In Japan, the Design Fatigue Curve (DFC) Phase 1 and Phase 2 subcommittees were organized under the Atomic Energy Research Committee in the Japan Welding Engineering Society and have proposed new design fatigue curves for carbon, low-alloy, and austenitic stainless steels. To confirm the validity of the proposed design fatigue curves, a Japanese utility collaborative project was launched. In this project, fatigue tests were conducted on large-scale and small-sized specimens, and the test data were provided to the DFC Phase 2 subcommittee. This paper discusses the best-fit curves proposed by the DFC Phase 1 subcommittee, focusing on the results of large-scale fatigue tests for carbon steel and low-alloy steel plates. The fatigue test results for large-scale specimens were compared with the best-fit curve proposed by the DFC Phase 1 subcommittee. This comparison revealed that the fatigue lives given by the proposed curves correspond to those of approximately 1.5–4.0-mm-deep crack initiation in large-scale specimens. In this program, fatigue tests with a mean strain were also carried out on large-scale specimens. These tests found that the fatigue lives were almost equivalent to those of approximately 4.4–7.0-mm-deep crack initiation in large-scale specimens. In determining a design fatigue curve, strain-controlled tests are usually performed on small-sized specimens, and the fatigue life is then defined by the 25% load drop. It is reported that the cracks reach nearly 3–4-mm depth under those 25% drop cycles. The test results confirm that the fatigue lives of large-scale specimens agree with those given by the best-fit curve for carbon and low-alloy steels, and no remarkable size effects exist for the crack depths compared in this study.

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