Fatigue crack growth behavior was studied on C(T) and SE(T) specimens from Al-Cu alloy 2014 using specially-designed load sequences. The experiments were organized to induce microscopic mixed-mode fatigue crack growth while at the same time reducing or eliminating fatigue crack closure. This was achieved by switching between high-amplitude, low-stress ratio and low-amplitude, high-stress ratio cycles. Retardation effects observed under these conditions are attributed to local crack branching and mixed-mode conditions induced by variable amplitude loading.
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