Comparison of stiffness degradation in fatigue-loaded concrete cylinders and large-scale beams

Publikation: Beitrag in FachzeitschriftForschungsartikelBeigetragenBegutachtung


Wind and wave loads subject the tower structures of wind turbines to bending stress. The resulting initial linear strain gradients in the tower cross-section cause fatigue-induced degradation of the concrete at the outer edge of the structures. As the number of load cycles increases, stresses are gradually redistributed to the inner cross-section of the structure consequently. Most of the test results documented in the literature were obtained from small-scale concrete specimens or small-scale components. In those cases, the stiffness and stress redistributions occurring in the real component can only be insufficiently derived, and possible scale effects cannot be taken into account. Besides, available test results for individual component tests are mostly only for load cycles up to 2⋅106. However, significantly lower load levels and thus higher number of load cycles are expected to occur in wind turbines compared to usual fatigue tests. To deal with this issue, extensive fatigue tests on small cylindrical specimens as well as large-scale beams in the very-high-cycle fatigue range are carried out in this work. The test results of both cylindrical and beam specimens show the typical three-phase stiffness curves known from the literature. These curves exhibit a disproportionate decrease at the beginning of the loading, followed by a constant decrease in stiffness, and finally, a greater decrease in stiffness shortly before failure. Moreover, the stiffness curves from the tests on both specimen types show good agreement. It can be concluded that the results from small cylindrical specimen tests can be transferred to large-scale structural components.


FachzeitschriftEngineering structures
Jahrgang302 (2024)
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 3 Jan. 2024

Externe IDs

ORCID /0000-0002-4480-7012/work/150883531
ORCID /0000-0001-8735-1345/work/150883780


Fächergruppen, Lehr- und Forschungsbereiche, Fachgebiete nach Destatis

ASJC Scopus Sachgebiete


  • Concrete, Experimental data, High cycle fatigue, S-N curves, Structural fatigue tests