Stress Concentration Factors and Fatigue Failure of Welded T-Connections in Circular Hollow Sections under In-Plane Bending
Mashiri, FR and Zhao, XL and Grundy, P, Stress Concentration Factors and Fatigue Failure of Welded T-Connections in Circular Hollow Sections under In-Plane Bending, International Journal of Structural Stability and Dynamics, 4, (3) pp. 403-422. ISSN 0219-4554 (2004) [Refereed Article]
The fatigue behavior of welded thin-walled T-joints made up of both circular hollow section (CHS) braces and chords, subjected to cyclic in-plane bending, is described in this paper. CHS chords and braces are of thicknesses less than 4 mm. Current fatigue design guidelines show that the design of welded tubular nodal joints is restricted to thicknesses greater than or equal to 4 mm. The increased availability and use of thin-walled (t < 4 mm) tubes of high-strength steels in recent years, in structures subjected to cyclic loading, means that it is important to study the fatigue behavior of welded thin-walled tubular nodal joints. In this paper, welded thin-walled CHS-CHS T-joints subjected to constant-stress-amplitude cyclic in-plane bending range are studied. The stress concentration factors (SCFs) determined experimentally at the brace and chord crown positions are shown to be about 30% and 40% respectively of the SCFs determined using parametric equations in existing fatigue design guidelines. The fatigue tests showed that in welded thin-walled CHS-CHS T-joints, a through-thickness crack occurs when the surface crack length along the weld toes in the chord has grown to a length equal to about 40% of the circumference of the brace member. An end of test failure criterion was proposed as an alternative to the through-thickness failure criterion, in obtaining data that is suitable for determining fatigue design S-N curves.