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Standing contact fatigue testing of a ductile material: surface and subsurface cracks

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During standing contact fatigue testing of case hardened steel plates, four different fatigue crack types are found: ring/cone; lateral; radial; and median cracks. Fatigue results are presented as load versus cycle number, with endurance limits and initiation laws for the ring/cone and lateral cracks. The behaviour of the radial surface strain outside the contact is altered by the presence of cracks. In particular this makes in situ crack detection possible for the lateral crack.

The ductility of the tested material is found to be important for fatigue crack initiation. Numerical elastoplastic computations are used to derive the stress cycles responsible for each crack type. Stress cycles at different locations and in different directions are compared in order to explain why a particular crack type initiates. It is noted that cracks are produced normal to principal stresses of sufficient range, which are tensile sometime during the load cycle. Implications for spalling are discussed.

Keywords: contact fatigue; elastoplastic indentation; endurance; subsurface crack; surface crack

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Solid Mechanics, Royal Institute of Technology, KTH, SE-100 44 Stockholm, Sweden

Publication date: March 1, 2000


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