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#### Schlagworte

- Fatigue strength (5)
- Fracture mechanics (4)
- Initial crack size (3)
- Short crack propagation (3)
- Fatigue crack propagation (2)
- Multiple crack propagation (2)
- Weldments (2)
- Ausgangsriss (1)
- Bruchmechanik (1)
- Cyclic J-integral (1)

#### Organisationseinheit der BAM

A discussion is provided on demands that must be met in order to apply fracture mechanics to the determination of overall fatigue lifetime and strength, i.e., S-N curves and fatigue limits. These comprise the determination of the cyclic crack driving force for all stages of fatigue crack propagation, in particular for the short crack stage where the crack driving force has to be determined for elastic-plastic deformation and the gradual build-up of the crack closure phenomenon. Special emphasis is put on a fatigue damage relevant specification of the initial crack size. Different approaches in the literature are discussed. Another important aspect is the adequate treatment of multiple crack propagation. Finally, the discussion is illustrated by an example of a butt weld made of a medium strength steel.

Common fracture mechanics based fatigue considerations are usually limited to the residual lifetime determination of so-called long cracks. The extension of this concept to the total lifetime, as in the S-N curve approach, requires an adequate description of short crack propagation which cannot be based on the Delta K concept, and it must consider the crack closure phenomenon as well as its gradual build-up at the short crack stage. Further, it has to provide a meaningful definition of initial crack dimensions and a solution for the multiple crack problem at stress levels higher than the fatigue limit as it is specific for some configurations such as weldments. This paper aims at a discussion of all these points and offers possible solutions which are illustrated by examples taken from the German IBESS project on fracture mechanics based determination of the fatigue strength of weldments, the results of which will be discussed in more detail in this Special issue.

The cyclic J-integral (∆J-integral) is a crack tip parameter of elastic-plastic fracture mechanics which can be used as governing parameter for the description of fatigue crack growth (FCG) in metallic structures. In this contribution, it is applied for modelling FCG in weldments. The ∆J-integral is determined by means of analytical approximation formulas as well as numerical methods. An analytical solution, which takes into account effects of the local ligament plasticity, was derived. This solution is based on well established methods such as R6, BS7910 and SINTAP which were modified for cyclic loading. It incorporates methods for the description of short crack closure behaviour as well as the well known analytical (long) crack closure function of Newman. A specific code was written to evaluate the ∆J-integral numerically in the course of finite element based crack growth simulations. The code was first validated for an infinite plate with centre crack by applying elastic and elastic-plastic material behaviour. Next, the ∆J-integral was calculated for cracks in various butt and cruciform welded joints. The results were compared with the results of the derived analytical approximation formula. A good accordance was achieved between the results.

If fracture mechanics shall be applied to the total lifetime respectively the fatigue limit of components (within the meaning of the S-N curve approach) it has to address four challenges:
(a) It has to adequately describe so-called short crack propagation, which cannot be based on the common long crack concepts for principle reasons. Since the crack size is in the order of the plastic zone size, the modelling of short crack propagation cannot be based on the common linear elastic Delta K concept. Instead, an elastic-plastic parameter such as the cyclic J integral has to be applied. A second point is that the crack closure concept has to be modified in that the crack opening stress is not a constant, crack size- independent parameter but shows a transient behaviour with increasing short crack size.
(b) It has to provide a meaningful definition of the initial crack dimensions as the starting point for an S-N curve relevant (residual) lifetime analysis. This can be based either on the (statistical) size of material defects which can be treated as cracks or by the size of the crack which would arrest subsequent to early crack propagation, whatever is larger.
(c) It has to cope with the problem of multiple cracks for load levels higher than the fatigue limit such as it occurs in many applications in the absence of very large initial defects.
(d) This requires consequent statistical treatment taking into account variations in the local geometry of the area where crack initiation has to be expected as well as the scatter in the initial crack size and in the material data used for the analyses.

Um bruchmechanisch Schwingfestigkeiten ermitteln zu können, sind einige Voraussetzungen erforderlich:
(a) Das Wachstum sowohl langer als auch mechanisch und physikalisch kurzer Risse muss adäquat beschrieben werden. Das erfordert die Anwendung elastisch plastischer Konzepte zur Beschreibung der zyklischen Rissspitzenbeanspruchung sowie die Modellierung des graduellen Aufbaus der Rissschließeffekte im Kurzrissbereich.
(b) Es müssen physikalisch sinnvolle Ausgangsrissgrößen für die bruchmechanische Analyse bestimmt werden.
(c) Bei Spannungen oberhalb der Dauerfestigkeit respektive der Versagensspannung bei 107 Lastwechseln muss gegebenenfalls Mehrfachrisswachstum berücksichtigt werden.
Der Vortrag diskutiert diese Punkte und zeigt Lösungswege auf.

The paper gives an overview on safe life and damage tolerance methods applied to railway axles. It describes failure scenarios due to fatigue crack initiation and propagation. Besides common aspects of design, specific features such as corrosion and impact damage from flying ballast are discussed which may reduce the fatigue strength of axles during service. Potential effects of non-metallic inclusions from the steel manufacturing process are addressed in the context of the very high number of loading cycles railway axles are designed for. With respect to damage tolerance general lines of fracture mechanics residual lifetime analyses are introduced. More specific discussion is provided on aspects such as the threshold value of fatigue crack propagation and reliability aspects of non-destructive inspection.

The fatigue crack propagation threshold ΔKth is of paramount importance for any kind of damage tolerant design, but in contrast to this importance, the determination and application of the parameter is not on the firm ground as previously assumed. The paper discusses questions of its experimental determination as well as of its application to components. In both fields, new questions have been raised with the potential to challenge or modify long-standing knowledge. Against this background, the paper is an attempt to systematize the established knowledge as well as questions and open issues.