High cycle fatigue (HCF) tests are a critical component of materials engineering and structural design, serving as a fundamental tool to assess the endurance and reliability of various materials and components that experience cyclic loading in their operational life. In these tests, engineers subject materials and structures to repetitive mechanical stresses or strains, simulating the conditions they might face during normal use. The goal is to understand how materials behave under repeated loading and unloading cycles, and to determine the point at which they fail due to fatigue.

High cycle fatigue testing is essential for industries such as aerospace, automotive, civil engineering, and manufacturing, where the reliability and safety of components are paramount.

What is HCF high cycle fatigue?

High cycle fatigue (HCF) is useful for materials subject to low applied forces and where the deformation is mainly elastic in nature. HCF tests are generally force-controlled and typically run at one million cycles or more.

Fatigue tests measure how cyclic forces affect a product or material over time, using varying loads, speeds and environmental conditions. Our fatigue testing methods, such as high-cycle fatigue, are useful for simulating specific scenarios and investigating real-world failures.

HCF testing procedure

High cycle fatigue tests are generally conducted on specimens under load/stress control to develop S-N (Stress-Life) curves. An S-N curve is generated by testing specimens under constant load/stress and recording the number of cycles to failure. The data is then compiled and a best-fit trend is applied. This establishes a relationship between a particular load/stress level and the fatigue life of the material.

During an HCF test, specimens experience frequencies between 20 Hz and 100 Hz, depending on material types and environmental conditions. The test continues until the specimen fails or a predetermined number of cycles is reached.

Why perform tests at HFG?

High cycle fatigue testing is performed for several important reasons.

Firstly, it helps engineers assess the long-term durability and safety of materials and components, ensuring they meet design specifications and regulatory standards. By identifying potential points of failure under cyclic loading, engineers can design more robust and reliable structures, reducing the risk of catastrophic failures.

Secondly, the data obtained from these tests is invaluable for material selection, allowing engineers to choose materials that are better suited for specific applications.

Thirdly, HCF testing aids in research and development efforts, helping scientists and engineers understand the fatigue behavior of new materials and improve existing ones.

Ultimately, high cycle fatigue testing plays a crucial role in ensuring the structural integrity and reliability of a wide range of products, from everyday consumer goods to critical infrastructure and high-performance machinery.