This work presents a review of crack propagation simulation models considering plane stress and plane strain conditions. It is presented also a chronological different methodologies used to perform the crack advance by finite element method. Some procedures used to edit variable spectrum loading and the effects during crack propagation processes, like retardation, in the fatigue life of the structures are discussed. Based on this work there is no consensus in the scientific community to determine the best way to simulate crack propagation under variable spectrum loading due the combination of metallurgic and mechanical factors regarding, for example, how to select and edit the representative spectrum loading to be used in the crack propagation simulation.
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