Initiation and growth of fatigue cracks emanating from four different notches ranging in stress concentration factors from 2.0 to 9.6 were investigated. Results obtained for Cu-20Nb were compared with the results obtained for pure copper that was cold rolled the same amount as the Cu-20Nb. The Cu-20Nb exhibited superior fatigue characteristics in comparison to pure copper. Finite element method simulations indicated that this improvement is associated with the plasticity-induced crack closure resulting from nonhomogeneous deformation ahead of the crack tip due to the presence of the niobium filaments.
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