The effects of the variation of stress field triaxiality on the prediction of the fatigue growth of semielliptic surface flaws are investigated. The concepts of crack closure are used in a fatigue growth analysis to account for constraint variation. The analysis, together with a traditional fatigue crack growth analysis which does not account for constraint variation, is used to predict flaw growth observed in experiments. Significant improvements in predicted fatigue life, as well as predicted crack shape, are obtained by accounting for the variation in constraint.

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