The effect of plasticity on incipient mixed-mode fatigue crack growth


: M. Olsson. E-mail:


Several criteria for the prediction of incipient crack path direction of non-proportional mixed-mode fatigue cracks, immediately after a change of load from steady mode I conditions are investigated. The analysis is based on two-dimensional plane strain FE-simulations in which the actual elasto-plastic stress distribution is used for the MTS, MTSR and MEPSR criteria. The purpose of the analysis is to compare the numerical results with experimental results as well as with previous predictions based on solely elastic stress analyses, taken from the literature. It is shown that the influence from elasto-plastic deformation on crack branching direction is of utmost importance. It is found that the incipient crack growth of metals falls into two categories: high strength metals follow the MTSp criterion whereas more ductile metals follow the MTSRp criterion. The subscript p indicates that the elasto-plastic evaluation of the respective criterion should be used.