Volume 9, Issue 4 (April 2012)
Fatigue Crack Growth Rate Behavior of A36 Steel using ASTM Load-Reduction and Compression Precracking Test Methods
Eccentrically-loaded single-edge crack tension, ESE(T), specimens made of A36 structural steel were tested over a wide range in stress ratios (R=0.1 and 0.7) in laboratory air. Two test methods were used: (1) ASTM Standard E647 load-reduction method and (2) compression precracking. After compression precracking (CP), three different loading sequences were used: (1) constant amplitude (CPCA), (2) load reduction (CPLR), and (3) constant stress-intensity factor (CPCK). The crack-compliance method was used to determine that the specimens had no residual stresses; and that the effects of tensile residual stresses from compression precracking dissipated in about 2 compressive plastic-zone sizes. Agreement was found between the A36 and TC-128B steel ΔK-rate data tested at both low and high stress ratio (R) conditions. At R=0.1 loading, the CPCA and CPLR tests generated lower thresholds and faster rates than using the standard ASTM load-reduction method. All load-reduction tests exhibited an accumulation of debris at the crack front near threshold conditions. A crack-closure analysis was preformed to calculate the effective stress-intensity factor range (ΔKeff) against rate using measured 1 % offset (OP1) values for all R=0.1 tests. The ΔKeff-rate data correlated well with the high-R results.