Most engineering components are subjected to cyclic loading in service and design against fatigue failure is often a key consideration in design. For fracture mechanics fatigue analysis, fatigue crack growth (FCG) tests are often required to determine the relevant Paris power law parameters for the material under the environment concerned. Standards allow use of different specimen geometries for FCG tests such as compact tension (CT), centre crack tension (CCT), single edge notch bend (SENB) and single edge notch tension (SENT). However, when selecting specimen geometry for fatigue crack growth rate (FCGR) testing, there is often doubt about which specimen geometry is more appropriate and whether they give similar FCGR. There is limited work to compare the FCGR between different specimen geometries.
This paper first briefly introduces the guidance on FCG test specimen geometries in standards and compares the advantages and disadvantages of these specimen geometries. A comprehensive literature review is carried out to compare the FCGR data between different specimen geometries. FCGR tests are conducted on SENB, SENT and CCT specimens of C-Mn steel to investigate any effects of specimen symmetry/asymmetry and crack constraint on FCGR. Based on the literature review and test data, it is concluded that FCGR is independent of the specimen geometries examined.