Fluctuating loads, such as traffic or train loads on bridges or wave load on lock gates, may initiate fatigue failure in steel structures. Eventually this may lead to unacceptable cracks and possibly less structural reliability than required. TNO provides support for optimizing the design of new structures and assessing the residual service life of existing structures.
Standards and models based on Wöhler Curves (S-N curves) help to predict the fatigue life of a structure. TNO's in-depth knowledge goes beyond this. We can identify the parts of a design that are susceptible to fatigue, and therefore recommend modifications to reduce that susceptibility. This results in a longer service life.
We can use calculations for predicting the remaining service life of existing structures. For this purpose also the results of inspections may be used. In the case of existing structures also load and load effect measurements contribute to a more precise prediction of the remaining service life.