 0 10 -5 0 0 0 0 10 -2 10 -2 10 10 10 Frequency (Hz) -1 0 1 10 2 (a) (b) Figure 2. Time domain and frequency domain road model 3.2. Dynamic simulation and Loading acquisition Dynamic simulation is an effective approach to acquire loading spectra in early stage of design. Based on rigid-flex coupled McPherson suspension model, forces and moments of each direction at joint points can be obtained. Through analyzing we know that forces in Z direction of point 1 and point 2 have dominant influence on dynamic stress and fatigue life of control arm, and be selected in subsequent fatigue life calculation. The flowchart of loading calculates and extract from dynamic simulation is shown in Figure 3. Dynamic stress of structures at every time steps also can be obtained through modal stress recovery. Stress distributing contour of control arm at time step of maximal stress occur is shown in Figure 4, from which the damageable area can be seen clearly. FEM model of Control arm mnf file of Control arm Multi-body model of McPherson suspension Dynamic simulation Loadings Dynamic solver Road profile model Figure 3. Flowchart of loading calculates and extract from dynamic simulation Figure 4. Stress contour of control arm derived form modal stress recovery approach 4. Fatigue life calculate and influencing factors analysis 4.1. Fatigue life analysis in time domain To predict fatigue life in time domain, two essential components are needed: load counting methods and fatigue damage rules. Vehicle components usually subjected to random applied loads, therefore, the load time history is generally complex and cannot be applied directly in a fatigue calculation. Consequently, cycle counting methods are employed to decompose this complex load history. Different cycle counting strategies are available; however, they can lead to different counts. Rainflow counting method was proposed by Matsuishi and Endo in 1968 to count the number of cycles of each load range in a load history. The method was demonstrated accurately in identifying hysteresis loops in a variable amplitude histogram. Output from a Rainflow cycle counting usually expressed as a range mean histogram which is shown in Figure 5. The load range of each cycle is given along the x axis, the load mean is shown on the y axis and the z axis gives the number of cycles contained in the time history for each range and mean. The Palmgren-Miner’s hypothesis is one of the most widely used damage accumulation models. It assumes a linear damage accumulation. Although other nonlinear models have been proposed, they are more complicated than the Miner’s rule and cannot provide consistently better results. In the paper, the fatigue life analysis in time domain is on the ground of Rainflow cycle counting and Miner’s damage accumulation rule. 2 1 ( N) 0 -1 -2 -3 -4 x 10 4 Froce 0 10 20 Time (Sec) 30 40 Figure.5 Range-mean histogram derived from time history by Rainflow cycle counting 4.2. Fatigue life analysis in frequency domain Frequency domain fatigue life analysis is based on total life approach and accepts multi-location input files from finite element results. These results can be either a combination of transfer function from a frequency response analysis with corresponding loading input PSDs or the output response PSDs from a transient response analysis. For random signal which change its amplitudes and characteristics with time an empirical approach is used to calculate the damage caused by load signals. The damage is calculated using Palmgren-Miner rule: D =∑ i ni S = t N ( Si ) K ∫ S P( S )dS m (4) Where: ni is the actual counted number of cycles. N ( S i ) is the number of cycles associated to the load level. S t is the total number of cycles in required time. 4.3. Comparison of frequency domain fatigue life results As mentioned in the preceding, several approaches can be used to calculate fatigue life in frequency domain. Fatigue life results of diverse load cases and nodes derived from frequency domain approaches divided by the life obtained from the time domain approach have been listed in Table 1. From the table, it can be seen that Narrow band approach is very conservative compared to other methods, and Dirlik approach is remarkably credible than other approach. The average discrepancy between Dirlik approach and the fatigue life calculated in the domain is only 16.9%. Table 1. Comparison between different frequency domain fatigue analyses Load case Node Dirlik 1.783 1.558 1.667 0.417 0.300 0.712 2.035 1.746 0.762 0.715 1.169 Narrow Band 0.057 0.090 0.145 0.036 0.075 0.022 0.029 0.058 0.009 0.025 0.055 Tunna 1.461 2.302 3.685 0.920 1.737 0.663 0.942 1.781 0.287 0.816 1.459 Wirsching 1.337 1.145 1.194 0.299 0.181 3.396 2.816 3.233 0.518 0.471 1.459 Hancock Kam_dovor steinberg 0.082 0.129 0.208 0.052 0.107 0.031 0.043 0.085 0.013 0.037 0.079 1.783 1.527 1.592 0.398 0.241 4.679 3.913 4.453 0.717 0.655 1.996 0.068 0.107 0.171 0.043 0.094 0.026 0.035 0.069 0.011 0.030 0.065 1781 1746 Rank_6 3602 260 870 1781 1746 Rank_7 3602 260 870 Average 4.4. Influencing factor of fatigue life results in frequency domain 4.4.1. The influence of PSD averaging method Frequency domain approaches computing fatigue life, or damage, directly from the PSDs of stress as opposed to a time history. Thereby the accuracy of fatigue life analysis results in frequency domain depends on credible PSDs derived from time history of load signal. There are many software packages include Fourier analysis capabilities to calculate PSDs of load or stress time history. When dealing with PSDs, there are two ways to carry out spectral estimates for each of many FFT buffers. One simple way is to linearly average the component values over the number of buffers calculated. But the disadvantage of this method is that fast high amplitude events that occur in a single buffer are lost when the average of many buffers is taken. The peak hold option retains the largest FFT for each component and thus eliminates the disadvantage. The PSDs of Z direction force at point 1 derived from these two ways is shown in Figure 6. From the figure, it can be seen that the maximal frequency range of loadings from the two methods is about 50Hz, and there are rare frequency spectrums larger than 30Hz. Because of the peak average method retained the high amplitude events, the maximal value, means and RMS values of PSD derived from peak average method head and shoulders above the values derived from linear average method in any cases. The fatigue life results based on the two PSDs average method are shown in Table.2.The peak average method can obtain more reasonable results especially for Dirlik, Tunna, and Kam-dovor approaches, but linear average method is more suitable for Narrow Band, Hancock and Steinberg approaches. 6 2 (Newton /Hz) x 10 7 30 5 4 3 2 1 0 0 10 20 30 Frequency (Hz) Peak average Linear average Frequency domain / Time domain 25 20 15 10 5 0 0 Dirlik Narrow Band Tunna Wirsching Hancock Kam ovor d steinberg Force 40 50 20 40 60 Frequency ( Hz) 80 100 Figure 6. PSDs of Z direction force at point 1 derived from two average methods Figure 7. The influence of frequency range of loading on fatigue life results Table 2. Results comparison between different PSDs average methods Average method Peak average Linear average Load case Rank_6 Rank_7 Average Rank_6 Rank_7 Average Dirlik 1.778 0.712 1.245 10.966 100.082 55.524 Narrow Band 0.057 0.022 0.0395 1.313 4.875 3.094 Tunna 1.460 0.663 1.0615 36.307 157.722 97.0145 Wirsching 1.335 3.398 2.3665 7.557 68.681 38.119 Hancock 0.081 0.031 0.056 1.903 7.184 4.5435 Kam_dovor 1.778 4.674 3.226 10.227 95.493 52.86 Steinberg 0.068 0.026 0.047 1.534 5.807 3.6705 4.4.2. The influence of frequency ranges and intervals Before fatigue life calculate in frequency domain based on Finite Element model, the frequency response analysis on the FE model should be carried out to determine the transfer function between unit input loadings and responses. The frequency ranges and intervals in frequency response analysis not only influence the size of result files and calculate time consumed, but influence the fatigue life results of structures. If frequency ranges are too broad or frequency intervals are too dense, the results of frequency response analysis will become too larger and could not be imported to calculate fatigue life in frequency domain. With the increase of range and the decrease of interval of frequency, the size of result and model files augmented quickly, as show in Table 3. Table 3. Size of result and model files of differ frequency ranges and intervals Frequency range (Hz) 10 20 30 40 50 75 100 Size of Op2 result file (Mpa) 75.3 146 217 288 359 536 714 Size of db model file (Mpa) 64.3 123 181 238 295 440 584 Frequency intervals (Hz) 1.5 1.2 1.0 0.8 0.5 0.4 0.25 Size of Op2 result file (Mpa) 125 153 181 254 359 448 808 Size of db model file (Mpa) 103 126 149 206 295 365 654 The influence of frequency range on fatigue life results at node 1781 of Rank_7 load case is shown in Figure 7, when the frequency ranges of frequency response analysis is lower than 30Hz, it has great influence on fatigue life results derived from various frequency domain approaches, when the frequency ranges is higher than 30Hz, fatigue life results become to converge to stable values. These results also can be explained by Figure 6, because the main frequency of loadings act on the structures is located on the range of 30Hz, the frequency response results of more than 30Hz have low influence on fatigue results. The influence of frequency interval is shown in Table 4. It also has great influence on fatigue life results from frequency domain approach. Table 4. Results comparison between different Frequency intervals (Frequency range=50Hz) Frequency interval (Hz) 0.25 0.4 0.5 0.8 1.0 1.2 1.5 Dirlik 0.712 1.410 1.534 1.735 0.799 1.254 250.921 Narrow Band 0.022 0.028 0.029 0.031 0.023 0.026 24.088 Tunna 0.663 0.855 0.956 0.649 0.583 0.881 808.683 Wirsching Hancock Kam_dovor Steinberg 3.398 3.900 3.986 4.144 3.470 3.751 167.759 0.031 0.040 0.043 0.044 0.032 0.039 35.703 4.674 5.377 5.563 5.334 4.631 5.253 235.149 0.026 0.033 0.035 0.037 0.027 0.031 28.390 5. Conclusions Virtual automotive structures fatigue life predicts using frequency domain simulation techniques is presented in the paper. Take a typical automotive suspension control arm for example, virtual experiment approach is introduced to obtain dynamic loading time history of structures, fatigue life of different frequency domain approaches is calculated based on the PSDs of loading time history, influence factories of fatigue life results are also discuss. The results are as follows: (1) From the comparisons of fatigue life predict results, it can be seen that the normalized rate of fatigue damages from diverse frequency domain methods are very discrete, indicating that the current life expectancy results of frequency domain methods are still some deviations with results of traditional time domain method. (2) Treatment with narrow-band random broadband signal will give a conservative result. Dirlik method for frequency domain life results has minimum mean difference with results obtained from time-domain. Both in the distribution or the value of life are better than other frequency-domain analysis methods. That can only be calculated in the frequency domain of large and complex finite element vehicle model, the frequency domain Dirlik life prediction method can be used. (3) Load signal power spectral density processing method and selecting of frequency ranges and intervals in frequency response analysis have great influence on calculation results, appropriate values should be selected according to different problems. References [1] Andrew Halfpenny 1999 A frequency domain approach for fatigue life estimation from Finite Element Analysis. International Conference on Damage Assessment of Structure ( DAMAS 99) Dublin, 9. [2] Ziad A.Hanna 2005 Vibration Fatigue Assessment Finite Element Analysis and Test correlation. Master thesis, University of Windsor. [3] Bishop NWM and Sheratt F 1989 Fatigue life predict from power spectral density data. Environmental Engineering, 2. [4] Bishop NWM 1988 The use of frequency domain paramenters to predict structural fatigue. Ph.D. thesis, University of Warwick, UK. [5] Tunna J M 1986 Fatigue life predict for Gaussian random loads at the design stage. Fatigue Fract. Engng. Mater. Struct, 9(3):185-194.