Crack closure during fatigue crack growth is an important phenomenon for predicting fatigue crack growth amount. Many experimental data show that fatigue cracks close at not only negative loads but also positive loads during constant amplitude loading cycles, depending on applied stress levels.
The Appendix A-4300 in the ASME Code Section XI provides two equations of fatigue crack growth rates expressed by stress intensity factor range for ferritic steels under negative stress ratio. The boundary of two fatigue crack growth rates is classified by the magnitude of applied stress intensity factor range with the consideration of crack closure.
The objective of this paper is to investigate the influence of the magnitude of the stress intensity factor range on crack closure. Fatigue tests have been performed on ferritic steel specimens in air environment at room and high temperatures. Crack closures were obtained as a parameter of stress ratio. It was found that crack closure occurs at a smaller applied stress intensity factor range than the definition given by the Appendix A-4300.