Volume 1, Issue 9 (October 2004)
Effect of Overloads and Underloads on Fatigue Crack Growth and Interaction Effects
Under constant amplitude loading a single variable (ΔK) is required in crack growth relationships. The transferability of fatigue laws, determined under constant amplitude loading, to variable amplitude fatigue requires at least an additional variable, whose evolution with crack length accounts for the interaction effects between cycles of different types. The crack opening level (Kop) is usually employed for this purpose because it can be determined from the experiments and compared with predictions from models or FEM analyses. This paper presents an analysis of fatigue crack growth on M(T) specimens of medium carbon steel specimens and using FEM analyses. The specimens are subjected to repeated blocks of cycles made up of one or several overloads separated by a variable number of baseline cycles. The experiments are simulated by FEM analyses, taking into account the cyclic plastic behavior of the low carbon steel. The main objective of this study is to better understand the mechanisms at the origin of interactions effects due to the presence of overloads (or underloads) at different locations of the block loading. It is concluded that the interaction effects are closely related to the cyclic plastic behavior of the material and namely to the Bauschinger effect.