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Closure-free biaxial fatigue crack growth rate and life prediction under various biaxiality ratios in SAE 1045 steel

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Biaxial fatigue tests were performed on thin-walled tubular 1045 steel specimens in a test fixture that applied internal and external pressure and axial load. There were two test series, one in which constant amplitude fully reversed strains (CAS) were applied and another in which large periodic compressive overstrain (PCO) cycles causing strains normal to the crack plane were inserted in a constant amplitude history of smaller strain cycles. Ratios of hoop strain to axial strain of λ = −1, −0.625, −ν and +1 were used in each test series. Fatigue crack growth behaviours under CAS and PCO histories were compared, and revealed that the morphology of the fracture surface near the crack tip and the crack growth rate changed dramatically with the application of the compressive overstrains. When the magnitude of the compressive overstrains was increased, the height of the fracture surface irregularities was reduced as the increasing overstrain progressively flattened the fracture surface asperities near the crack tip. The reduced asperity height was accompanied by drastic increases in crack growth rate and decreases in fatigue life.

Using a pressurizing device attached to the confocal scanning laser microscope (CSLM), crack opening measurements were obtained. Crack opening measurements showed that the biaxial cracks were fully open at zero internal pressure for block strain histories containing in-phase PCO cycles of yield stress magnitude. Therefore, for the shear-strained samples, there was no crack face interference and the strain intensity range was fully effective. For PCO tests (with biaxial strain ratios of −0.625 and +1), effective strain intensity data were obtained from tests with positive stress ratios for which cracks did not close. A number of strain intensity parameters derived from well-known fatigue life parameters were used to correlate fatigue crack growth rates for the various strain ratios investigated. Predicted fatigue lifetimes based on a fatigue crack growth rate prediction program using critical shear plane parameters showed good agreement with the experimental fatigue life data.
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Keywords: biaxial fatigue; confocal scanning laser microscopy; critical shear plane approaches; effective (closure-free) fatigue life and crack growth rate; effective strain intensity factor range; periodic compressive overstrain

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Mechanical Engineering Department, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada N2L 3G1

Publication date: 1999-08-01

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