Document Type


Date of Original Version



Mechanical, Industrial and Systems Engineering


The useful remaining life of engineering structures under variable amplitude (VA) fatigue loading remains a major unresolved engineering problem. The existing proposed life prediction models are usually based on empirical approximation from experimental results (Fatemi, Yang Int J Fatigue 20(1):9–34, 1998, Santecchia et al. Adv Mater Sci Eng 2016:1–26, 2016). The variable fatigue experiment apparatus in this extended abstract was designed for simulating structural fatigue with a high testing frequency, variable R-ratio as well as modifiable experimental layout (Falco et al. J Vib Acoust 136(4):041001, 2014). In previous studies, the inherent nonlinearity of the testing rig was detected, the obtained parameters allow one to properly use this testing rig within its linear region. As damage accumulates, however, the corresponding dynamic characteristics of the specimen alter accordingly. Therefore, proper modeling considering the interaction between the inherent nonlinearity and the damage induced nonlinearity for both (1) opening crack and (2) breathing crack is necessary for future fatigue life estimation under complex fatigue loading. Here, nonlinear system identification of the lately modified variable amplitude fatigue experiment apparatus is presented based on a combination of first-principles and data-driven modeling techniques. Eventually, structure-damage interaction dynamics will be described to model the underlying fatigue evolution and structural dynamics interactions.