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An engineering assessment of the life time and failure conditions for components with surface cracks can be easily done using a personal computer program. The methods, assumptions and the modeling of surface crack growth used in the program are briefly described.
A more detailed comparison of calculated and observed growth of surface cracks under fatigue and monotonic increasing load shows some phenomena, which are not completely understood as yet. They are discussed in connection with the constraint variation along the crack front. Some results on constraint at the front of surface cracks and on the J-R curves for surface cracks in tension plates are given.
surface crack, failure assessment, constraint, fatigue, J-R, curves
Senior scientist, Fraunhofer-Institut für Werkstoffmechanik, Freiburg,