Volume 9, Issue 4 (April 2012)
Analysis of the Notch Effect in Fatigue
The fatigue-crack propagation at stress concentrations is a topic of significant importance in a number of engineering applications. Further, it is recognized that the fatigue limit of notched components is dictated by the critical condition for either initiation or propagation of a small crack at the root of a notch. Moreover, because most fatigue cracks spend the vast majority of their lives as short cracks, the behavior of such a flaw is of significant importance. In the literature, McEvily and co-workers [McEvily, A. J., Eifler, D., and Macherauch, E., “An analysis of the Fatigue Growth of Short Fatigue Cracks,” Eng. Fract. Mech., Vol. 40, No. 3, 1991, pp. 571–584] developed a modified linear elastic fracture mechanics (LEFM) approach to tackle a number of fatigue problems, including the growth and threshold behavior of small fatigue cracks. In this study, a further extension is presented to deal with notch effects in fatigue. In this method, the elastic–plastic behavior and the crack closure are taken into account, as the major factors responsible for the peculiar behavior of small fatigue cracks emanating from notches. In the present paper, the notch effect in fatigue is systematically investigated by making use of a mechanism-based computational framework. A series of parametric studies demonstrate the predictive capability of the proposed framework. Based on the thorough investigation for notch-fatigue problem, the novelty of present study is illustrated.