Webinar: How Things Break – Metal Fatigue and its Effects

On May 8, 1842, a tragic rail accident occurred between the Meudon and Bellevue stations near Paris, France. While running at is top speed, the front axle of the first locomotive snapped, causing a derailment and fire that would claim dozens of lives. At that time, The Versailles Rail Accident was the deadliest event to occur on the railways. The concept that materials could become “tired” was still relatively new and not well understood. Much of our current knowledge and methods regarding metal fatigue can be traced to this incident and the subsequent investigations. This historically significant event serves as the context for this webinar in explaining various aspects of metal fatigue. In particular, the Stress Life Theory, Miner’s Rule, and stress concentration factors will be discussed. Finite element analysis will be employed to facilitate calculations and aid the discussions.

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