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Page 1 of 3

**Rainflow-counting algorithm
**

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The rainflow-counting algorithm (also known as the "rain-flow counting method") is used in the analysis of fatigue data in order to reduce a spectrum of varying stress into a set of simple stress reversals. Its importance is that it allows the application of Miner's rule in order to assess the fatigue life of a structure subject to complex loading. The algorithm was developed by Tatsuo Endo and M. Matsuishi in 1968.[1] Though there are a number of cycle-counting algorithms for such applications, the rainflow method is the most popular as of 2008.

Figure 1: Uniform alternating loading

Downing and Socie created one of the more widely referenced and utilized rainflow cycle-counting algorithms in 1982,[2] which was included as one of many cycle-counting algorithms in ASTM E 104985.[3] This algorithm is used in Sandia National Laboratories LIFE2 code[4] for the fatigue analysis of wind turbine components. Igor Rychlik gave a mathematical definition for the rainflow counting method, [5] thus enabling closedform computations from the statistical properties of the load signal. For simple periodic loadings, such as Figure 1, rainflow counting is unnecessary. That sequence clearly has 10 cycles of amplitude 10 MPa and a structure's life can be estimated from a simple application of the relevant S-N curve. Compare this with Figure 2 which cannot be assessed in terms of simply-described stress reversals.

Contents

**1 The algorithm 2 Example 3 References 4 External links
**

Figure 2: Spectrum loading

The algorithm

1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Reduce the time history to a sequence of (tensile) peaks and (compressive) troughs. Imagine that the time history is a template for a rigid sheet (pagoda roof). Turn the sheet clockwise 90° (earliest time to the top). Each tensile peak is imagined as a source of water that "drips" down the pagoda. Count the number of half-cycles by looking for terminations in the flow occurring when either: 1. It reaches the end of the time history; 2. It merges with a flow that started at an earlier tensile peak; or 3. It flows opposite a tensile peak of greater magnitude. 6. Repeat step 5 for compressive troughs. 7. Assign a magnitude to each half-cycle equal to the stress difference between its start and termination. 8. Pair up half-cycles of identical magnitude (but opposite sense) to count the number of complete

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rainflow-counting_algorithm

02/09/2012

compressive troughs 2. S. 31-40. Fatigue 9:2. & Endo. the free encyclopedia Page 2 of 3 cycles. ^ Schluter. Mech. Programmer's Guide for LIFE2's Rainflow Counting Algorithm. (1987) A New Definition of the Rainflow Cycle Counting Method. J. T. Socie. ^ Rychlik. Japan Soc. Volume 4. D. (1982). L.wikipedia. ^ Matsuishi. http://en. 119-121. January. Its magnitude is 16 MPa. there are some residual half-cycles. ^ Downing.Wikipedia. Half-cycle (A) starts at tensile peak (1) and terminates opposite a greater tensile stress. M. Sandia Report SAND90-2260.Rainflow-counting algorithm . (1991). peak (2). 5. (1968) Fatigue of metals subjected to Figure 4: Rainflow analysis for varying stress.org/wiki/Rainflow-counting_algorithm 02/09/2012 . Standard practices for cycle counting in fatigue analysis. D. 4. Figure 3: Rainflow analysis for tensile peaks Stress (MPa) 10 13 16 17 19 20 22 24 27 Whole cycles 2 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 Half cycles 0 1 2 2 0 1 1 1 1 References 1. Example The stress history in Figure 2 is reduced to peaks and troughs in Figure 3. Similar half-cycles are calculated for compressive stresses (Figure 4) and the half-cycles are then matched. I. ASTM International. Simple rainflow counting algorithms. (Reapproved 2005). 3. Typically. Engineering. Half-cycle (B) starts at tensile peak (4) and terminates where it is interrupted by a flow from an earlier peak. Issue 1. ^ ASTM E 1049-85.. (3). Int. F. Half-cycle (C) starts at tensile peak (5) and terminates at the end of the time history. Its magnitude is 17 MPa. International Journal of Fatigue.

a non-profit organization.php?title=Rainflowcounting_algorithm&oldid=382530639" Categories: Materials science Elasticity (physics) Fracture mechanics This page was last modified on 2 September 2010 at 19:13.wikipedia. additional terms may apply. See Terms of use for details.Wikipedia. Wave Analysis for Fatigue and Oceanography (Matlab) GAC freeware rainflow cycle counting Retrieved from "http://en. Wikipedia® is a registered trademark of the Wikimedia Foundation.org/wiki/Rainflow-counting_algorithm 02/09/2012 .. Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. http://en.Rainflow-counting algorithm . Inc.org/w/index.wikipedia. the free encyclopedia Page 3 of 3 External links StoFlo freeware rainflow cycle counting Excel template Matlab Central rainflow counting method WAFO.

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