Mechanisms of fatigue crack growth - A critical digest of theoretical developments

P. Chowdhury, H. Sehitoglu

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Recent advances in the processing technology are permitting the manufacture of novel metallic materials with superior fatigue properties via microstructure tailoring. In the light of these promising developments, there is a rising need for establishing a synergy between state-of-the-art experimental characterizations and physically based theoretical underpinnings. A revisit to the existing predictive literature is thus a timely requirement prior to furthering new design guidelines against cyclic damage. To that end, this paper recounts an overview of the key mechanistic and analytical theories on the fatigue crack growth mechanisms. Emphasis is placed on categorizing the proposed modelling endeavours based on their fundamental principles. In doing so, contributions and limitations thereof are carefully examined on the basis of most updated experimental revelations. The objective is to provide a perspective to the current generation of engineers and researchers alike. This concise yet critical narrative would essentially assist in formulating even more advanced microstructure-damage relationships in the modern context. A commentary is added at the end outlining the promising avenues for future research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)652-674
Number of pages23
JournalFatigue and Fracture of Engineering Materials and Structures
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2016


  • cyclic damage
  • damage models
  • dislocation
  • fracture mechanics
  • microstructure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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