Mechanical Testing and Evaluation
Fatigue Crack Growth Testing
Testing and characterization of fatigue crack growth are used extensively to predict the rate at which subcritical cracks grow due to fatigue loading. ASTM standard E 647 is the accepted guideline for fatigue crack growth testing (FCGR) and is applicable to a wide variety of materials and growth rates. The two most widely used types of specimens are the middle-crack tension and compact-type specimens. This article describes the factors affecting the selection of appropriate geometries of these specimens: consideration of material availability and raw form, desired loading condition, and equipment limitations. Various crack measurement techniques, including optical, ultrasonic, acoustic emission, electrical, and compliance methods, are also reviewed. The article discusses the two major aspects of FCGR test analysis: to ensure suitability of the test data and to calculate growth rates from the data.