Fatigue crack initiation and propagation from defects in aluminium welds

  • Peter Woods

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


    Fatigue crack initiation and propagation in aluminium butt welds has been investigated. It is shown that the initiation of cracks from both buried defects and. from the weld reinforcement may be quantified by predictive laws based on either linear elastic fracture mechanics, or on Neuber's rule of stress and strain ooncentrations. The former is preferable on the grounds of theoretical models of crack tip plasticity, although either may be used as the basis of an effeotive
    design criteria against crack initiation. Fatigue lives fol1owing initiation were found to follow predictions based on the integration of a Paris type power law.
    The effect of residual stresses from the welding operation on both initiation and propagation was accounted for by a Forman type equation. This incorporated the notional stress ratio produced by the residual stresses after various heat treatments.
    A fracture mechanics analysis was found to be useful in describing the fatigue behaviour of the weldments at increased temperatures up to 300°C. It is pointed out, however, that the complex interaction of residual stresses, frequency, and changes in fracture mode necessitate great caution in the application of any general design criteria against crack initiation and growth at elevated. temperatures.
    Date of AwardSept 1976
    Original languageEnglish
    SupervisorV.N. Whittaker (Supervisor)


    • Fatigue crack
    • initiation
    • propagation
    • defects
    • aluminium welds

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