Understanding the surface features of fatigue fractures: How they describe the failure cause and the failure history
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Most of us have been exposed to fatigue failures since we first started looking at broken pieces. In many cases, the first explanation of a failure began with a well-intentioned person explaining that a component had “crystallized” because it was a piece of defective steel. However, as we know, virtually all structural metals are crystalline, and after working with fatigue analysis for a while, it becomes apparent that defective materials are not common failure causes. Additionally we learn that the fracture face can provide a wealth of information about the causes. It can show the type and direction of the forces acting on the part, the magnitude and fluctuations of these forces, and can give a general indication of the length of time from initiation to final fracture. This paper is a review of a selection of fracture faces and the descriptions of how to interpret some of the details on these faces.
KeywordsFatigue Fatigue Fracture Crack Growth Rate Failure Analysis Fatigue Failure
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