This paper is concerned with using a magnetic technique for the evaluation of fatigue damage in steel structural components. It is shown that Barkhausen effect measurements can be used to indicate impending failure due to fatigue under certain conditions. The Barkhausen signal amplitude is known to be highly sensitive to changes in density and distribution of dislocations in materials. The sensitivity of Barkhausen signal amplitude to fatigue damage has been studied in the low‐cycle fatigue regime using smooth tensile specimens of a medium strength steel. The Barkhausen measurements were taken at depths of penetration of 0.02, 0.07, and 0.2 mm. It was found that changes in magnetic properties are sensitive to microstructural changes taking place at the surface of the material throughout the fatigue life. The changes in the Barkhausen signals have been attributed to distribution of dislocations in stage I and stage II of fatigue life and the formation of a macrocrack in the final stage of fatigue.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/david_jiles/125/