If a structure is subjected to cyclic loading, strain, displacements etc. may accumulate cycle by cycle due to a ratcheting mechanism. Design Codes frequently require strain limits to be satisfied at the end of the specified lifetime of the structure. Usually, this is requested to be done considering all load sets pairwise. However, this leads to the fact that ratcheting cannot be detected, if it occurs only because of multi-parameter loading. Ordinary incremental step-by-step calculations can easily exceed time and hardware resources. This is particularly true for travelling loads, where many load steps are required for one load cycle. As an alternative, the Simplified Theory of Plastic Zones (STPZ) is used in the present paper. Being a direct method, effects from load history are disregarded. The elastic-plastic behavior in the state of either elastic or plastic shakedown is estimated on the basis of purely elastic analyses. Two kinds of linear elastic analyses are to be performed, fictitious elastic analyses for each set of loading, and a number of modified elastic analyses. Few of these analyses are usually sufficient to obtain reasonable estimates of the post-shakedown quantities. Trilinear material behavior is adopted along with kinematic hardening, a Mises yield surface and an associated flow law. The modified elastic analyses are performed making use of modified elastic parameters (Young’s modulus and Poisson’s ratio) in the plastic zone and applying suitably defined initial strains. The results obtained can be improved iteratively. The theory of the method is briefly explained and its application is shown using an example with multi-parameter loading.

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