Precipitation particles in precipitation-strengthened materials are considered to be cut by pre-strain treatment, which affects the fatigue strength. In this study, fatigue tests were performed on precipitation- strengthened stainless steel SUH660 to investigate the effect of pre-strain on fatigue crack initiation and propagation characteristics. Fatigue test results showed that pre-strained specimens have a shorter fatigue crack propagation life compared to non-strained specimens; this is the opposite of results observed in carbon steel. The accelerated fatigue crack growth observed in pre-strained specimens was first assumed to be caused by precipitate cutting. A dislocation accumulation model for the fatigue crack tip in the precipitation-strengthened material was then suggested. Buff-polished specimens were also used for the fatigue tests, and the results showed that the work-hardened layer had a significant impact on the fatigue strength and fatigue life.
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