In situ experimental characterization of near-tip strain evolution of fatigue cracks

Y-W Lu, Colin John Lupton, M-L Zhu, Jie Tong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Near tip strain fields in a stationary and a growing fatigue crack have been studied in situ using the Digital Image Correlation (DIC) technique in a compact tension specimen of stainless steel 316L under tension-tension cyclic loading. The evolution of near-tip strains normal to the crack plane was monitored at selected locations ahead of the crack tip in consecutive cycles. A stationary crack was examined first to provide a baseline reference whilst the evolution of the strain field ahead of a growing crack was monitored in situ at peak loads during cycling. The results show that strain accumulation with loading cycle occurred at all tracked locations in both cases, and it is particularly evident close to the crack tip. Moreover, a higher strain accumulation rate was found near the growing crack tip than that near the stationary crack tip.
The results provide the first quantitative evidence of near-tip strain evolution associated with crack growth, which may hopefully inform a physical-based modelling strategy of fatigue crack growth.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1175-1185
JournalExperimental Mechanics
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2015


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