Durability: An effective approach to developing marathon runners

By Rajesh Ramaya Selvaraj

The ambition begins with a passion for serving loyal customers, overcoming fatigue, preparing the mind, and searching for an effective strategy. Then comes evaluating and quantifying service loads;  developing best practices to derive design loads for components; striving for perfection to deliver durable products through meticulous test and simulation procedure; with these processes in place, you have engineered your marathon runner and finally, you will earn delighted customers.  

The marathon runners that I would like to highlight today are quite ubiquitous; they weigh easily 1000 kilograms and are expected to perform reliably for nearly a decade. The distance covered could be beyond 200000 kilometers. By now, I suppose you have guessed the marathon runners. Yes, transportation vehicles!


One of the major modes of structural failure during ground vehicles’ operation is due to fatigue. The conventional approach to durability assessment where engineers use a feedback loop from field testing and usage to understand the failure mechanism and then come with an alternative design to strengthen weak structural parts and joints have a systemic limitation. One has to wait for the availability of end product to perform the durability test, and any late-stage changes to the design incur a high cost and product delays. Furthermore, with a decade-long life expectation for the vehicle, it is impractical to perform a complete real-time test in a reasonable timeframe to validate warranty claims and ensure safety.

The deviations in material properties, multiple loading scenarios and variation due to manufacturing process could alter the fatigue life of two similar components thereby rendering durability assessment a statistical problem. Moreover, sustainability efforts to reduce carbon footprints, such as alternative materials to reduce vehicle weight, electrification and novel manufacturing techniques have contributed additional complexities. So, what is the effective approach to developing durable marathon runners in the current age of Industrie 4.0?

For an answer, I welcome you to join the upcoming free webinar on February 13th on the topic “Faster and more accurate strength and durability analysis using 3D simulation”.

(view in My Videos)

You will learn to:

  • Increase accuracy for complex geometry and connections such as weldings

  • Build confidence and obtain fatigue results for any material, taking additive manufacturing into account

  • Reduce time and cost with a robust and integrated process

And apply some of the best practices in your daily durability challenges.


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This article first appeared on the Siemens Digital Industries Software blog at