A generalised method for ratchet analysis of structures undergoing arbitrary thermo-mechanical load histories

M. Lytwyn, H. F. Chen, A. R. S. Ponter

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17 Citations (Scopus)
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A novel approach is presented based upon the Linear Matching Method framework in order to directly calculate the ratchet limit of structures subjected to arbitrary thermo-mechanical load histories. Traditionally, ratchet analysis methods have been based upon the fundamental premise of decomposing the cyclic load history into cyclic and constant components respectively, in order to assess the magnitude of additional constant loading a structure may accommodate before ratcheting occurs. The method proposed in this paper, for the first time, accurately and efficiently calculates the ratchet limit with respect to a proportional variation between the cyclic primary and secondary loads, as opposed to an additional primary load only. The method is a strain based approach and utilises a novel convergence scheme in order to calculate an approximate ratchet boundary based upon a predefined target magnitude of ratchet strain per cycle. The ratcheting failure mechanism evaluated by the method leads to less conservative ratchet boundaries compared to the traditional Bree solution. The method yields the total and plastic strain ranges as well as the ratchet strains for various levels of loading between the ratchet and limit load boundaries. Two example problems have been utilised in order to verify the proposed methodology.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)104-124
Number of pages21
JournalInternational Journal for Numerical Methods in Engineering
Issue number2
Early online date24 Mar 2015
Publication statusPublished - 12 Oct 2015


  • linear matching method (LMM)
  • shakedown
  • ratchet
  • cyclic plasticity
  • direct methods


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