STP675: Fatigue Mechanism—Key to the Solution of the Engineer's Second Fundamental Problem

    Fong, JT
    Physicist and project leader, Center for Applied Mathematics, National Engineering Laboratory, National Bureau of Standards, Washington, D.C.,

    Pages: 6    Published: Jan 1979


    The rationale for studying fatigue and fatigue mechanism is examined by considering two fundamental problems in engineering, namely, the problem of feasibility, by asking whether a product works, and the problem of fatigue, by asking whether a product lasts. It is shown that the first problem (feasibility) is easier than the second (fatigue) because the solution to the second requires experimental information of a time scale incompatible with that available to the engineer or the material scientist. To resolve this dilemma, it is proposed that advances in computer-aided quantitative microscopy, fracture mechanics, and many other allied disciplines, be incorporated in measuring microstructural changes due to fatigue at a time scale workable in a laboratory. It is concluded that such study in discovering fundamental mechanisms of fatigue holds the key to the solution of the second fundamental problem in engineering.


    cost-benefit, engineering, fatigue, fatigue mechanism, feasibility, fracture mechanics, mathematical modeling, quantitative microscopy, statistical analysis, stereology

    Paper ID: STP35881S

    Committee/Subcommittee: E08.05

    DOI: 10.1520/STP35881S

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