SYMPOSIA PAPER Published: 01 January 1990

Environmentally Induced Fatigue Crack Propagation Under Variations in the Loading Conditions


In order to evaluate the influence of the environment on the crack retardation behavior under variable loading conditions, high-low block loading tests were performed in vacuum, air, and a 3.5% NaCl (sodium chloride) solution. In an additional test series, variations of the environment from vacuum in the high loading period to air or to 3.5% NaCl solution in the low loading period were performed, and vice versa. These tests, together with an extensive study of the crack surface morphology gave insight into the different fatigue mechanisms induced by the various environments at the crack tip.

A further test series was performed, where the load level was kept constant (constant-amplitude loading) and only the test environment was changed. The results show a variation of the environment from the 3.5% NaCl solution to vacuum causes a retardation in fatigue crack propagation.

Author Information

Schulte, K
DFVLR, Institute für Werkstoff-Forschung, Köln, West Germany
Nowack, H
DFVLR, Institute für Werkstoff-Forschung, Köln, West Germany
Lütjering, G
Technische Hochschule Hamburg-Harburg, Hamburg-Harburg, West Germany
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Developed by Committee: G01
Pages: 347–373
DOI: 10.1520/STP24075S
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-5114-7
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-1276-6