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Experiments on metallic materials have shown that fatigue cracks remain closed during part of the load cycle under constant- and variable-amplitude loading. These experiments have shown that crack closure is a significant factor in causing load-interaction effects (retardation and acceleration) on crack growth rates under variable-amplitude loading.
The present paper is concerned with the development and application of an analytical model of cyclic crack growth that includes the effects of crack closure. The model was based on a concept like the Dugdale model, but was modified to leave plastically deformed material in the wake of the advancing crack tip.
The model was used to correlate crack growth rates under constant-amplitude loading and to predict crack growth under aircraft spectrum loading on 2219-T851 aluminum alloy plate material. The predicted crack growth lives agreed well with experimental data. The ratio of predicted-to-experimental lives ranged from 0.66 to 1.48. These predictions were made using data from an ASTM Task Group E24.06.01 round-robin analysis.
fatigue, crack propagation, cracks, stress analysis, crack closure, aluminum alloy
Research engineer, NASA-Langley Research Center, Hampton, Va.