Corrosion Fatigue Crack Propagation Mechanism of High-Strength Steel Bar in Various Environments

Zhongzhao Guo, Yafei Ma, Lei Wang, Jianren Zhang, Issam E. Harik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations


This paper investigated the corrosion fatigue crack propagation mechanism of high-strength steel bar HRB400 in various corrosive environments. Fatigue crack growth (FCG) tests were conducted under different fatigue loading types, environments, and stress ratios. The fatigue loading type included the constant and stepwise decreasing load amplitude. The environments were air, distilled water, 3.5% NaCl solution, and an artificially accelerated corrosive environment. The stress ratio ranged from 0.1 to 0.7. The threshold stress-intensity factor range and FCG rate under various test conditions were obtained. The FCG path and fracture morphology were examined by optical microscopy and scanning electron microscopy, respectively. The threshold stress-intensity factor ranges, FCG rates, FCG paths, and fracture features under different conditions were compared. The corrosion fatigue mechanism of the steel bar under the test environments were quantitatively analyzed. The results showed that hydrogen embrittlement played a predominant role in the corrosion fatigue process of the HRB400 steel bar. The contribution of anodic dissolution to the FCG rate increased as the aggressiveness level increased. The contribution of hydrogen embrittlement to the FCG rate increased with the increase of stress ratio and stress-intensity factor range.

Original languageEnglish
Article number04020115
JournalJournal of Materials in Civil Engineering
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The work reported here was conducted with the financial support from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (51508036), the Natural Science Foundation for Excellent Young Scholars of Hunan Province (2019JJ30024), the Special Funds for the Construction of Innovative Provinces in Hunan (2019RS2035), the Training Program for Excellent Young Innovators of Changsha (kq1802012), the China Scholarship Council (201808430192), and the Key Disciplinary of Civil Engineering of Changsha University of Science and Technology (18ZDXK08). The support is gratefully acknowledged.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 American Society of Civil Engineers.


  • Anodic dissolution
  • Bridge engineering
  • Corrosion fatigue
  • Ferrite-pearlite
  • Hydrogen embrittlement
  • Steel bar

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Materials Science (all)
  • Mechanics of Materials


Dive into the research topics of 'Corrosion Fatigue Crack Propagation Mechanism of High-Strength Steel Bar in Various Environments'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this