Fracture Mechanics Applications for Short Fatigue Cracks

  • M. H. El Haddad
  • T. H. Topper
Part of the Sagamore Army Materials Research Conference Proceedings book series (SAMC, volume 24)


Elastic and elastic plastic fracture mechanics solutions are modified to predict the growth of short fatigue cracks by introducing an effective crack length, which is equal to the actual crack length increased by an amount ℓo, into the solutions for intensity factors and the J integral method of analysis. Since the threshold stress approaches the fatigue limit of the material as the crack length tends to zero the value of ℓo can be obtained from the threshold stress intensity factor and the fatigue limit. Crack growth results for short cracks, in both elastic and plastic strain fields of smooth and notched specimens, when interpreted in terms of the modified solutions, show excellent agreement with elastic long crack data. The accuracy of the term ℓo in predicting crack growth rates for short cracks is found to be independent of the applied strain level. It varies linearly with grain size for low carbon steels and can be considered at the surface as a measure of the reduced flow resistance of surface grains due to their lack of constraint. It also accounts for the effect of the free boundary on the distribution of stresses around the crack tip. Non propagating cracks lengths and the minimum stress levels required for failure are correctly predicted based on the fracture mechanics solutions.


Fatigue Crack Crack Length Crack Growth Rate Fatigue Limit Fatigue Crack Growth Rate 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. H. El Haddad
    • 1
  • T. H. Topper
    • 1
  1. 1.University of WaterlooWaterlooCanada

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