Magnesium is one of the lightest metals for structural components. It has been used for producing various lightweight cast components, but the application of magnesium sheet plates is less widespread. There are two reasons for this: (i) its poor formability at ambient temperatures; and (ii) insufficient data on its durability, especially for dynamic loading. In this article, an innovative approach to predicting the fatigue life of the AZ31 magnesium alloy is presented. It is based on an energy approach that links the strain-energy density with the fatigue life. The core of the presented methodology is a comprehensive new model for tensile and compressive loading paths, which makes it possible to calculate the strain-energy density of closed hysteresis loops. The model is universal for arbitrary strain amplitudes. The material parameters are determined from several low-cycle fatigue tests. The presented approach was validated with examples of variable strain histories.
Keywords: Magnesium AZ31; energy approach; hysteresis-loop model; low-cycle fatigue; variable loading history.