Prediction of fatigue life for CFRP strengthened steel connections under combined loads

Hongbo Liu, Xiao Ling Zhao

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


The girth welds of the steel connections in subsea pipelines are subjected to combined fatigue loading and static tensile loading in most of their service life. In this paper, both experimental and numerical studies are presented on the fatigue behavior of Carbon Fiber Reinforced Polymer (CFRP) composites repaired steel connections under combined loads. In the experimental program, each specimen is designed to be formed by two steel plates joined together by single-sided girth welds as a simplification of subsea pipelines, and reinforced by CFRP sheets on one side. The applied loads include a constant amplitude tensile cyclic load combined with a tensile static load, which is perpendicular to the cyclic load. The experimental results reveal that the superimposition of the tensile static load leads to a prolonged fatigue life. The effect gets more noticeable with increased tensile load. To further this study, an analytical model is developed on the basis of the Linear Elastic Fracture Mechanics (LEFM) method. It can be used to predict the fatigue lives efficiently. The comparisons with experimental results reveal that the analytical method is able to reasonably predict the fatigue crack growth life. Parametric studies are therefore performed using the proposed analytical model. The influence of CFRP layers, stress range and tensile static stress on the fatigue life was evaluated.

Original languageEnglish
Article number250059
JournalInternational Journal of Structural Stability and Dynamics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - May 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • CFRP
  • combined loads
  • crack propagation
  • fatigue life
  • fracture mechanics
  • steel connections

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Ocean Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Applied Mathematics


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