A fracture mechanics model has been developed to estimate the fretting fatigue strength and the service life of structural components. Integrated in this model is a contact problem solver that is automated to deal with the geometric and material nonlinearities of the problem. A three-dimensional interface element was developed to model the constitutive laws of the interface. The results demonstrated the capability of the model to predict the conditions under which small fretting-induced fatigue cracks are arrested. The model was validated by predicting the S-N curves produced experimentally for Inconel 600 at high temperature. The prediction of the fretting fatigue limit was found to be in excellent agreement with the experimental results.

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