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The structural weakening, and eventual failure, of a material due to repeated stress. Fatigue may start as a microscopic crack that spreads until the material is too weak to carry the load. Fatigue life and fatigue strength are measurements of the time and load that a material can handle in repeated tension-compression cycles.

Synonyms and Related Terms

Ermüdung (Deut.); fatigue (Fr.); fadiga (Port.); fatigue life; materials fatigue; fatigue failure;

Resources and Citations

  • G.S.Brady, Materials Handbook, McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York, 1971
  • Theodore J. Reinhart, 'Glossary of Terms', Engineered Plastics, ASM International, 1988
  • Richard S. Lewis, Hawley's Condensed Chemical Dictionary, Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 10th ed., 1993
  • Hoechst Celanese Corporation, Dictionary of Fiber & Textile Technology (older version called Man-made Fiber and Textile Dictionary, 1965), Hoechst Celanese Corporation, Charlotte NC, 1990
  • Dictionary of Building Preservation, Ward Bucher, ed., John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York City, 1996
  • The American Heritage Dictionary or Encarta, via Microsoft Bookshelf 98, Microsoft Corp., 1998