Review and application of Rainflow residue processing techniques for accurate fatigue damage estimation

Gabriel Marsh*, Colin Wignall, Philipp R. Thies, Nigel Barltrop, Atilla Incecik, Vengatesan Venugopal, Lars Johanning

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Most fatigue loaded structural components are subjected to variable amplitude loads which must be processed into a form that is compatible with design life calculations. Rainflow counting allows individual stress cycles to be identified where they form a closed stress-strain hysteresis loop within a random signal, but inevitably leaves a residue of open data points which must be post-processed. Comparison is made between conventional methods of processing the residue data points, which may be non-conservative, and a more versatile method, presented by Amzallag et al. (1994), which allows transition cycles to be processed accurately. This paper presents an analytical proof of the method presented by Amzallag et al. The impact of residue processing on fatigue calculations is demonstrated through the application and comparison of the different techniques in two case studies using long term, high resolution data sets. The most significance is found when the load process results in a slowly varying mean stress which is not fully accounted for by traditional Rainflow counting methods.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)757-765
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Fatigue
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2016

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Cyclic counting methods
  • Load histories
  • Rainflow residue
  • Random loading
  • Variable amplitude fatigue


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