Notches according to the design of components often represent the failure location. If a crack is nucleating in the area of a notch, crack growth speed is a function of the stress gradient. The difference in allowable cycles between a notched and an unnotched structure can be quantified by a notch support factor. The approach presented in this paper is based on the determination of the stress intensity factor of a short crack in the vicinity of a notch using FEA. To consider the influence of plasticity induced crack closure the analytical approach by Newman is employed. This relatively easy and straight-forward approach is benchmarked in two ways. First, the results are compared with a series of experimental data produced for notched round bar specimens made of a forged steel. Here, crack growth is measured by using the alternating current potential drop method. Second, crack growth is calculated with a full numerical approach. The results are discussed in detail to investigate the application range of the easy-to-use Engineering Approach to compute notch support factors for real component structures.

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