U.S. Department of Defense


Date of this Version



International Journal of Fatigue 51, 2013


U.S. Government work


The effect of stress ratio on the statistical aspects of small fatigue crack growth behavior was studied in a duplex microstructure of Ti–6Al–2Sn–4Zr–6Mo (Ti-6-2-4-6) at 260 °C with particular emphasis on incorporating small-crack data into probabilistic life prediction and the influence of stress ratio on probabilistic lifetime limits. A Focused Ion Beam (FIB) was used to machine micro-notches in test specimens, which served as crack-initiation sites and enabled the acquisition of multiple small-crack growth data sets from single experiment. Stress ratios of -0.5, 0.05, and 0.5 were employed, and small-crack growth was monitored by the acetate replication method. Qualitatively, change in the stress ratio produced almost negligible influence on the small-crack growth behavior when plotted as crack growth rate (da/dN) vs. applied stress intensity factor range (Delta K). A probabilistic method was employed to represent the variability in the small-crack growth behavior and the statistical differences with respect to stress ratio where a method of optimization of the small-crack growth model parameters, based on a minimization of the error between the predicted and the measured crack length vs. cycles (a vs. N) data, was used. In spite of qualitative similarity, differences in the statistical parameters of small-crack growth as a function of stress ratio were found to be significant in life prediction. The methods for representation and probabilistic treatment of small-crack data were also shown to be important factors in incorporation of the small-crack regime in probabilistic life prediction.