Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Lacy, Thomas E., Jr.

Committee Member

Newman, James C., Jr.

Committee Member

Priddy, Matthew W.

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access


Aerospace Engineering

Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.)


James Worth Bagley College of Engineering


Department of Aerospace Engineering


This thesis investigates fatigue crack growth rate behavior in the threshold and near-threshold regimes for a Ti-6Al-4V (STOA) alloy using two proposed ASTM procedures- (1) load-shedding (LS) using a larger load-shed rate than the current ASTM Standard E647 load-reduction (LR) test procedure, and (2) compression pre-cracking constant-amplitude (CPCA) or load-increasing (CPLI) and load-shedding (CPLS). Tests were conducted at a low stress ratio (R = 0.1) on compact C(T) specimens of two different widths (W = 51 and 76 mm) and threshold fatigue crack growth rates were generated. These test data were compared to previous test data produced from the same batch of material using the current LR and the CPCA test procedure. While no test procedure provided an exact representation of the threshold value (?Kth), the compression pre-cracking (CP) procedures were the most promising. The LR, LS, and CPLS test procedures were influenced by prior loading-history and various crack-closure mechanisms, leading to higher ?Kth values and slower crack growths in the threshold regime. The LS tests (at shed-rates of -0.08,-0.32, and -0.95 mm-1) generated ?Kth values that were 15% to 32% higher than the estimated threshold stress-intensity factor range (?*Kth)R=0.1. The CP test procedures are a more accurate alternative for developing near-threshold and threshold fatigue crack growth rates. The CPLS test procedure produced a ?Kth value that was 10% higher than (?*Kth)R=0.1. LR and LS tests produced different ?Kth values as a function of the specimen width for the given load ratio. The CP test procedures produced consistent crack growth rates over the same range of ?K values examined, independent of the specimen width. Further research is required for developing test procedure(s) capable of providing a more definitive representation of the ?Kth value and closureree fatigue crack growth rates in the threshold regime.