Current fatigue crack growth procedures in the commercial nuclear industry do not clearly specify how compressive loads are to be handled and, therefore, regulatory agencies usually recommend a conservative approach requiring full consideration of the loads. This paper demonstrates that a more realistic approach to account for compressive loads can be formulated using crack closure concepts. Several empirical plasticity-induced crack closure models were evaluated. An approach in the Section XI ASME Code for tensile loading only has been extended and evaluated for negative R-ratios. However, the paper shows this approach to be overly conservative. The approaches using crack closure models are shown to be more accurate. An analytically based crack closure model, while more complicated, is shown to give a theoretical basis to the empirically derived crack closure models. The paper concludes with a recommendation for modifying the current ASME Code practices consistent with the crack closure models and fatigue crack growth data from negative R-ratio tests.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.