Very high cycle fatigue tests with quenched and self-tempered reinforcement steel bars
Investigations on the fatigue strength of steel reinforcement bars (rebars) mainly involves fatigue tests with hot rolled (HR) and cold worked (CW) steels. However, in the last few decades, HR and CW rebars were replaced by quenched and selftempered (QST) rebars with hardened surface layer. There still remains a lack of research on fatigue strength of QST rebars especially in the very high cycle domain i.e., number of stress cycles surpassing 5 million. This study is part of a further detailed investigation on the fatigue behaviour of HR, CW and QST rebars in the very high cycle domain. It aims to investigate the fatigue performance of QST rebars axially tested at number of stress cycles in the range of 106–108. A preliminary study of the gripping method is followed by fatigue test results including nondestructive inspection of the rebar surface and fractographic analyses. The rebar surface is examined with liquid penetrant to reveal fatigue crack location and size in specific frequency interval monitored during the tests. Fractured surface analyses are performed by scanning electron microscopy to detect the location from where fatigue cracks initiate. Cross sectional area reduction resulting from fatigue crack propagation is also determined. Fractographic investigations are compared with the fractured surfaces of HR, CW and QST rebars from the literature.