The structural durability of welded structures is determined by the interaction of different influencing parameters such as loading mode, spectrum shape, residual stresses and weld geometry among others. Examples from plant, offshore, transportation and automotive engineering show how these parameters influence the fatigue life and to what extent they are considered in design codes. Especially, under spectrum loading, the stress decreasing effect of tensile residual stresses is not as high as under constant amplitude loading; this knowledge benefits light weight design. The overloads harmed only the low strength joints under pulsating bending. In all other cases investigated, with low, medium and high-strength steels, a significant decrease of fatigue life was not observed; on the contrary, significant improvement of fatigue life could even be observed. However, a systematic interaction with material strength, loading mode and residual stresses was not apparent.
Overloads , Residual stresses , Welded joints , Steel , Aluminium , Spectrum loading