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International Journal of Fatigue 22 (2000) 691702 www.elsevier.

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Evaluation of multiaxial spot weld fatigue parameters for proportional loading


H. Kang a, M.E. Barkey
a b

a,*

, Y. Lee

Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics Department, The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0280, USA Stress Laboratory and Durability Development, DaimlerChrysler Corporation, Auburn Hills, MI 48326-2757 USA Received 30 August 1999; received in revised form 23 January 2000; accepted 26 March 2000

Abstract The authors have conducted set of experiments to study the effects of combined tension and shear loads on the fatigue life of spot welded joints. The fatigue life of the specimens depended on the applied load amplitude, the ratio of shear to normal loading, and spot weld nugget diameter. The lower load amplitudes had longer fatigue lives, as did the cases which contained a higher amount of shear loading and specimens with a larger nugget diameter. Based on the test results, Swellam and co-workers model, Sheppards model, Rupp and co-workers model, and an interpolation/extrapolation model are evaluated. The four approaches were correlated with the experimental fatigue life for the multiaxial test results with reasonable accuracy. The success of Swellam and co-workers method relies heavily on determining the appropriate parameters b and b0. Sheppards structural stress method agreed reasonably well for mutiaxial test results, although the maximum structural stress range is sensitive to the variation of the sheet thickness, and the determination of M* is a complex procedure. Rupp and co-workers method is suitable for application to large structural models because mesh renement is not necessary for modeling the spot weld connection. 2000 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.
Keywords: Fatigue life; Spot welded joint; Combined tension and shear; In-plane shear

1. Introduction Spot welding is the primary method of joining sheet metal for body and structural applications in the ground vehicle industry. Although most spot welded connections are designed to primarily carry shear loads, in certain applications a signicant amount of peel force, or force normal to the spot weld, must be carried by the joint. This, in combination with the joint geometry, can lead to states of combined or multiaxial stress at or near the spot welded connection. Very detailed nite element models of a spot welded joint can be constructed to calculate the stress states near the joint. However, such an approach is typically used when analyzing the characteristics of a single joint [1], and not during the development phase of the ground

* Corresponding author. Tel.: +1-205-348-7300; fax: +1-205-3487240. E-mail address: mbarkey@coe.eng.ua.edu (M.E. Barkey).

vehicle design process. Instead, forces and moments acting on each joint are usually determined by the linear elastic nite element method and these forces and moments are used in the calculation of a fatigue damage parameter for the joint [25]. Recent researchers have proposed fatigue damage parameters for spot welded joints subjected to combined loading based on loads that can be calculated by nite element analysis. These parameters have typically been formulated using either fracture mechanics based approaches [610] or structural stress based approaches [25], and then correlated with an experimental database of fatigue life results. However, most of these previous experimental databases have been for either in-plane shear or 90 out-of-plane tensile normal specimens, even though the methods have been proposed for general states of loading. The authors have conducted a series of fatigue tests to study the effects of combined loading on the fatigue life of a single spot welded joint. Based on these test results, the fatigue life calculation approaches of Swel-

0142-1123/00/$ - see front matter 2000 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved. PII: S 0 1 4 2 - 1 1 2 3 ( 0 0 ) 0 0 0 3 7 - 2

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Nomenclature Swellams fatigue design parameter stress intensity factor for Mode I stress intensity factor for Mode II geometrical correction factor load ratio Pmin/Pmax exponent for load ratio effect radius of weld nugget sheet thickness specimen width material constant equivalent stress intensity factor of Mode I at maximum applied load coefcient in Swellams equation exponent in Swellams equation effective width in shear nugget diameter bending moment ranges at the edge of the weld nugget membrane load ranges at the edge of the weld nugget axial load range in the nugget maximum structural stress range cycles to failure of the spot welded specimens coefcient in Sheppards equation exponent in Sheppards equation shear force in X direction or Y direction normal force parameter depending on the ratio of the nugget radius and specimen span 1 parameter depending on the ratio of the nugget radius and specimen span 2 sn normal stress on the beam cross section bending stress on the beam cross section sb maximum shear stress on the beam cross section tmax seq1(q) equivalent stresses at critical plane for cracking in sheet smax(Fx) maximum stress due to Fx smax(Fy) maximum stress due to Fy s(Fz) stress due to Fz smax(Mx) maximum stress due to Mx smax(My) maximum stress due to My stress factor for loading in tension and bending t(q) shear stress on the cross section of the critical plane s(q) normal stress on the cross section of the critical plane tmax(Fx) maximum shear stress due to Fx tmax(Fy) maximum shear stress due to Fy S0 equivalent stress amplitude at R=0 S stress amplitude at each cycle mean stress sensitivity Ms Sm mean stress at each cycle estimated value of dependent variable at an interpolation point Vg value of dependent variable at jth data point Vj n number of data points in database N number of independent variables Ljg distance from jth data point to gth interpolation point D length of inuence of a data point ajg weighting factor of a data point kth coordinate of jth data point Xjk Ki KI KII G R b0 r t W b Kimax A h w d M* Q P Smax Nf C b Fx,y Fz

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Xgk j k g

kth coordinate of gth interpolation point index indicating data point index indicating dimension index indicating interpolation point

lam and co-workers, Sheppard, and Rupp and co-workers are evaluated. The results are also compared to a numerical approach for calculating fatigue life of spot welded joints applied to the data as described by Kang and Barkey [11]. In the following discussion, these approaches are described in detail and the models are applied to the multiaxial test results.

Fig. 1 shows resolved force components P, Q, and M at the weld nugget for a general applied load F. The stress intensity factors at the edge of the spot weld are derived by linear superposition: KI Kaxial Kmoment, KII Kshear, KIeq K 2+bK 2 . I II (4) (5) (6)

2. Swellam and co-workers Ki parameter Swellam and co-workers [6,7] developed a fatigue design parameter (Ki) that accounts for the effects of geometric factors and R-ratios (ratio of minimum to maximum applied load) of spot-welded joints. It is assumed that resistance spot welds could experience combinations of Mode I and Mode II loadings by axial loads, bending moments, and shearing loads. The Ki parameter is a combination of superposed stress intensity factors for Mode I and Mode II loadings. They modeled a spot welded joint as two half-spaces joined by a circular area under axial load, moment, and shearing load. Tada and co-workers equation [12] is used to calculate stress intensity factors at the edge of spot weld nugget as below: Kaxial P 2r pr , (1)

Here KIeq is equivalent stress intensity factor of Mode I, and b is a material constant to account for the inuence of Mode II loading. The material constant b can be determined by plotting two sets of total fatigue life data versus equivalent stress intensity factor (Keq) for specimens with the same geometric conditions. One set of data should be for only Mode I loading, while the other set of data should be for combined Mode I and II loading. The material constant b was 2 for low carbon steel specimens and 3 for high strength and low alloy steel specimens in [6,7]. KIeq is calculated for the maximum applied load without consideration of the effects of the geometric factors and load ratios. Therefore, Ki was proposed by applying a geometrical correction factor (G) and load ratio effect as shown below:

Kmoment

3M 2r2 pr , 2r pr Q

(2)

Kshear

(3)

where r is the nugget radius, P is the normal component of the applied load, Q is the shear component of the applied load, and M is the bending moment at the center of the nugget due to applied load. These equations are derived based on linear elastic fracture mechanics (LEFM) assumptions. The basic assumptions of LEFM contain the theory of elasticity including small displacements and general linearity between stresses and strains. It is often common to assume that these assumptions are valid for a larger loading range for cyclic loading than for monotonic loading because of the reduced size of the cyclic plastic zone as compared to monotonic loading [13].

Fig. 1. Resolved components P, Q and M at the nugget for a general applied load F.

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9Wt4 Wt2 4r5 r3

1/2

(7)

maximum structural stress range ( Smax) versus measured fatigue life (Nf/(1 R)) on a loglog scale as below: Nf C( Smax)b. (1R) (12)

Kimax

( K 2max+bK 2 max) I II , G

(8) (9)

Ki Kimax (1 R)b0,

where r is the nugget radius, t is the sheet thickness, W Pmin is the specimen width, R is the load ratio ( ), b is a Pmax material constant, and Kimax is the equivalent stress intensity factor of Mode I at maximum applied load. Ki is very sensitive to the variation of specimen thickness as compared to the effect of the variation of the nugget diameter and specimen width. The constant b0 is determined by trial and error to present a better plot of total fatigue life (Nf) versus Ki on a loglog scale. A parameterlife relationship can be derived based on this plot using a power law equation: Ki A(Nf)h, (10)

Nf is dened as the total life spent propagating the crack through the sheet thickness t. The coefcient C and exponent b are from a power law relation of maximum structural stress range versus measured fatigue life for crack propagation. 4. Rupp and co-workers approach Rupp and co-workers [4] observed that spot welded connections experienced considerable local plastic deformation during the rst load cycles. Therefore, exact stress calculation of stresses at spot welds using the linear elastic nite element method may not be effective, even if the model contains a high number of elements. (An exception to this may occur in situations where the material near the spot weld nugget experiences shakedown to an elastic state after initial deformation.) They determined local structural stresses at the spot weld instead of determining elastic notch-root stresses or stress intensities to correlate with the fatigue life of the spot weld. The local structural stresses are calculated based on the cross-sectional forces and moments using beam, sheet, and plate theory. To determine cross-sectional forces and moments at the spot welded joints, a stiff beam element is used on the nite element model to connect both sheet metals. The length of this beam element is recommended to be one-half of the thickness of both sheets [5]. A central idea of Rupps approach is to calibrate the structural stress parameter with the fatigue life results of spot welded structures, and not just with single spot welded coupons. For the sheet steels St1403 (300 HV), St1403 (200 HV), StW24, and St1203, they have shown that the mean stress corrected fatigue life results of spot welds in various structures consolidated the data reasonably well in a loglog plot of their structural stress parameter versus fatigue life, as shown in Fig. 2 [4]. In Rupps approach, two types of failure modes are identied for spot welded joints: cracking in the sheet metal or cracking through the weld nugget. The determination of the cracking mode is predicted with a rule of thumb that is generally accepted in industry [4]. In the rule of thumb, failure modes are plotted by nugget diameter versus sheet thickness. The transition value of cracking in the sheet and through the nugget are 3.5t, where t is the sheet thickness. When the nugget diameter is above the transition value, the crack will be in the sheet. Alternatively, when the nugget diameter of the spot weld is below this, the crack will be through the weld nugget. In the case of cracking in the sheet metal, the formulae

where A and h are constants from the curve-tting that depend on the test data.

3. Sheppards approach Sheppard [2,3] assumed that the structural stress range at a spot weld has a very close relationship with the fatigue life of the spot weld. This approach assumes that fatigue cracks propagate in the sheet thickness direction and that nugget rotation is negligible. The structural stress is an elastically calculated nominal stress determined by bending moments, membrane forces, and axial forces by S Q/(tw) 6 M/(t2W) P/t2, (11)

where Q/tw is a membrane stress term, 6 M*/t2W is a bending stress term, and P/t2 is the stress at the edge of the weld nugget in longitudinal direction due to an axial load. In these relations, the effective width in shear w=pd/3, t is the thickness of the sheet, d is the nugget diameter, and W is the width of the piece. Finite element analysis is used to calculate forces and moments at the weld nugget using plate elements and a beam element to represent the spot welded connection. As shown in [7,8], the determination of M* is based on the conditions of the nodal force and moment ranges at the spot welded connections. The structural stress range is fairly sensitive to the variation of the sheet thickness due to the third term of Eq. (11). Sheppard assumed that the crack propagation life is equal to the total fatigue life of the spot weld. Then, a curve tting equation was derived from a plot of

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Fig. 2.

Various spot welded specimens and fatigue test results [4].

of circular plate with central loading are applied to calculate local structural stresses. For deriving these formulae, a spot welded specimen is assumed as a circular plate with a rigid circular kernel at the center. The ratio of the kernel radius to the plate radius is assumed as 0.1. The circular plate is also assumed to have xed outer edges. Fig. 3(a) presents the schematic diagram of these assumptions and the equations of the maximum radial stress resulting from lateral forces, normal force, and moments. For the equations given in the gure, 1 was taken as 1.744 and 2 as 1.872. These parameters depend on the ratio of the nugget radius and specimen span [14]. The equivalent stresses for the damage parameter are calculated by combination and superposition of the local structural stress. The equivalent stresses are calculated as a function of angle q around the circumference of the spot weld. Here, q is the angle measured from a reference axis. The equivalent stresses for cracking in the sheet are calculated using superposition of formulae for the plate subjected to central loading as below: seq1(q) where: smax(Fx) smax(Fy) s(Fz) Fx , pdt Fy , pdt 1.744Fz for Fz 0, t2 (14) (15) (16) (17) (18)
Fig. 3. The assumed models to determine structural stresses at the nugget for the two possible failure modes. (a) Circular plate model for sheet metals; (b) beam model for nugget subjected to tension, bending and shear.

smax(Fx)cos q smax(Fy)sin q s(Fz)

(13)

smax(Mx)sin q smax(My)cos q

s(Fz) 0 for Fz 0, smax(Mx) 1.872Mx , dt2

smax(My) 0.6 t.

1.872My , dt2

(19) (20)

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The parameter is a material dependent geometry factor applied to the stress terms calculated from the bending moment. It effectively reduces the sensitivity of these stress terms to the sheet thickness. For the nugget failure mode, structural stresses for cracking through nugget are calculated based on the elastic formulae of a beam subjected to tension, bending and shear as shown in Fig. 3(b). This type of cracking can occur when a relatively small diameter spot weld is used to connect relatively thick sheets. The equations of the normal stress (sn), bending stress (sb), and the maximum shear stress (tmax) are given in Fig. 3(b). The resolved tensile stress on the critical plane are taken as the damage parameter, and are calculated from the state of combined tension and shear: t(q) tmax(Fx)cos q tmax(Fy)cos q s(q) s(Fz) smax(Mx)sin q smax(My)cos q where: tmax(Fx) tmax(Fy) s(Fz) 16Fx , 3pd 2 16Fy , 3pd 2 (23) (24) (25) (26) (27) (28) (21) (22)

life of spot welded specimens. This technique can calculate the fatigue life of spot welded specimens (a dependent variable) for the effects of different test conditions and specimen geometries (independent variables). A set of independent variables for which fatigue life is estimated in the variable space is determined based on the relative distance from points that compose the experimental database. The value of the dependent variable (fatigue life) is estimated at interpolation points as illustrated in Fig. 4 for the case of two independent variables. The minimum and maximum point on the prediction vector in Fig. 4 are the extremes of the projections of the data onto the prediction vector. The characteristic length of inuence, D, is assumed to be the same for all the data points. The angle, ajg, in Fig. 4 increases as the distance, Ljg, decreases since D is xed. The effect of each data point on the determination of the value of the dependent variable at the interpolation points depends on the angle ajg. Thus, ajg can be considered as a weighting factor of the inuence for the magnitude of the dependent variable. The value of the dependent variable at the interpolation point, Vg, is calculated from the weighting factor, ajg, and the value of the dependent variable, Vj , of each data point in the database by
n

4Fz for Fz 0, pd 2 32Mx , pd 3

s(Fz) 0 for Fz 0, smax(Mx)

Vg

j n

Vj N+1 L 1 jg 1 LN+1 jg

(30)

j 1

32My smax(My) . pd 3

The distance Ljg is determined by using the distance formula,


N

Ljg To account for mean stress, the equivalent stress amplitude at R=0 is calculated by S0 S+MsSm , Ms+1 (29)

(XjkXgk)2,
k 1

(31)

where S is the stress amplitude for the cycle, Ms is mean stress sensitivity, and Sm is the mean stress for the cycle. The value for the mean stress sensitivity is the downward slope of the line on a Goodman diagram (mean stress vs. stress amplitude) that connects the endurance limit stress at R=0 to the endurance limit stress at the other value of R-ratio. The total fatigue life is then correlated with the calculated maximum equivalent stress amplitude. 5. A numerical approach Kang and Barkey [11] applied a numerical interpolation/extrapolation technique to estimate fatigue
Fig. 4. The estimation scheme of a dependent variable for an interpolation point in the database.

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and N is the number of independent variables, Xjk is the kth coordinate of the jth data point, and Xgk is the kth coordinate of the gth interpolation point. The nal step of this technique is to establish a polynomial equation using the least squares tting method which represents the relationship between the interpolation points and the values of the dependent variable. In addition, the estimation of the dependent variable at the target point is needed from the polynomial equation. The value of the dependent variable at the target point can be interpolated or extrapolated by the polynomial equation, depending on the location of the target point. As with any extrapolation technique, if a target point is located out of the boundary of the database, the procedure should be used with caution. In these cases, the inuence of the database on the target point is very weak since the polynomial equation is established based on the distance from the point in the database. This method only relates the independent variables (load, spot weld nugget diameter, etc.) to the fatigue life (the dependent variable). As such, there is no need for explicit calculation of stresses or other local parameters, in the same manner that a traditional SN curve is used to related nominal stresses (i.e. load) to fatigue life. The method is included in the comparison of the semiempirical methods as a base-line calculation method. Any spot weld parameter with a meaningful physical interpretation should provide better results. Note, however, that the use of load and geometric dimensions in the numerical method would not preclude its use with more physically meaningful parameters such as any of the damage parameters discussed previously. 6. Experimental procedure and results The four approaches were evaluated using the experimental data for combined tension and shear loads. The data include 140 fatigue test results of high strength steel specimens subjected to combined tension and shear loads. The spot welded specimens used in this study were made of two strips of high strength galvanized sheet steel (410 MPa yield strength) bent into C shapes and welded together in the center with a single electrical resistance spot weld. The thickness of the specimens was 1.6 mm and the nominal diameters of specimens were 5.4 and 8 mm. The typical shape and dimensions of the specimen are shown in Fig. 5. The three loading directions, 30, 50, and 90, were used to apply the combined proportional, or in-phase, tension and shear loads on the weld nugget as shown in Fig. 6. Three mean loads of 1110, 2220, and 3340 N were applied at each loading direction with non-negative R-ratios from 0 to 0.76. Applied load amplitudes ranged from 445 N to 3336 N. The test xture and test procedures for multiaxial testing of spot welded specimens are described in detail in Lee et al. [15] and Barkey and Kang [16].

Fig. 5. A typical specimen subjected to the combined tension and shear loads (d=8 mm for large diameter, and d=5.4 mm for small diameter).

The denition of failure for the fatigue tests was taken as separation of the coupon, or excessive deformation of the joint (approximately 15 mm). This denition allowed for crack initiation and some crack propagation life without excessive deformation that would cause a large change in the nugget orientation. The experimental data are presented in Figs. 79, where fatigue life versus applied load amplitude is plotted at each loading angle for the two nugget diameters. The fatigue life of the specimens depended on the applied load amplitudes, the loading angles (ratio of nominal tension to shear loading), and nugget diameters. The higher load amplitudes had lower fatigue lives, as did the higher loading angles, where there was a higher proportion of tensile loading applied to the specimen. As indicated on the gures, the larger nugget diameter showed the longer fatigue life. In general, the results were independent of the R-ratio or mean stress level. The failure modes of the coupons also varied with load level and loading angle. Fatigue cracks typically initiated at the edge of the weld nugget on the centerline of the faying surface and progressed through the thick-

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Fig. 8. Experimental results of applied axial load amplitude versus fatigue life for 50 loading direction.

Fig. 6. The test xture to apply the combined tension and shear loads on the spot welded specimens.

Fig. 9. Experimental results of applied axial load amplitude versus fatigue life for 90 loading direction.

7. Comparison of the approaches with multiaxial test results For Swellam and Lawrences method, the Ki parameter was rst calculated using b=3 and b0=0.85 as for the high strength steel in their study [6,7]. However, this resulted in an unsatisfactory correlation between calculated life and measured life, and the constants were determined for the new experimental data. By the trial and error method, b=0.5 and b0=1.5 were determined for multiaxial data. Fig. 10 shows fatigue life (Nf) versus Ki that were calculated using the constants determined from the data. The equation of the power law relation from Fig. 10 became the governing equation to estimate fatigue life, and the correlation coefcient (cc) of the best t line is indicated in this gure. Fig. 11 shows the calculated versus measured fatigue life for the specimens subjected to the combined tension and shear loads. As shown in Fig. 11, the Ki parameter was reasonably correlated with measured fatigue life. For all of the comparisons, the dotted line in the gure represents a perfect correlation between the measurements and the calcu-

Fig. 7. Experimental results of applied axial load amplitude versus fatigue life for 30 loading direction.

ness of the sheet. After the through-thickness cracks had formed, the early stage of crack propagation was in the width direction of the specimen and in one or both sheets. For the 30 and 50 loading directions, the crack direction changed to the specimen length direction when the crack size was about the half of the specimen width. For the 90 loading case, the fatigue crack initiated at the edge of weld nugget and advanced around nugget resulting in the weld nugget pulling out from one of the metal strips.

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Fig. 10. Experimental fatigue life versus Ki for the specimens subjected to the combined tension and shear loads.

Fig. 12. Experimental fatigue life versus Sheppards maximum structural stress range for the specimens subjected to tension and shear loads.

Fig. 11. Experimental life versus calculated life using the Ki parameter that was calculated with b0=0.5 and b=1.5 for multiaxial test data.

Fig. 13. Experimental fatigue life versus calculated fatigue life using Sheppards method for the specimens subjected to the combined tension and shear loads.

lations, and the solid lines represent a factor three variation from a perfect correlation. The success of this method relies heavily on determining the appropriate parameters b and b0 such that the scatter of the Ki vs. Nf plot is minimized. This scatter corresponds directly to the scatter in the plot of measured life versus calculated life, because the same test data used to determine b and b0 were also used in the comparison. For Sheppards and Rupp and co-workers approaches, a nite element model was made containing linear elastic shell elements for the coupons, a stiff beam element for the spot weld, and rigid body elements for the loading xtures. The length of the beam element was equal to the thickness of the sheet. ABAQUS Version

5.8 was used to calculate forces and moments at each connecting node of the beam element. In Sheppards approach as described in [3], crack growth through the width of the sheet was not included in Eq. (12). However, the multiaxial test data collected in this study did not distinguish between the throughthickness and width propagation lives. Therefore, Eq. (12) was used to calculate fatigue life since Sheppards basic idea was the correlation of the fatigue parameter and test data. A relationship was determined between the maximum structural stress ranges (MPa) and multiaxial test results (cycles to failure) as shown in Fig. 12, with the correlation coefcient (cc) of the best t line indicated in the gure. Fig. 13 shows the measured fatigue

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life versus the calculated fatigue life using Eq. (12) for high strength steel specimens under multiaxial loads. Finite element mesh density and element types may produce a variation in calculated life as mentioned by Sheppard [2,3]. The maximum structural stress range is sensitive to the variation of sheet thickness. In this study, the specimens have one thickness and this results in a good correlation. However, the scatter tends to increase as sheets of different thickness are considered as shown in [11]. Rupp and co-workers approach was developed to use fatigue results generated by examining several spot welded structures, and not just a single weld. However, the evaluation of their method in this paper was conducted for single spot welded specimens because structural tests were not performed. This also allows for a direct comparison of the spot weld fatigue parameter to the other approaches. First, the failure mode was determined using the rule of thumb (3.5t) to apply Rupp and co-workers method. All specimens were anticipated to fail in the sheet metal since all nugget diameters were above the transition value. Therefore, plate theory was applied to calculate local structural stresses at the center plane of the sheet metal. The mean stress sensitivity of this test data was set equal to zero since the effects of mean stress were negligible. Fig. 14 shows total fatigue life (Nf) versus maximum equivalent stress amplitude. The equation of the power law relation from Fig. 14 was the governing equation to calculate fatigue life. The correlation coefcient (cc) of the best t line is again indicated in the gure. Fig. 15 shows the calculated versus measured fatigue life for multiaxial fatigue test data. As shown in Fig. 15, Rupp and co-workers approach can also be correlated with measured fatigue life for the multiaxial results with reasonable accuracy. This method is also very sensitive to the variation of

Fig. 15. Experimental life versus calculated life using Rupp and coworkers method for multiaxial load test data.

the sheet thickness as Rupp and co-workers tried to reduce the effects by using the geometry correction factor. As in the other methods, the parameter correlated well because the test data was of one sheet thickness. It is expected, however, that this method is less sensitive to the sheet thickness because of the geometry factor. The interpolation/extrapolation technique was applied to this test data. For this test data, six independent variablesthe sheet thickness, nugget diameter, specimen width, load amplitude, applied loading angle, and Rratiowere considered. At the location of each data point for which fatigue life was calculated, the data point was removed from the database, and then the calculation was made for that point. This was done so that the numerical technique would not be biased by the point for which the calculation was made. Plots of calculated versus measured values are presented in Fig. 16. As shown in the gure, the interpolation/extrapolation technique can be correlated with measured fatigue life for the multiaxial results with reasonable accuracy. The points outside the factor of three boundary were based on extrapolations.

8. Summary and conclusions Fatigue tests of the spot welded specimens subjected to combined tension and shear loads were conducted. The fatigue life of the specimens depended most signicantly on the applied load amplitudes and the spot weld nugget diameters. The initiation of fatigue cracks were observed at the edge of the weld nugget in the sheet

Fig. 14. Experimental life versus Rupp and co-workers maximum equivalent stress amplitude for the specimens subjected to multiaxial loads.

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ness. As shown in [7,8], the determination of M* is complex procedure since the value of M* is based on the conditions of the nodal force and moment ranges at the spot welded connections. 3. As in Sheppards approach, sheet metal stresses in Rupp and co-workers method were calculated from elastic stress equations. The parameter , a material dependent geometry factor effectively reduced the thickness effect on the equivalent stress. 4. The interpolation/extrapolation technique does not require a detailed mechanics model of the local stress state or material constants for semi-empirical equations since it only depends on the test data. However, this technique should be used with caution for extrapolated data as mentioned in [11]. Finally, each of the semi-empirical methods can be sensitive to the variation of the sheet thickness because of the bending stress or stress intensity terms if a geometry factor is not included. The experimental results presented here do not highlight this behavior because this series of tests were conducted using a single sheet thickness. This issue will be a topic of future work.

Fig. 16. Experimental life versus calculated interpolation/extrapolation for multiaxial load test data.

life

using

Acknowledgements metal, and propagation of the cracks depended on the loading directions and amplitudes. Four techniques for calculation of fatigue life of spot welded joints were evaluated with multiaxial test data. Swellam and co-workers, Sheppards, and Rupp and coworkers approaches were based on the physical interpretation of the spot welded joints. Additionally, a numerical technique was evaluated that used only the basic loading conditions and specimen geometries to determine the fatigue life. The four approaches were evaluated with experimental fatigue life of the multiaxial tests, and all approaches were fairly reasonable at consolidating the data to within a factor of three of the actual test life, even though each method assumed linearity between the applied load and the stresses or stress intensity factors. From this study, the following conclusions can be drawn: 1. In Swellam and co-workers approach, the parameters b and b0 may be changed depending on materials and testing. Therefore, the success of Swellam and coworkers method relies heavily on determining the appropriate parameters b and b0 such that the scatter of the Ki vs. Nf plot is minimized. 2. Sheppards method performed reasonably well for these multiaxial test results that included only one thickness. However, the maximum structural stress range is sensitive to the variation of the sheet thickThis work was sponsored by the DaimlerChrysler University Challenge Fund and supported by the Stress Laboratory and Material Engineering at the Chrysler Technology Center in Auburn Hills, Michigan. The authors of this paper would like to thank all of the DaimlerChrysler Spot Weld Design and Evaluation Committee members, including Eric Pakalnins (Chairman), Thomas W. Morrissett, Dr Ming-Wei Lu, Robert W. Jud, Tim J. Whehner, and Anthony Kittrell for technical discussions and for their efforts to provide the test xture and welded specimens.

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