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Fatigue Failure through Bending Experiment
Adapted from a report submitted by Sarah Thomas
Lab Partners: David Henry and James Johnson

ME 498
November 10, 2004
Professor David Bayless


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The purpose of this experiment was to observe fatigue failure using a rotating fatigue (Wohler)
machine which applied a cyclical stress to samples of 6061-T6 aluminum with a neck radius of
2.50 mm. For non-ferrous metals, fatigue results in the deterioration of a material after a
prolonged stress has been applied to it and the number of cycles to failure depends on the
stresses applied. Several samples of the 6061-T6 material were loaded with stresses ranging from
0.9 to 0.6 of the yield strength. The resulting numbers of cycles to failure were statistically
analyzed using Chauvenet’s criterion and plotted as a stress vs. cycles (S-N) diagram. An
estimated endurance limit of