The implications of the results of recent experimental and numerical investigations of the propagation of single and multiple configurations of semi-elliptical cracks are assessed for the prediction of fatigue life in structures and components in service. Simplified methodologies for the assessment of the effects of crack closure and stress state on the propagation characteristics of semi-elliptical cracks are proposed, and numerical techniques for the analysis of coplanar and non-coplanar configurations of semi-elliptical cracks are also presented. These include the results of finite element and simplified fracture mechanics analyses in which crack growth was computed on a step-by-step basis from the Paris equation.
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