Fatigue cracks and failures due to alternating stresses often appear unexpected and can cause a large amount of damage, human as well as material and financial (e.g. liability). The share of fatigue damages of the total amount of mechanical damages is substantial so managing fatigue related problems in an appropriate way is essential.
A fatigue failure may have different causes, such as the material quality, production process and possible mistakes, structural (detail) design, erroneous use of strength and reliability analysis, underestimation of the load spectrum and abuse of the product.
It is obvious that many aspects do affect the resistance against fatigue. Managing and preventing problems due to fatigue should be considered as a key capability of a structural engineer.

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