Derivation of Effective Strain-Life Data, Crack Closure Parameters and Effective Crack Growth Data from Smooth Specimen Fatigue Tests
Small crack growth from notches under variable amplitude loading requires that crack opening stress be followed on a cycle by cycle basis and taken into account in making fatigue life predictions. The use of constant amplitude fatigue life data that ignores changes in crack opening stress due to high stress overloads in variable amplitude fatigue leads to non-conservative fatigue life predictions. Similarly fatigue life predictions based on small crack growth calculations for cracks growing from flaws in notches are non-conservative when constant amplitude crack growth data are used. These non-conservative predictions have, in both cases, been shown to be due to severe reductions in fatigue crack closure arising from large (overload or underload) cycles in a typical service load history.