Estimate component life based on calculated or SolidWorks Motion loads
Tightly integrated with SolidWorks CAD, metal fatigue analysis using SolidWorks Simulation can be a regular part of your design process—reducing the need for costly prototypes, eliminating rework or delays, and saving time and development costs.
Fatigue Life Analysis Overview
Metal fatigue analysis with SolidWorks Simulation uses the Stress Life Method to predict the high cycle fatigue life of metallic components experiencing either variable amplitude loading (Rainflow counting) or constant amplitude loading (Cumulative Damage Theory-Miners Rule). Use the results to validate your product while you are designing, in order to:
- Quickly and efficiently adjust designs to meet the required product life
- Establish recommended maintenance schedules, including part replacement
- Minimize failures, reduce warranty costs, and maximize product life
Fatigue is the process of component failure due to cyclic loading, and generally the nominal stresses in a component are elastic—below the material yield point. The fatigue process consists of initiation, propagation, and fracture; and the time for a crack to initiate and grow to cause component failure is a function of the component material strength and the stress field.
The material strength is defined and data plotted in the form of a “stress to number of cycles to failure” (S-N) curve. The SolidWorks CAD material database is pre-populated with information that includes the materials S-N curve and can be analyzed by SolidWorks Simulation. This database is easily customized to include your own particular material requirements.
The results of a fatigue analysis are given in terms of:
- Life plot—shows the number of cycles (for constant amplitude event studies) or the number of blocks (for variable amplitude studies) that causes fatigue failure at each location
- Damage plot—shows the percentage of the life of the structure consumed by the defined fatigue events
- Factor of safety (FoS) plot—shows the load FoS for fatigue failure at each location
- Biaxiality indicator—Plots the ratio of the smaller alternating principal stress (ignoring the alternating principal stress nearest to zero) divided by the larger alternating principal stress
- Matrix charts—for variable amplitude studies