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Advances in Materials Science and Engineering
Volume 2016, Article ID 3026745, 11 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2016/3026745
Research Article

Crack Closure Effects on Fatigue Crack Propagation Rates: Application of a Proposed Theoretical Model

1Institute of Science and Innovation in Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, University of Porto, Rua Dr. Roberto Frias, 4200-465 Porto, Portugal
2Department of Mechanical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, University of Porto, Rua Dr. Roberto Frias, 4200-465 Porto, Portugal

Received 10 December 2015; Accepted 18 February 2016

Academic Editor: Antonio Riveiro

Copyright © 2016 José A. F. O. Correia et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Structural design taking into account fatigue damage requires a thorough knowledge of the behaviour of materials. In addition to the monotonic behaviour of the materials, it is also important to assess their cyclic response and fatigue crack propagation behaviour under constant and variable amplitude loading. Materials whenever subjected to fatigue cracking may exhibit mean stress effects as well as crack closure effects. In this paper, a theoretical model based on the same initial assumptions of the analytical models proposed by Hudak and Davidson and Ellyin is proposed to estimate the influence of the crack closure effects. This proposal based further on Walker’s propagation law was applied to the P355NL1 steel using an inverse analysis (back-extrapolation) of experimental fatigue crack propagation results. Based on this proposed model it is possible to estimate the crack opening stress intensity factor, , the relationship between quantity and the stress intensity factor, the crack length, and the stress ratio. This allows the evaluation of the influence of the crack closure effects for different stress ratio levels, in the fatigue crack propagation rates. Finally, a good agreement is found between the proposed theoretical model and the analytical models presented in the literature.