Plastic zone evolution near a crack tip and its role in environmentally assisted cracking
This paper analyzes the effects of crack tip plastic strains and compressive residual stresses, created
by fatigue pre-cracking, on environmentally assisted cracking of pearlitic steel subjected to localized anodic
dissolution and hydrogen assisted fracture. In both situations, cyclic crack tip plasticity improves the behavior of
the steel. In the respective cases, the effects are supposed to be due to accelerated local anodic dissolution of
the cyclic plastic zone (producing chemical crack blunting) or to the delay of hydrogen entry into the metal
caused by residual compressive stresses, thus increasing the fracture load in aggressive environment.