1 Department of Structural Engineering and Materials, Technical University of Denmark
The DVM-theory (Damaged Viscoelastic Material) previously developed by the author to predict lifetime of wood subjected to static loads is further developed in this paper such that harmonic load variations can also be considered. Lifetime (real time or number of cycles) is predicted as a function of load amplitude, load average, fractional time under maximum load, and load frequency.The analysis includes prediction of residual strength (re-cycle strength) during the process of load cycling. It is concluded that number of cycles to failure is a very poor design criterion. It is demonstrated how the theory developed can be generalized also to consider non-harmonic load variations.Algorithms are presented for design purposes which may be suggested as qualified alternatives to the Palmgren-Miner's methods normally used in fatigue analysis of materials under arbitrary load variations. Prediction by Palmgren-Miner methods may cause considerably overestimated time to failure of viscoelastic materials, especially at low frequencies.