Definition - What does Material Fatigue mean?
Material fatigue refers to a progressive degradation of a material due to cyclic fluctuations in stress, strain, pressure or other physical forces on its surface.
Materials distort when subjected to applied forces such as stress, strain and torque. As such, the repetition of such fluctuations ultimately cause wear and tear. These objects will experience moderate to severe cracking due to the differential forces. A collection of cracks on the object's surface can propagate structural failure if immediate remediation efforts are not implemented.
Corrosionpedia explains Material Fatigue
Structures fail when subjected to a cyclic load due to an experienced stress range below the static material strength. Material fatigue is the greatest single source of mechanical structural failures.
Material fatigue is also a causative factor for the stress corrosion cracking that occurs in some metals and their alloys.
Test procedures and practices are used to inspect for material fatigue. Magnetic particle testing (MPT), liquid penetrant testing (LPT) and surface wave ultrasonic testing (SWUT) are the three primary test processes used to examine material fatigue.