Different empirical models have been proposed in the literature to determine the fatigue strength as a function of lifetime, according to linear, parabolic, hyperbolic, exponential, and other shaped solutions. However, most of them imply a deterministic definition of the S-N field, despite the inherent scatter exhibited by the fatigue results issuing from experimental campaigns. In this work, the Bayesian theory is presented as a suitable way not only to convert deterministic into probabilistic models, but to enhance probabilistic fatigue models with the statistical distribution of the percentile curves of failure probability interpreted as their confidence bands. After a short introduction about the application of the Bayesian methodology, its advantageous implementation on an OpenSource software named OpenBUGS is presented. As a practical example, this methodology has been applied to the statistical analysis of the Maennig fatigue S-N field data using the Weibull regression model proposed by Castillo and Canteli, which allows the confidence bands of the S-N field to be determined as a function of the already available test results. Finally, a question of general interest is discussed as that concerned to the recommendable number of tests to carry out in an experimental S-N fatigue program for achieving “reliable or confident” results to be subsequently used in component design, which, generally, is not adequately and practically addressed by researchers.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited