The fatigue loads on a structure in service are generally referred to as the load spectrum. The description of load spectra and methods to obtain load spectra are discussed in the present chapter. A survey of various aspects of fatigue of structures was presented as a flow diagram in introductory chapter (Chapter 1, Figure 1.2). A reduced diagram is presented here in Figure 9.1 to illustrate the significance of load spectra for fatigue design analysis of a structure. Without information on the anticipated load spectrum, the analysis of the fatigue performance of a structure is impossible. Furthermore, verification tests to support the analysis are often necessary for economic or safety reasons. The load spectrum must be consulted for planning such validation tests.

Sometimes the load spectrum is changed after a number of years by a modified use of the structure, which is different from the initial expectations. The load spectrum must then be considered again. Fatigue load spectra should also be reviewed if fatigue failures occur in service.


Fatigue Damage Load Cycle Load Range Load History Power Spectral Density Function 
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