Understanding How Components Fail
Chapter 10: Fatigue Fracture
Fatigue fractures are generally considered the most serious type of fracture in machinery parts simply because fatigue fractures can and do occur in normal service, without excessive overloads, and under normal operating conditions. This chapter first discusses the three stages (initiation, propagation, and final rupture) of fatigue fracture followed by a discussion of its microscopic and macroscopic characteristics. The relationship between stress and strength in fatigue is explained. The next section provides information that may help the uninitiated to appreciate some of the problems of laboratory fatigue testing and of the fatigue process itself. Finally, information on types and statistical aspects of fatigue is provided along with examples.
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