Near-Tip and Remote Characterization of Plasticity-Induced Fatigue Crack Closure

    Published: Jan 1999

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    An elastic-plastic finite element model and high resolution experimental measurements of growing fatigue cracks are employed in partnership to investigate the relationship between crack closure, near-tip deformation behavior, and remote load-displacement measurements. The model focuses on plasticity-induced closure effects for fatigue cracks in the Paris regime, while the experiments study fatigue cracks in the Paris and near-threshold regimes in a variety of materials. The suitability of the ASTM compliance offset method and the recently-proposed adjusted compliance ratio (ACR) method to characterize near-tip closure effects is evaluated. The experiments and analyses both show that crack-tip strains below the crack-opening stress, Sop, are a relatively small fraction of the total crack-tip strain range for cracks in the Paris regime, and therefore may be insignificant for crack-tip deformation and damage and crack growth. The experiments further indicate that crack-tip strains below Sop are a relatively larger fraction of the total crack-tip strain at lower ΔK values, nearer the threshold, where Sop values are higher. The current ASTM compliance offset procedure for determining the crack opening load is shown to provide accurate information about true crack-tip opening loads in theory. However, due to the limited sensitivity of the method in practice, and the corresponding need to employ a non-zero compliance offset, the method gives underestimates of opening and closing loads that may be considerably in error relative to the true crack-tip values. The current ACR technique does not appear to do a good job of characterizing the near-tip deformation response for cracks in the Paris regime, because remote displacement measurements do not appear to be adequately sensitive to near-tip strains.


    fatigue crack growth, fatigue crack closure, crack opening load, elastic-plastic finite element modeling, experimental measurement, scanning electron microscope, stereoimaging, ASTM compliance offset method, adjusted compliance ratio, crack-tip strain, remote displacements

    Author Information:

    McClung, RC
    Manager and Institute scientist, Southwest Research Institute, San Antonio, TX

    Davidson, DL
    Manager and Institute scientist, Southwest Research Institute, San Antonio, TX

    Paper ID: STP15753S

    Committee/Subcommittee: E08.06

    DOI: 10.1520/STP15753S

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