Some remarks on the engineering application of the fatigue crack growth approach under nonzero mean loads
1. Mechanical Engineering Department, Federal Fluminense University, Volta Redonda 27255-125, Brazil.
2. Mechanical Engineering Department, Federal Center of Technological Education, Angra dos Reis 23953-030, Brazil.
3. Mechanical Engineer, Structural Data Acquisition & Fatigue Analysis Engineer, Resende 27511-970, Brazil
The well-known fatigue crack growth (FCG) curves are two-parameter dependents. The range of the stress intensity factor ?K and the load ratio R are the parameters normally used for describing these curves. For engineering purposes, the mathematical representation of these curves should be integrated between the initial and final crack sizes in order to obtain the safety factors for stresses and life. First of all, it is necessary to reduce the dependence of the FCG curves to only one parameter. ?K is almost always selected and, in these conditions, considered as the crack driving force. Using experimental data from literature, the present paper shows how to perform multiple regression analyses using the traditional Walker approach and the more recent unified approach. The correlations so obtained are graphically analyzed in three dimensions. Numerical examples of crack growth analysis for cracks growing under nominal stresses of constant amplitude in smooth and notched geometries are performed, assuming an identical material component as that of the available experimental data. The resulting curves of crack size versus number of cycles (a vs. N) are then compared. The two models give approximately the same (a vs. N) curves in both geometries. Differences between the behaviors of the (avs. N) curves in smooth and notched geometries are highlighted, and the reasons for these particular behaviors are discussed.