The present study deals with fatigue crack propagation and fatigue limit properties of two precipitation-hardened steels. One steel is more susceptible to strain localization than other. Both steels have similar tensile and micro-hardness properties. The fatigue properties are compared for a plain specimen, a specimen with a short crack and with a long crack. Effect of strain localization on fatigue properties of precipitation-hardened steel with an arbitrarily length crack is discussed with the help of plasticity-induced crack closure. The superiority of fatigue limit for precipitation-hardened steel depends on the initial crack size, and the strain localization influences notch sensitivity.
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