Many engineering structures experience multiaxial fatigue states of stress–strain in the vicinity of welded joints. Fatigue assessment of welded joints under proportional (in-phase) cyclic loading can be performed by using conventional hypotheses (e.g., see the von Mises criterion or the Tresca criterion) on the basis of local approaches. On the contrary, the fatigue life predictions of welded joints under non-proportional (out-of-phase) cyclic loading are generally poor if these conventional hypotheses are used. In the present paper, the critical plane-based multiaxial fatigue criterion proposed by Carpinteri and Spagnoli for smooth and notched structural components is extended to the fatigue assessment of welded joints under in- and out-of-phase loadings. The applicability of this criterion, expressed in terms of nominal stresses, to the fatigue life prediction of welded specimens is investigated by using experimental data available in the literature.
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