Experimental Mechanics

, Volume 13, Issue 12, pp 531–538 | Cite as

Comparison of fatigue effects in simulated and actual earthquakes

Low-cycle-fatigue criteria based upon Manson's “method of universal slopes” are used to prove that sine-beat-vibration testing of equipment will produce more elasto-plastic strain than an actual earthquake-time history
  • E. G. Fischer
  • F. H. Wolff


One of the unresolved aspects of simulated earthquake testing concerns the amount of low-cycle fatigue produced by a series of single-frequency-vibration tests compared to random-motion excitation. The recommended sinebeat vibration input using 5 cyc/beat at each measured equipment natural frequency is considered conservative because it can produce more fatigue damage than the most severe earthquake being postulated.

A computer-aided analysis has been made of simple mass-spring-damper systems representing the uncoupled structure and equipment response to well-known acceleration-time histories available for both the El Centro-1940 and San Fernando-1971 earthquakes. In the proposed testmachine simulation, the comparable sine-beat-vibration input was adjusted to duplicate the building-floor response at the base of the equipment, which was represented as a series of oscillators geometrically spaced in the 1 to 25-Hz range of damaging earthquake effects. Both large- and small-strain ranges have been compared, but these values are assumed for convenience and cannot be used as actual seismic effects in specific pieces of equipment.


Fatigue Seismic Effect Fatigue Damage Earthquake Effect Actual Earthquake 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Society for Experimental Mechanics, Inc. 1973

Authors and Affiliations

  • E. G. Fischer
    • 1
  • F. H. Wolff
    • 1
  1. 1.Westinghouse Electric CorporationPittsburgh

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