(Received 14 May 1991; accepted 10 October 1991)
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Near-threshold fatigue crack propagation behavior of a high strength steel was investigated in laboratory air under closurefrec testing conditions at R = 0.7 (= Rcff) and at two different K-gradients. Depending on the criterion assumed, the threshold value differed; the criterion of non-propagation gave a lower threshold value than that assumed by the propagation criterion. Nevertheless. the subsequent propagation following a load increase was discontinuous in both cases, and da/dN versus ΔK curves obtained on the some specimen during the K-decreasing and the K-increasing test were not necessarily identical in the threshold regime. This behavior, hysteresis, is analyzed mainly from the experimental viewpoint, and it is shown that hysteresis is not an artifact.
Metallurgist, Institut für Werkstofforschung, GKSS-Forschungszentrum Geesthacht GmbH, Geesthacht,
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