Fatigue crack growth behavior under multiaxial variable amplitude loading
This study compares both uniaxial and multiaxial variable amplitude experimental crack growth data for naturally initiated fatigue cracks in tubular specimens of 2024-T3 aluminum alloy to predictions based on two state-of-the-art analysis codes: UniGrow and FASTRAN. For variable amplitude fatigue tests performed under pure axial nominal loading conditions, both UniGrow and FASTRAN analyses were found to produce mostly conservative growth life predictions, despite good agreement with constant amplitude crack growth data. For variable amplitude torsion and combined axial-torsion crack growth analyses, however, the conservatism in growth life predictions was found to reduce. This was attributed to multiaxial nominal stress state effects, such as T-stress and mixed-mode crack growth, which are not accounted for in either UniGrow or FASTRAN, but were found in constant amplitude fatigue tests to increase experimental crack growth rates. Since cracks in this study were initiated naturally, different initial crack geometry assumptions were also investigated in the analyses
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