Growth of fatigue cracks subjected to non-proportional Mode I and II

University dissertation from Stockholm : KTH

Abstract: This thesis deals with some aspects of crack growth in the presence of cyclic loading, i.e. fatigue. The cyclic load cases studied here are primary of non-proportional mixed mode type. Under non-proportional loading the principal stress directions rotate and, generally, the ratio between the principal stresses vary. A new criterion has been presented for prediction of incipient crack path direction after changes in load from steady Mode I to non-proportional loading.The criterion is based on FE-simulations which are used to compute the actual elasto-plastic stress state in the vicinity of the crack tip. The predictions of the criterion capture several phenomena observed in the literature, which indicates that plasticity effects have to be included in a criterion for crack path predictions under non-proportional loading. The effects of Mode II overloads on subsequent Mode I crack growth have been studied relatively little in the literature. Also, the results deviates substantially. In the present thesis, this load case has been investigated in detail, both experimentally and analytically. The results show that the Mode I crack growth rate decreases after a single Mode II load, if the R-ratio is not as high as to keep the entire Mode I load cycle above the closure level. This is based on the fact, shown in this thesis, that the reduction is caused by crack closure due to tangential displacement of crack-surface irregularities.A new loading device is presented. With this device, it is possible to apply sequential loading in Mode I and Mode II in an automated way, without having to dismount the specimens. This loading device is used to study the influence of periodic Mode II loading on Mode I crack growth. The main parameters concerning the influence of periodic Mode II loading on Mode I crack growth are; (i) the Mode I R-ratio, (ii) the Mode II magnitude and (iii) the Mode II periodicity, M (number of Mode I loads for every Mode II load). The mechanisms involved are mainly RICC (Roughness-Induced Crack Closure) and a Mode II mechanism that increases the growth rate temporary at every Mode II load. Hence, the latter becomes more significant for low M-values. The higher the Mode I R-ratio the smaller is the reduction.