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    Delay Effects in Fatigue Crack Propagation

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    The fatigue crack propagation behavior resulting from variations in load is examined for 2024-T3 aluminum alloy, from both a macroscopic and a fractographic point of view. A peak load is found to cause retardation of the crack growth rate, which becomes more pronounced as the percentage overload or baseline stress intensity level or both is increased. The delaying effect of the overload is observed to exist for a calculated crack length increment equivalent to the plastic zone size formed during the peak load. Multiple overloads and high-low block loading sequences are found to result in additional retardation. For a given ΔK and percentage overload it is noted that the greatest retardation occurs when λ equals 1 (λ = KmaxK).

    It is observed that the macroscopic fracture surface appearance (that is, transition to plane stress) is a function of the crack growth rate. From fractographic examination it is found that the initiation of microvoid coalescence during fatigue occurs when plane stress conditions are achieved; this limits the extent of the stretch zone associated with an overload cycle. As a result, the stretch zone is found to be followed by striations in plane strain and by dimples under plane stress conditions. The size of the stretch band is observed to depend on the stress intensity level during the overload cycle.

    The usefulness of closure concepts in aiding the understanding of fatigue crack propagation under uniform and nonuniform loading conditions is considered. Evidence is given to demonstrate the general applicability of closure concepts for analysis of macroscopic and fractographic fatigue crack propagation results.


    fatigue (materials), crack propagation, loading, cracking (fracturing), stresses, striations, loads (forces), closure, fractography, fatigue tests, aluminum alloys

    Author Information:

    von Euw, EFJ
    Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.

    Hertzberg, RW
    Associate professor, Lehigh University, Bethlehem, Pa.

    Roberts, R
    Associate professor, Lehigh University, Bethlehem, Pa.

    Committee/Subcommittee: E08.06

    DOI: 10.1520/STP34123S