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The fatigue crack growth behavior of the aluminum alloy 2024 is analyzed using the crack closure and an energy-based concept. The different test conditions studied include load ratio and environmental effects, crack growth retardation following a single overload, and crack propagation under block load tests. Crack opening loads using the compliance technique permit the effect of load ratio to be taken into account. After an overload, in the deceleration phase, the evolution of the crack opening load is not compatible with that of the crack growth rate. The measured crack opening levels under constant-amplitude loading conditions are comparable to those predicted under plane strain conditions for moderate ΔK levels. It is shown that most of the effects usually attributed to closure can be successfully explained using energy concepts. In particular, it is shown that there exists a linear relationship between the crack growth rate and the energy dissipated per cycle at high growth rates, which is valid for both the environments studied, and it corresponds to a crack growth mechanism characterized by striation formation during each cycle. For lower growth rates a power law relationship can be proposed between these two parameters. The above-mentioned linear relationship holds also for the block loading conditions based on total energy dissipated per block. Certain experimental facts bring out the effect of closure on the energy dissipated. It is further shown that the possible existence of a mixed (Mode I and Mode II) mode crack opening at the crack tip has to be taken into account to correctly evaluate the energy dissipated near the crack tip.
fatigue crack growth, crack closure, compliance method, potential drop method, overload effects, block load tests, energy dissipated, striation formation
Professor, Université de Tours, Laboratoire de Mécanique et Rhéologie, EIT, Tours,