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 variable loads 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 during the process of load cycling. It is concluded that number of cycles to failure is a poor design criterion. A simple time criterion is much better. The theory is successfully compared with data from experiments representing different wood products. Algorithms and master graphs are developed which can be used in fatigue design of wood products in general. These graphs are valid for any creep behavior (relaxation, moisture content) and materials quality (grading, strength level).