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Fatigue failures occur due to the application of fluctuating stresses that are much lower than the stress required to cause failure during a single application of stress. This chapter describes three basic factors that cause fatigue: a maximum tensile stress of sufficiently high value, a large enough variation or fluctuation in the applied stress, and a sufficiently large number of cycles of the applied stress. The discussion covers high-cycle fatigue, low-cycle fatigue, and fatigue crack propagation. The chapter then discusses the stages where fatigue crack nucleation and growth occurs. It describes the most effective methods of improving fatigue life. The chapter also explains the effect of geometrical stress concentrations on fatigue. In addition, it explores the environmental effects of corrosion fatigue, low-temperature fatigue, high-temperature fatigue, and thermal fatigue. Finally, the chapter discusses a number of design philosophies or methodologies to deal with design against fatigue failures.

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