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Fatigue loading is a common and important engineering problem in applications involving loads that vary in amplitude with time. Cyclic loads, a common type of variable load, can be characterized as cyclic stress amplitudes superimposed on “steady” stresses. It is well known that fatigue-load amplitudes of roughly half the ultimate strength of a given material can cause the material to fail after a large number (on the order of 106) of load cycles. The weakness of such a loaded material indicates a corresponding degree of damage development. The amount of damage and its consequences must be great to reduce the strength of long-life specimens to the low level of applied stress corresponding to most engineering applications.
Materials Response Group, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA
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