A sputter deposition technique has been successfully used to fuse atomically a high-temperature DC transducer, in the form of a thin film Krak-Gage®, directly onto a test specimen for developing fatigue crack propagation rate data. The rates of fatigue crack growth measured by this technique are in good agreement with those measured by the compliance method at 288 and 427°C (550 and 800°F). The data acquisition and analysis are automated by interfacing with a computer, which saves costly labor associated with fatigue crack growth tests. This new development, based on thin film sputtering technology, is expected to enable researchers to conduct fatigue and fracture mechanics testing in various adverse high-temperature environments.
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