Very high cycle fatigue of welds: a review

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The design life of welded structures and components extends into the very high cycle fatigue (VHCF) regime across various applications. However, the availability of data on the fatigue behaviour of welded joints in the VHCF regime is limited, particularly when compared to the low and high cycle fatigue regimes. The development of ultrasonic fatigue testing equipment has accelerated fatigue testing and allowed for the VHCF properties of welds to be investigated in a feasible timeframe. In the present review, the emerging research concerning the VHCF behaviour of welds of various steels and non-ferrous alloys are individually explored. Overall, it is observed that welded joints have significantly lower fatigue strength than the base metal in the VHCF regime and that welding defects have a considerable influence on fatigue strength. Through the discussion of the relevant literature, important findings concerning the effects of specimen geometry and fatigue improvement methods are underlined. Furthermore, the guidance provided within design standards is compared, and some examples of VHCF failures of in-service components are highlighted. Finally, perspectives on future directions of investigation are put forward with the aim of encouraging further research in the field of VHCF of welds.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1860
Number of pages23
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 7 Nov 2023


  • very high cycle fatigue
  • welded joint
  • ultrasonic fatigue testing
  • fatigue
  • fractography


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