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Effect fracture resistance on retardation of crack growth

Jirí Behal (Strength of Structures, Aerospace Research and Test Establishment (VZLU), Prague, Czech Republic.)
Petr Homola (Strength of Structures, Aerospace Research and Test Establishment (VZLU), Prague, Czech Republic.)
Roman Ružek (Strength of Structures, Aerospace Research and Test Establishment (VZLU), Prague, Czech Republic.)

International Journal of Structural Integrity

ISSN: 1757-9864

Article publication date: 10 August 2015



The prediction of fatigue crack growth behaviour is an important part of damage tolerance analyses. Recently, the author’s work has focused on evaluating the FASTRAN retardation model. This model is implemented in the AFGROW code, which allows different retardation models to be compared. The primary advantage of the model is that all input parameters, including those for an initial plane-strain state and its transition to a plane-stress-state, are objectively measured using standard middle-crack-tension M(T) specimens. The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the ability of the FASTRAN model to predict correct retardation effects due to high loading peaks that occur during variable amplitude loading in sequences representative of an aircraft service.


This paper addresses pre-setting of the fracture toughness K R (based on J-integral J Q according to ASTM1820) in the FASTRAN retardation model. A set of experiments were performed using specimens made from a 7475-T7351 aluminium alloy plate. Loading sequences with peaks ordered in ascending-descending blocks were used. The effect of truncating and clipping selected load levels on crack propagation behaviour was evaluated using both experimental data and numerical analyses. The findings were supported by the results of a fractographic analysis.


Fatigue crack propagation data defined using M(T) specimens made from Al 7475-T7351 alloy indicate the difficulty of evaluating the following two events simultaneously: fatigue crack increments after application of loads with maximum amplitudes that exceeded J Q and subcritical crack increments caused by loads at high stress intensity factors. An effect of overloading peaks with a maximum that exceeds J Q should be assessed using a special analysis beyond the scope of the FASTRAN retardation model.


Measurements of fatigue crack growth on specimens made from 7475 T7351 aluminium alloy were carried out. The results indicated that simultaneously evaluating fatigue crack increments after application of the load amplitude above J Q and subcritical increments caused by the loads at high stress intensity factors is difficult. Experiments demonstrated that if the fatigue crack reaches a specific length, the maximal amplitude load induces considerable crack growth retardation.



This work was funded by the Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Czech Republic within the framework of the SIGMA project (No. TA03010140).


Behal, J., Homola, P. and Ružek, R. (2015), "Effect fracture resistance on retardation of crack growth", International Journal of Structural Integrity, Vol. 6 No. 4, pp. 510-521.



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