Cyclic Loading

Last updated: January 22, 2020

What Does Cyclic Loading Mean?

Cyclic loading is defined as the continuous and repeated application of a load (fluctuating stresses, strains, forces, tensions, etc.) on a material or on a structural component that causes degradation of the material and ultimately leads to fatigue. Cyclic loading causes materials to deteriorate due to fatigue, often at lower loads and after a shorter time than normally expected.


Corrosionpedia Explains Cyclic Loading

Fatigue is appropriately defined as the progressive and localized damage of a material’s molecular structure, which occurs when the material is subject to cyclic loading, eventually weakening the material. The repeated stress, strain, force and tensile load acting in such a situation is one of the reasons why the load needed for fatigue failure is far less than the ultimate tensile strength of the material.

Fatigue corrosion is initiated by a material experiencing cyclic loading and exposed to a corrosive environment. The corrosion process begins by weakening the top protective layers, and the repeated irregular stresses and strains acting on the material increases the corrosion rate, leading to:

  • Crack initiation
  • Slow, stable crack growth
  • Rapid fracturing

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