In the present study, a series of fatigue crack growth tests were carried out in order to examine the effects of stress ratio R upon crack growth rates, together with the crack closure behaviors. Fatigue tests were conducted with center-notched specimens of two kinds of pressure vessel steels (500 MPa class and 800 MPa class) under cyclic axial loading in various stress ratios R ranging from −5 to +0.8. Crack opening stress levels were determined by the unloading elastic compliance method. An expression of fatigue crack growth rates under a wide range of stress ratios was proposed, taking into account the relationship between stress ratio R and crack opening stress ratio U. The crack growth behaviors near the threshold conditions were also discussed.

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