Planning fatigue tests for polymer composites

Caleb B. King, Yili Hong, Stephanie P. Dehart, Patrick A. Defeo, Rong Pan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Polymer-composite materials have become key components in the transportation and alternative-energy industries, as they are more lightweight than homogeneous metals and alloys yet still retain comparable levels of strength and endurance. To understand how these polymer composites perform after long periods of use, material manufacturers commonly use cyclic fatigue testing. The current industrial standards include test plans with balanced designs and equal spacing of stress levels which, in many cases, are not the most statistically efficient designs. In this paper, we present optimal designs with the goal of minimizing the weighted sum of asymptotic variances of an estimated lifetime percentile at selected design stress levels. These designs are based on a physical model adapted from the fatigue literature, which is more suitable for modeling cyclic fatigue of polymer composites than the model used in the current industrial standards. We provide a comparison between our optimal designs and the traditional designs currently in use and ultimately propose a compromise design for use by practitioners in order to ensure robustness against deviations from the underlying assumptions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)227-245
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Quality Technology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2016


  • Fatigue Lifetime Model
  • Large-Sample Approximate Variance
  • Log-Normal
  • Optimal Design
  • Tolerance Limits
  • Weibull

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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