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This article describes three design-life methods or philosophies of fatigue, namely, infinite-life, finite-life, and damage tolerant. It outlines the three stages in the process of fatigue fracture: the initial fatigue damage leading to crack initiation, progressive cyclic growth of crack, and the sudden fracture of the remaining cross section. The article discusses the effects of loading and stress distribution on fatigue cracks, and reviews the fatigue behavior of materials when subjected to different loading conditions such as bending and loading. The article examines the effects of load frequency and temperature, material condition, and manufacturing practices on fatigue strength. It provides information on subsurface discontinuities, including gas porosity, inclusions, and internal bursts as well as on corrosion fatigue testing to measure rates of fatigue-crack propagation in different environments. The article concludes with a discussion on rolling-contact fatigue, macropitting, micropitting, and subcase fatigue.

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