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Computer-based systems have been used in experimental studies of high-temperature crack growth in oxygen-free high conductivity (OFHC) copper, copper with 1% antimony (Sb) by weight and 12Cr-1Mo-V steel. The testing machines employed for these studies were automated using computer feedback control techniques enabling the computer to regulate the applied load during the experiment. Crack length data were continually acquired by the computer during the experiments enabling it to control the value of a given loading parameter such as the stress intensity factor, K, or the J-integral rate parameter, C*. By holding a given parameter constant as the crack extends, investigators were able to determine whether the relationship between a particular loading parameter and the crack growth rate is unique. The results of the automated tests have also made it possible to further the understanding of the interaction between crack tip damage and the stresses that drive the crack growth process.
automated materials testing, creep crack growth, high-temperature fracture, automation, fatigue testing, fracture testing
Assistant professor, University of California, Irvine, CA