Microstructure is the principal independent variable which can be used to control the fatigue crack growth rate (FCGR) once loading conditions and environment are established. Microstructure affects the FCGR through its influence on strain distribution (slip character), slip length, plastic zone size, and crack path. These factors, in turn, can influence both crack closure and the materials sensitivity to aggressive environments. This paper reviews the authors' perception of the current understanding of the effect of microstructure on FCGRs.
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