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Controlled Initiation of Short Fatigue Cracks in 316L Steel

[+] Author Affiliations
D. Stefanescu, J. Marrow, M. Preuss, A. Sherry

University of Manchester, Manchester, UK

Paper No. PVP2005-71298, pp. 303-310; 8 pages
  • ASME 2005 Pressure Vessels and Piping Conference
  • Volume 6: Materials and Fabrication
  • Denver, Colorado, USA, July 17–21, 2005
  • Conference Sponsors: Pressure Vessels and Piping Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4191-X | eISBN: 0-7918-3763-7
  • Copyright © 2005 by ASME


Validation of models for short crack behavior requires accurate measurement of crack opening displacement and crack tip strain fields. Development of reliable measurement procedures, using new techniques such as Image Correlation (IC), requires specimens containing cracks with a well defined geometry. In this paper, results of an experimental study concerning controlled initiation of short fatigue cracks at positive R-ratio in laboratory specimens made from 316L stainless steel are presented. Experimental techniques, including hardness testing and X-ray diffraction were employed in order to investigate the effect of surface preparation on the surface mechanical properties and residual stresses. Crack nucleation is difficult in smooth specimens of 316L austenitic stainless steel at positive R-ratio due to the high fatigue limit and low tensile strength. Specimens with a thin ligament were therefore developed to enable nucleation of a single short fatigue crack. An experimental study of the crack growth aspect ratio evolution was then carried out using a beach marking technique. The technique described in this paper enables single short fatigue cracks of well defined geometry to be nucleated under tensile cyclic loading. Stress corrosion cracks can be developed using the same specimen geometry. Miniature tensile specimens can then be extracted to perform in-situ measurements of the crack opening displacement and crack tip strain field by Image Correlation from Scanning Electron Microscopy observations.

Copyright © 2005 by ASME
Topics: Steel , Fatigue cracks



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