Experimental investigation on anisotropic fatigue crack growth characteristics of Q420C steel

Chun-jun Chen, Meini Su, Yu-hang Wang, Rong-hua Zhu

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The hot-rolled steel sheets often exhibit anisotropy in their mechanical characteristics due to the grain’s elongation along the rolling orientation. The anisotropy characteristic also appears in the fatigue crack growth behaviour. However, it has not been thoroughly studied for some types of steel materials although they have been widely used for wind turbine towers. In this study, the longitudinal fatigue crack growth behaviour of the hot-rolled steel sheet (Q420C) is investigated by an experimental programme. A total of six specimens were tested under constant amplitude loading cases with different load ratios. It was found that longitudinal cracks are approximately 15% faster than transverse cracks at the load ratio of 0.1; at the load ratio of 0.3, they are approximately 22% faster. The anisotropy of crack growth rates is attributed to differences in the microstructure of the material. A comparison of the crack growth rate is carried out for Q420C steel and some widely used American-made steel materials. Furthermore, the applicability of design curves in the British Standard BS 7910 is explored, the crack closure phenomenon is analysed and the fatigue crack growth mechanism is discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Article number103815
JournalTheoretical and Applied Fracture Mechanics
Early online date15 Feb 2023
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2023


  • Anisotropy
  • Crack closure
  • Fatigue crack growth
  • Hot-rolled steel


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