A detailed analysis of crack closure during fatigue crack propagation has been made using a simplified model. In addition, experimental work has been conducted using eddy current methods to determine crack closure. It was found that the effective stress range factor, U, depends on the applied stress range, stress ratio, yield strength and strain hardening exponent of the material, and that its value stabilizes in about 10 stress cycles for constant stress amplitude loading. Experimental and predicted results were seen to be in good agreement.

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