Ernst Gassner recognized the significance of service loads with variable amplitudes for lightweight design and fatigue life of components. In 1939 he first formulated a procedure for the experimental simulation of such varying loads: the historical 8 step blocked program test with a Gauss-like distribution of amplitudes. The block program was replaced in the sixties by random loading, due to the development of servo-hydraulic testing facilities. Since then the state of the art in testing with spectra is the application of random loading.
Structural durability is understood as the ability of a structure or a component to withstand cyclic, quasistatic, impact and environmental loads that occur during service. Part of the spectrum can exceed the high-cycle constant amplitude fatigue strength in order to enable lightweight design; the required service duration can still be fulfilled also under consideration of special events. For establishing a structurally durable construction, the design engineer has to adjust the strength properties in the critical, i.e. highly loaded, regions to the occurring local service stresses/strains in the most effective manner possible for determining the component dimensions. This can be accomplished through suitable design and manufacturing as well as adequate material