A nondimensional model of microstructurally short crack growth in creep is developed based on a detailed observation of the creep fracture process of 304 stainless steel. In order to deal with the scatter of small crack growth rate data caused by microstructural inhomogeneity, a random variable technique is used in the model. A cumulative probability of the crack length at an arbitary time, G(a,t), and that of the time when a crack reaches an arbitary length, F(t,a), are obtained numerically by means of a Monte Carlo method. G(a,t) and F(t,a) are the probabilities for a single crack. However, multiple cracks generally initiate on the surface of a smooth specimen from the early stage of creep life to the final stage. Taking into account the multiple crack initiations, the actual crack length distribution observed on the surface of a specimen is predicted by the combination of probabilities for a single crack. The prediction shows a fairly good agreement with the experimental result for creep of 304 stainless steel at 923 K. The probability of creep life is obtained from an assumption that creep fracture takes place when the longest crack reaches a critical length. The observed and predicted scatter of the life is fairly small for the specimens tested.

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