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Miners Rule
Posted on July 23, 2013 by aerospacengineering

Miners rule is probably the simplest cumulative damage model. It states that if there are k
different stress levels (with linear damage hypothesis) and the average number of cycles to
failure at the ith stress, S
i
, is N
i
, then the damage fraction, C, is:

where:
- n
i
is the number of cycles accumulated at stress S
i
.
- C is the fraction of life consumed by exposure to the cycles at the different stress levels.
In general, when the damage fraction reaches 1, failure occurs. The above equation can be
thought of as assessing the proportion of life consumed at each stress level and then adding the
proportions for all the levels together. Often an index for quantifying the damage is defined as
the product of stress and the number of cycles operated under this stress, which is:

Assuming that the critical damage is the same across all the stress levels, then:

For example, lets say W
Failure
=50 for a component. So the component will fail after 10 cycles at
a stress level of 5, or after 25 cycles to fail at a stress level of 2, and so on. Using Eqn. (2) as the
critical value of damage that will result in failure, Eqn. (1) becomes:

C represents the proportion of the cumulative damage to the critical value.


Example:
A part is subjected to a fatigue environment where 10% of its life is spent at an alternating stress
level,
1
, 30% is spent at a level
2
, and 60% at a level
3
. How many cycles, n, can the part
undergo before failure? If, from the S-N diagram for this material the number of cycles to failure
at i is N
i
(i =1,2,3), then from the Palmgren-Miner rule failure occurs when:







Above is shown the solution for n cycles given.
Note:
1. High-low fatigue tests where testing occurs sequentially at two stress levels (
1
,
2
) where

1
>
2
generally shows that failure occurs when

where C normally is < 1, i.e the Palmgren-Miner rule is non-conservative for these tests. For
low-high tests, c values are typically > 1.
2. For tests with random loading histories at several stress levels, correlation with the Palmgren-
Miner rule is generally very good.
3. The Palmgren-Miner rule can be interpreted graphically as a shift of the S-N curve. For
example, if N
1
cycles are applied at stress level
1
(where the life is N
1
cycles), the S-N curve is
shifted so that goes through a new life value, N
1.


Limitations
A major limitation of the Palmgren-Miner rule is that it does not consider sequence effects, i.e.
the order of the loading makes no difference in this rule. Sequence effects are definitely observed
in many cases. A second limitation is that the Palmgren-Miner rule says that the damage
accumulation is independent of stress level. This can be seen from the modified S-N diagram
above where the entire curve is shifted the same amount, regardless of stress amplitude.




Limitation: Effect of Notch Plasticity (Fatigue of Structures and Materials Jaap Schijve)







Crak length at failure:


(Source: Fatigue of Structures and Materials Jaap Schijve)


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