Dear Colleagues,

Within the last 10 days the Coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19) has evolved to a situation which makes the realization of VAL4 unfortunately no more possible. By today the Federal Government of Germany recommends to avoid all meetings, in the German capital Berlin (registered office of DVM) the Senate Adminstration forbids meetings with more than 50 participants and in the conference location Darmstadt itself all kinds of meetings are forbidden by a general ruling from 16 March to 30 April 2020. Also borders are already closed to several neighbouring states of Germany.

Nobody could have imagined such a situation – however, in the proceedings VAL4 will still be alive! Most of the work for our international conference was done in advance. The editorial work for the proceedings is nearly finished. We will produce a fine printed version and of course a version available for download. On top, the VAL4 Special Issues of the two highly reputated journals IJF International Journal of Fatigue (Elsevier) and FFEMS Fatigue & Fracture of Engineering Materials & Structures (Wiley) will be prepared. Hence, the valuable contributions of the authors will still be published and you will have full access in printed and digital format. The guest-editors will contact you in due course.

We would have been very happy to welcoming you in March 2020 in Darmstadt and Germany – now we can merely wish you and your families good health and that everybody gets hopefully unharmed through these extraordinary times!

Martin Brune
Hans Albert Richard

DVM Chairman and Vice-Chairman
Matthias Decker, AUDI AG Ingolstadt
Rüdiger Heim, Fraunhofer LBF Darmstadt
Cetin Morris Sonsino, Fraunhofer LBF Darmstadt
VAL4 Executive Chairs





Variable amplitude (spectrum) loading dominates the operational load conditions of many components and systems across different industries.
Durability and operational safety is concerned with designing and operating products, incorporating a thorough and complete understanding of the loading and the environment they will encounter. Prerequisite is the complete knowledge of the mechanisms by which the materials concerned will fail if their limits are exceeded.

Having today’s access to new materials, advanced manufacturing technologies and fast growing digital tools opens the way for product optimization in many directions, but one still has to consider the nature of random loads and variable amplitudes. Such loading creates complex stress-time-histories for the material which may initiate fatigue cracks and fractures. In different sectors such as automotive, railway, aircraft, maritime, plant & civil engineering, as well as renewable energy people deal with variable amplitude loading in test and analyses, but only a few standards for durability approval exist, and the methods used in design, analysis and testing vary considerably.

Within the research and engineering community there is a strong sensing that we are on the verge of expanding methods and capabilities by digitization significantly: New materials, manufacturing and joining technologies meet smart sensors, big data and machine learning. Operational data is available to almost no costs, so, what can new methods such as data mining and data analytics do to enhance the knowledge about fatigue life under variable amplitude loading? By using digital twins complete new operational concepts can be deployed which include condition-based maintenance and residual life assessment. Advanced test benches & automation with ‘in-the-loop’ setups provide the capability to speed up verification and validation even of complex systems.

Where do we go from here?
The major goal of this conference, organized by the German Association for Materials Research and Testing (DVM), is to look at advanced material mechanics and fatigue under variable amplitude loading as well as the utilization of these fundamentals to most modern applications.

Started in 2002, the 2020 conference will be the fourth in a row and will continue to provide excellent opportunities for researchers and industrial representatives to discuss recent achievements and results of research studies, new approaches and state-of-the-art processes in different industries.


Matthias Decker
AUDI AG, Ingolstadt,

Rüdiger Heim
Fraunhofer LBF, Darmstadt

Cetin Morris Sonsino
VAL4 Honorary Chair
Fraunhofer LBF, Darmstadt


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  • October 2018
    Start of abstract submission

  • 28 February 2019
    postponed to 18 March 2019
    End of abstract submission

  • June 2019
    Notification of authors about acceptance of their papers

  • 15 September 2019
    Start of Early Bird registration

  • 15 December 2019
    - End of Early Bird registration
    - Deadline for submission of full papers and registration including payment (conditional for publication of paper)
    - Tentative conference programme online

  • 29 February 2020
    Final conference programme available

  • 30 March to 1 April 2020
    VAL4 Conference in Darmstadt, Germany

Conference Agency

Sylvia Neumann
Zellescher Weg 3
01067 Dresden

  0351 320 173 20
  0351 320 173 33


DVM BerlinGerman Association for Materials Research and Testing e.V.
Schloßstraße 48 Gutshaus
12165 Berlin

  +49 (0)30 8113066
  +49 (0)30 8119359

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