The influences of a superheated steam environment and temperature on the nearthreshold crack growth behaviour of mild steel during rotating bending fatigue were investigated. A fatigue machine in which rotating bending is simulated was designed and built to allow continuous crack growth measurement. Experiments compared the threshold stress intensities (∆Kth ) for air at 24 °C, air at 160 °C and steam at 160 °C.Air at 160 °C yielded the lowest threshold stress intensity in both cases. Oxide thicknesses in the vicinity of the threshold were estimated from temper colours. The difference in threshold stress intensities can be explained by the concept of oxideinduced crack closure.
Dissertation (MEng (Metallurgical Engineering))--University of Pretoria, 2007.