The discovery of a fatigue phenomenon dates back to 1838 at which J. Albert, a German min-ing engineering, reported his work on the fracture of rope for mining use. However, "fa-tigue" is not out of date. Although many years have passed since the Albert's report, fatigue problems just arise on and on, and are carried over into the 21st century. Of course, in the 20th century, fatigue investigations have been carried actively and extensively, and a lot of new and original concepts on fatigue phenomena have also been proposed. So, we must have great stores of knowledge obtained by previous works. Still, it is expected that the pre-vention of fatigue failures remains one of key technologies even in the 21st century as long as new devices or structures as well as advanced materials with no similarity to conventional ones are developed and applied.
History and Activities
In the Society of Materials Science, Japan (JSMS), JSMS Committee on Fatigue of Materials consisting of only twenty-nine members was originally founded in 1953 for the study of fa-tigue problems. The Committee has the longest history among JSMS Committees, and has developed to the largest committee. Now, members more than two hundreds and fifty join the Committee, and are active in works to grapple with fatigue problems. Committee mem-bers engage in fatigue problems not only in universities and research institutes, but also in de-sign divisions of companies, to prevent accidents due to fatigue. Research activities of indi-vidual members can be searched in "Japanese Fatigue Bibliographic Database" which is now being expanded. It also appears in the English home page of JSMS.
The Committee Meeting is held five times per year to discuss current problems on fatigue of new materials as well as ordinary materials, from viewpoints of fundamental study and engi-neering application toward the development of fatigue design technology. "Fatigue Sympo-sium" is organized by the Committee every two years, in which recent achievements on fa-tigue studies in Japan are presented and discussed. The Committee also holds other events, such as "Fatigue Lecture Series" and "Sort Course of Fatigue Design for Beginners" to enlighten the importance of fatigue problems.
The Committee founds subcommittees in order to discuss specific themes intensively. Now, four subcommittees are working actively in investigations on "the variation of microstructure during fatigue process", "the strength problem in systems for reduction of en-ergy/environmental load", "the strength of surface-treated materials" and "the assessment technologies of fatigue damage using synchrotron radiation SPring-8".
Publications, Databases and Standards
The Committee has published "Fatigue Testing Handbook", "Fatigue of Metals", "Fatigue Design Handbook of Metallic Materials", "Current Research on Fatigue Cracks (CJMR Vol.1)", "Statistical Research on Fatigue and Fracture (CJMR Vol.2)", "Cyclic Fatigue in Ce-ramics (CJMR Vol.14)" and "Fatigue Design Handbook".
The Committee together with JSMS Committee on Reliability Engineering developed a data-book as well as fact database on fatigue strength. In 1996, "Databook on Fatigue Strength of Metallic Materials", which had been reorganized by editing previous publications of Vol.1 to Vol.5, was distributed worldwide as a joint enterprise by JSMS and Elsevier Science. In ad-dition, the Committee published "Ceramics Strength Database (Vol.1)", which collects strength data of typical engineering ceramics.
The Committee also participates in the establishment of society standards, and published the JSMS Standards "Residual Stress Measurement for Engineering Ceramics by Indentation Fracture Method" in 2001 and "Standard Evaluation Method of Fatigue Reliability for Metal-lic Materials - Standard Regression Method of S-N Curves" in 2002. The latter standard was edited in cooperation with JSMS Committee on Reliability Engineering.
Atsushi SUGETA (Professor, Hiroshima University)