A series of sonic IR tests were performed on modified eccentrically-loaded single edge
tension [ESE(T)] specimens in which crack lengths were nominally identical, but the
precracking load history used to develop the sharp cracks used in the tests was varied from
specimen to specimen. A measure for crack engagement length, defined as the length of
crack that develops heat during sonic IR inspection was established for these tests. The
result suggest that, in a certain regime, crack engagement length correlates with fatigue
opening load, which is the stress intensity factor at which the crack front is fully open during
the fatigue precracking. The implication of this is that laboratory test results for sonic IR
should be performed with test specimens that have undergone careful precracking
procedures, and that these procedures should be reported with test results.
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