# EXPERIMENTAL IMPLEMENTATION OF A NEW DURABILITY / ACCELERATED LIFE TESTING TIME REDUCTION METHOD

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## Abstract

Fatigue can be defined as a cyclic degradation process resulting in a failure at lower stress levels than the ultimate load. Fatigue reliability is defined as the probability that a structure will perform its intended function throughout its lifetime without any fatigue failure. Durability testing aims to predict fatigue damage in order to estimate the remaining useful life (RUL) based on fatigue. The latter is a useful metric in design for life-cycle cost. The objective of this research is to develop a new durability time reduction method to experimentally estimate the fatigue life of a vehicle component or system with accuracy using a short duration test. We assume that the loading random process (e.g. terrain configuration) is stationary and ergodic so that a single time trajectory can quantify the loading statistics. For the single time trajectory of the load process, we measure the corresponding output stress trajectory at a specified location on the structure. The latter is cycle counted using the 4-point rainflow counting algorithm. The cycle counting identifies all signal (stress) peaks and valleys using a peak picking algorithm and uses them to identify the range of all individual fatigue damage cycles and the time they occur based on a chosen fatigue damage model. Using this information (range of each cycle and the time it occurs), we build a synthetic signal exhibiting the same fatigue damage cycles in the sequence they occur in the actual stress signal. The sequence can be important in order to properly account for the cumulative damage accumulation. Finally, based on the fact that the cycle damage is independent of the time it occurs, we compress the synthetic signal so that its Power Spectral Density (PSD) does not exceed an upper limit dictated by the durability equipment. This proposed durability approach achieves therefore, the same cumulative damage with the original signal in a much shorter testing time. We demonstrate the new durability approach with two examples, and validate it experimentally using a commonly used Belgian block terrain excitation on the suspension coil spring of a military HMMWV (High Mobility Multi-purpose Wheeled Vehicle).