INTERMITTENCY IN FATIGUE CRACK GROWTH AND FATIGUE STRIATIONS
Tero MäkinenDogwood B
The fatigue crack growth rate exhibits apparent self-similarity as it grows as a power of the stress intensity factor (the Paris–Erdogan law). We have studied the fatigue crack growth in two aluminum alloys (Al-1050 and Al-5005) using optical methods and found that the crack tip advances in an intermittent way, characterized by a power-law distribution of crack tip jump sizes. The exponent of the distribution is around two – higher than what is usually observed in avalanching systems – and there is a cutoff that increases with increasing crack velocity. If the generally accepted one-to-one correspondence between the crack tip advancement per cycle and the fatigue striation lines on the fracture surface holds, one should expect a similar distribution for the striation line spacings. We have performed post-mortem fractography using scanning electron microscopy and, by automatically tracking the striation spacings, we indeed see a similar power-law distribution with a cutoff and an exponent around two.