A general fatigue life equation is derived by modifying the Tanaka-Mura-Wu dislocation pile-up model for variable strain-amplitude fatigue processes, where the fatigue crack nucleation life is expressed in terms of the root mean square of plastic strain range. Low-cycle fatigue tests were conducted on an austenitic stainless steel. at 400°C and 600°C, the material exhibits continuously cyclic-hardening behaviour. The root mean square of plastic strain ranges is evaluated from the experimental data for each test condition at strain rates ranging from 0.0002/s to 0.02/s. The variable-amplitude Tanaka-Mura-Wu model is found to be in good agreement with the LCF data, which effectively proves Miner’s rule on the stored plastic strain energy basis.

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