Volume 9, Issue 2 (February 2012)
Crack Closure Behavior on a Variety of Materials under High Stress Ratios and Kmax Test Conditions
Fatigue-crack-growth-rate tests on compact specimens have been made on a variety of materials (2024-T3, 2324-T39, 7050-T7451, 4340 steel, and Inconel-718) over a wide range in stress ratios from 0.1 to 0.9 (and 0.95 in some cases) and several Kmax test conditions. Test data has been generated from threshold to near fracture using the compression precracking constant amplitude or compression precracking load reduction test methods in the threshold regime; and constant-amplitude loading at higher rates. A remote back-face strain (BFS) gage was used to monitor crack growth and to measure crack-opening loads. Local strain gages were also placed along and slightly off (about one-half thickness) the anticipated crack path to measure crack-opening loads. Elber’s load-against-reduced-strain method was used to determine crack-opening loads by means of visual inspection (equivalent to a 0 % compliance offset). For a particular material, the BFS and local strain gages produced essentially the same crack-opening loads at low stress ratio (R = 0.1) conditions. But at high stress ratios (R ≥ 0.7) and Kmax test conditions, the local gages produced significantly higher crack-opening loads than the BFS gage in the threshold and near-threshold regimes. Previous research had proposed that high stress ratios (R ≥ 0.7) and Kmax test conditions produce closure-free conditions based on crack-mouth-opening-displacement or BFS gages, and plasticity-induced crack-closure modeling. However, crack closure under high stress ratios (R ≥ 0.7) and Kmax test conditions is attributed to residual-plastic deformations, crack-surface roughness, and/or fretting-debris. From local crack-opening load measurements, the effective stress-intensity-factor range (ΔKeff) appears to be uniquely related to the crack-growth rate in the threshold and near-threshold regimes.