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Fatigue & Fracture Mechanics in Finite Element Analysis (FEA)

5-session NAFEMS e-learning course




March 14th - April 11th, 2017

07:00 PDT / 10:00 EDT / 15:00 BST / 16:00 CEST*

5-Session Training Course - One 2.5 hour session per day 

all sessions are recorded, and available to view at any time

Engineering Board PDH Credits: 12.5 hours*


* Daylight savings is observed at different times by various countries. While we will communicate DST changes during this course, please reference the EST starting time when converting to your local time. For reference, the current EST time can be found by clicking here.     



REGISTER TODAY TO SECURE YOUR PLACE.



Course Overview

Fatigue failure occurs when a material is subjected to repeated loading and unloading cycles. The level of stresses present to cause failure may be well below values considered safe for a single static load application. The critical fatigue initiation is usually at a very localized site and may be a result of additional factors such as stress concentration due to component shape, surface finish or corrosion pitting.

Fatigue has been cited as one of the major causes of in-service failure throughout engineering history. The earliest application of rotating machinery with its attendant cyclic nature produced documented fatigue failures. Textile loom machinery, pumping machinery and above all steam railway operations were beset by a mode of failure that was not understood. The early railway axle failures and mining equipment failures prompted fundamental testing and research. The theories on which much of modern fatigue analysis is based on were developed all through the industrial revolution and into the 1920’s.

The advent of more complex structures with more complex loading histories was typified by the introduction of the first jet powered airliners. Sadly new fatigue lessons had to be learned in the period from 1954 as a result of the DH Comet crashes.

The nature and prediction of fatigue is much more understood, and is a requirement for most design products today. However the application of fatigue analysis is not easy and a good background is essential to be able to use the powerful FEA method as a basis for fatigue analysis.

Much of the terminology used in setting up the fatigue problem through a modern GUI is confusing and the choice of options is not always clear.

The objective of this course is to break down the fatigue analysis process into clearly defined steps, give an overview of the physics involved and show how to successfully implement practical solutions using Finite Element Analysis.

Free Fatigue Life Calculator

Free Fatigue Life CalculatorAll attendees on the course will be able to download a fully functioning Fatigue Life Calculator. As well as forming a useful tool for many of the homework tasks set, attendees will be able to explore the implications of both High Cycle and Low Cycle Fatigue as discussed in the class. 

A tutorial guide is also available for download. Basic Material Data and Strain Life Material data is input, or derived from fundamentals.  Neuber notch and Plastic material intersection points are found allowing a hysteresis cycle to be plotted. The strain life curve is plotted and the number of cycles to failure is calculated.

The Calculator has been steadily developed over the last few years of delivering this course and attendees will be entitled to future upgrades.


Course Process and Details 

To help you meet your training needs the following e-learning course has been developed to complement the live class. The e-learning course runs over a four week period with a single 2.5 hour session per week.

The course is completely code independent. No software is required.

Each topic in the class is treated as a building block and is presented using an overview of the physics and theory involved. The math is kept simple and the emphasis is on practical examples from real life to illustrate the topic. The mapping to Finite Element analysis techniques is shown with numerous workshops. The tutor will be showing analysis results interactively and involving the students in the process via Q and A periods during each session, follow up emails and a Course Bulletin Board

  • Students are welcome to send in problems from industry and these will be discussed as time permits.

  • Full notes are provided for the students, together with personal passwords for e-learning backup material, bulletin board access etc.

Students will join the audio portion of the meetings by utilizing the VoIP (i.e. headset connected to the computer via headphone and microphone jacks) or by calling into a standard toll line. If you are interested in additional pricing to call-in using a toll-free line, please send an email to: e-learning @ nafems.org .


Who Should Attend?

This course is aimed at practicing engineers who wish to learn more about how to apply finite element techniques to fatigue analysis in the most effective manner. Ideally a student should have some experience of FEA analysis, but this is not essential. The material that is presented is independent of any particular software package, making it ideally suited to current and potential users of all commercial finite element software systems. This course is a must for all engineers aiming to use FEA as a reliable predictive tool for fatigue analysis.

E-learning classes are ideal for companies with a group of engineers requiring training. E-learning classes can be provided to suit your needs and timescale. Contact us to discuss your requirements.


Course Programme

Session 1

  • Introductions
  • Session 1 contents
  • Introduction to Fatigue
  • High Cycle Fatigue Methods
  • Mean Stress Effects
  • Fatigue Correction Factors
  • Loading Environment
  • Low Cycle Fatigue Overview
  • FEA Application of Fatigue
  • Homework Session 1
  • Q and A

Session 2

  • Session 2 Contents
  • Homework Review
  • Notch Effects in High Cycle Fatigue
  • Notch effects Low Cycle Fatigue
  • Low Cycle Fatigue - Overview
  • Low Cycle Fatigue - Mean Stress
  • Low Cycle Fatigue - Data
  • Cycle Counting Methods
  • Homework  
  • Q and A

Session 3

  • Session 3 Contents
  • Homework Review
  • More FEA implications
  • Stress Concentrations
  • Multi Axial Fatigue
  • Q and A

Session 4

  • Session 4 contents
  • Background to Random Analysis
  • The PSD specification 
  • Vibration Fatigue Analysis
  • Examples
  • Q and A

Session 5

  • Session 5 contents
  • Introduction to Fracture
  • FEA Implementations
  • Fatigue in Composites
  • Q and A



Special Note(s):

Telephony surcharges may apply for attendees who are located outside of North America, South America and Europe. These surcharges are related to individuals who join the audio portion of the web-meeting by calling in to the provided toll/toll-free teleconferencing lines. We have made a VoIP option available so anyone attending the class can join using a headset (headphones w/ microphone) connected to the computer. There is no associated surcharge to utilize the VoIP (listening through your computer speakers/headphones) option, and is actually encouraged to ensure NAFEMS is able to keep the e-Learning course fees as low as possible. Please send an email to the e-Learning coordinator (e-learning @ nafems.org ) to determine if these surcharges may apply to your specific case. 

  • Just as with a live face-to-face training course, each registration only covers one person. 
  • If you plan to register a large group (10+), please send an email to e-learning @ nafems.org in advance for group discounts.  

For more information, please email e-learning @ nafems.org .

For NAFEMS cancellation and transfer policy, click here


Purchasing Details

Members Price
£270 | $346 | €310


Non-Members Price
£404 | $518 | €463
Order Ref: el-193
Event Type: Course
Location: E-Learning Online
Date: March 14, 2017




Not Available to Attend this Time? 

Would you like us to notify you when the next course on Fatigue & Fracture Mechanics in FEA is open for enrollment? If so, add yourself to the eLearning Waitlist!



Course Tutor:
Tony Abbey 

Tony Abbey - NAFEMS Tutor







Read Tony Abbey's bio on the NAFEMS tutors page


Session 1
Tuesday, March 14th

Session 2
Tuesday, March 21st

Session 3
Tuesday, March 28th

Session 4
Tuesday, April 4th

Session 5
Tuesday, April 11th



*It is your individual responsibility to check whether these e-learning courses satisfy the criteria set-out by your state engineering board

NAFEMS does not guarantee that your individual board will accept these courses for PDH credit, but we believe that the courses comply with regulations in most US states (except Florida, North Carolina, Louisiana, and New York, where providers are required to be pre-approved).

**Each session is recorded live, and the recording made available to stream all attendees shortly after each session ends. The recordings are then available to stream for a limited period of time