COLUMBUS, OH—Battelle researcher Pingsha Dong has developed a method for predicting fatigue life in welded structures that he says has the potential to save billions of dollars in the aerospace, automotive, bridge construction, shipbuilding, pipeline and offshore oil rig industries.

According to Battelle, Pingsha's method, called the Verity mesh-insensitive structural stress method, has an accuracy far surpassing other existing modeling methods. This allows the fatigue lives of welded structures to be reliably predicted regardless of the complexity of welded components and modeling details. The result is that Pingsha's method can eliminate the need for the expensive testing and over-engineering that is often done to compensate for the uncertainties in current fatigue design practice.

"For the past 25 years, experts in the field have been trying to address the adequacies in stress analysis for fatigue design of welded structures so that companies would not have to compensate for poorly correlated test data," says Pingsha. "Eventually, the industry and academia gave up. We did not give up."

Pingsha and his team recently received the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) Henry Ford II Distinguished Award for Excellence in Automotive Engineering in recognition of Verity's potential for the automotive industry.

"Other fatigue software vendors claim to have an effective method, but when you look into the details, they're using a lot of subjective fudge factors," says Ford Motor Co. senior technical specialist and fatigue design expert Hari Agrawal.

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