An attempt is made to track fatigue crack growth through cycle-by-cycle compliance estimates. The measurements are performed using continuous 16-bit data acquisition with multi-sample data averaging to reduce the influence of signal noise. With appropriate transducer ranging and data averaging, standard deviation in cycle-to-cycle estimates of crack size can be as low as one micron. Introduction of data smoothing techniques and further improvements in the quality of data acquisition hold the potential for cycle-by-cycle crack growth tracking over a wide range of growth rates.
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