Elber's hypothesis that DeltaKeff can be assumed as the driving force for fatigue crack growth (FCG) is the basis for strip-yield models widely used to predict fatigue lives under variable amplitude loads, although it does not explain all load sequence effects observed in practice. To verify if these models are indeed intrinsically better, the mechanics of a typical strip-yield model is used to predict FCG rates based both on Elber's ideas and on the alternative view that FCG is instead due to damage accumulation induced by the cyclic strain history ahead of the crack tip, which does not need or use DeltaKeff ideas. The main purpose here is to predict FCG using the cyclic strains induced by the plastic displacements calculated by strip-yield procedures, assuming there are strain limits associated both the with the FCG threshold and with the material toughness. Despite based on conflicting principles, both models can reproduce quite well FCG data, a somewhat surprising result that deserves to be carefully analyzed.
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