Effects of variable amplitude loading on fatigue life

  • Niels Laseure (Ghent University)
  • Ingmar Schepens (Ghent University)
  • Nahuel Micone (Ghent University)
  • Wim De Waele (Ghent University)


This paper is a review of published research on variable amplitude loading of steels. The use of service spectra for different industrial sectors and specifically for offshore applications is first considered. Constant amplitude fatigue failure models are not representative for these applications. The JONSWAP spectrum shows potential to be used as service spectrum for offshore structures. Further investigation of variable amplitude fatigue is needed to get insight in the various phenomena linked to the variable amplitude. Observed trends in fatigue crack growth rate in variable amplitude fatigue tests on steels, such as the effects of overloads and underloads (occurring as single events, sequential events or block loadings), are discussed. Furthermore, suggestions of the underlying physical phenomena behind the load interaction effects due to variable amplitude loading are presented. It can be concluded that the plasticity induced crack closure mechanism is the most profound explanation for the acceleration effect in overloads and the retardation effect observed in underloads.

How to Cite:

Laseure, N. & Schepens, I. & Micone, N. & De Waele, W., (2015) “Effects of variable amplitude loading on fatigue life”, International Journal of Sustainable Construction and Design 6(3), 10. doi:

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Published on
07 Oct 2015
Peer Reviewed