This paper presents an analytical modeling approach to characterize and understand high cycle fatigue life in gas turbine alloys. It is recognized that the design of structures subjected to fatigue cannot be based on average material behavior but that designs must consider −3σ or some other appropriate extreme value (tail of the distribution) loading and/or material properties. Thus, a life prediction capability useful in a design application must address the scatter inherent in material response to fatigue loading. Further, the life prediction capability should identify the key micromechanical variables that are critical in the tail of the scatter in the materials durability distribution. The proposed method addresses the scatter in fatigue by investigating the microstructural variables responsible for the scatter and developing analytical and semi-analytical models to quantitatively relate the variables to the response. The model is general and considers the entire range of damage accumulation sequences; from crack nucleation of the initially unflawed structure to final fast fracture.

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