Fracture, Fatigue and Failure of Materials

Fatigue is a failure mechanism that involves the cracking of materials and structural components due to cyclic stress. While applied stresses may be tensile, compressive or torsional, crack initiation and propagation are due to the tensile component. One of the intriguing factors about fatigue development is that fatigue cracks can be initiated and propagated at stresses well below the yield strength of the material of construction and these stresses are usually thought to be related to elastic deformation, not plastic deformation.

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