A fatigue crack growth (FCG) model for specimens with well-characterized residual stress fields has been studied using experimental analysis and finite element (FE) modeling. The residual stress field was obtained using four point bending tests performed on 7050-T7451 aluminum alloy rectangular specimens and consecutively modeled using the FE method. The experimentally obtained residual stress fields were characterized using a digital image correlation technique and a slitting method, and a good agreement between the experimental residual stress fields and the stress field in the FE model was obtained. The FE FCG models were developed using a linear elastic model, a linear elastic model with crack closure and an elastic-plastic model with crack closure. The crack growth in the FE FCG model was predicted using Paris-Erdogan data obtained from the residual stress free samples, using the Harter T-method for interpolating between different baseline crack growth curves, and using the effective stress intensity factor range and stress ratio. The elastic-plastic model with crack closure effects provides results close to the experimental data for the FCG with positive applied stress ratios reproducing the FCG deceleration in the compressive zone of the residual stress field. However, in the case of a negative stress ratio all models with crack closure effects strongly underestimate the FCG rates, in which case a linear elastic model provides the best fit with the experimental data. The results demonstrate that the negative part of the stress cycle with a fully closed crack contributes to the driving force for the FCG and thus should be accounted for in the fatigue life estimates.

7050-T7451, Crack closure, Finite element analysis, Plastic wake, Residual stress fields
International Journal of Fatigue
Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Garcia, C. (C.), Lotz, T. (T.), Martinez, M. (M.), Artemev, A, Alderliesten, R. (R.), & Benedictus, R. (R.). (2016). Fatigue crack growth in residual stress fields. International Journal of Fatigue, 87, 326–338. doi:10.1016/j.ijfatigue.2016.02.020