Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Materials Science and Engineering

First Advisor

Scott P. Beckman


Although fatigue has been a well studied phenomenon over the past century and a half, there has yet to be found a quantitative link between fatigue crack growth rates and materials properties. This work serves to establish that link, in the case of well behaved, single phase, ductile metals. The primary mechanisms of fatigue crack growth are identified in general terms, followed by a description of the dependence of the stress intensity factor range on those mechanisms. A method is presented for calculating the crack growth rate for an ideal, linear elastic, non-brittle material, which is assumed to be similar to the crack growth rate for a real material at very small crack growth rate values. The threshold stress intensity factor is discussed as a consequence of "crack tip healing". Residual stresses are accounted for in the form of an approximated residual stress intensity factor. The results of these calculations are compared to data available in the literature. It is concluded that this work presents a new way to consider crack growth with respect to cyclic loading which is quantitatively accurate, and introduces a new way to consider fracture mechanics with respect to the relatively small, cyclic loads, normally associated with fatigue.


Copyright Owner

Peter Huffman



File Format


File Size

102 pages