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27. In this graph only the largest emission peak is plotted for each of 12 samples fatigued to failure. The intensity / is normalized with respect to the initial background emission I0. Since the samples were fatigued at different stress levels to cover the indicated range of fatigue lives, the abscissa is also normalized and expressed as fraction of life. All the data points fall within a scatter band which is very reasonable for fatigue experiments. Thus results of this type provided the first quantitative assessment of the extent of accumulation of fatigue damage.
Unless the density of defects in the oxide is extremely small, there will always be at least one in the location of an emerging slip step, so that the onset of PSEE will occur at the same strain level independently of the defect density. On the other hand, the total number of microcracks, or the intensity of PSEE, will depend upon the defect density. Thus the occurrence of oxide fracture is determined by the probability P of an emerging slip line of length D encountering a defect. Let us assume that the defects are very small, that is, point defects when viewed normal to the surface.
The specimen in this case was SAE 1541 steel, quenched and tempered to a Rockwell C40, and had a uniform acicular martensitic and/or bainitic structure. Prior to fatigue loading the oxide is intact so that the emission is reasonably uniform and of low intensity (Fig. 28a). 1% of fatigue life, more intense emission developed in the central portion of the sample. Figure 28b was obtained with reduced sensitivity of the oscilloscope, so that the end regions of the surface were no longer visible. Only the more strongly emitting central region is shown in Fig.