Experimental measurements of plasticity-induced crack closure related factors were made on the aluminum alloy 7091-T7E69 using high resolution microscopy techniques. Two stress intensity factors were examined at a stress ratio of 0.1. The length of open crack as a function of load magnitude and the load required to open the crack to its tip were measured. Crack opening displacements and strains were determined for partially and fully open cracks. From experimental measurements, the residual stresses in the crack wake were computed, using two different methods. Models and simulations of crack closure were examined in light of the experimental results. Interpretation of these results gives useful insights into crack closure phenomena but does not allow predictions of crack closure magnitude to be made.
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