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Fatigue Flaw NDE Reference Standard Development - Phase I Feasibility Study



Mark D. Richards, Joseph D. McColskey, Dash Weeks


A feasibility study was performed to evaluate a novel method of accurately fatigue cracking steel plates to generate fatigue proposed fatigue crack reference standards. Fatigue cracks were introduced into low carbon steel reference plates in which the actual size of the fatigue crack was accurately predicted by the fatigue crack introduction technique. The plates were evaluated by industrial collaborators through flaw sizing of the fatigue cracks using various non-destructive evaluation (NDE) techniques. The feasibility study included a small round robin analysis that included NDE sensor manufacturers and users, which demonstrated that the fatigue cracks in the reference plates could be located and sized. However, the NDT sizing of the fatigue cracks in the round robin demonstrated significant scatter in the data, and the crack depth and surface breaking length values (a × 2c) were both over and under-predicted as compared to the measured values from the reference plates. The NDE community acknowledges a genuine need for a fatigue crack reference standard by which NDE sensors and technologies can be calibrated and verified for the accurate sizing of fatigue flaws in structural components.
NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR) - 7902
Report Number


Non-destructive evaluation, NDE, fatigue crack, reference standard, artifact, phased array ultrasonic, sizing


Richards, M. , McColskey, J. and Weeks, D. (2012), Fatigue Flaw NDE Reference Standard Development - Phase I Feasibility Study, NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online], (Accessed May 20, 2024)


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Created October 31, 2012, Updated October 12, 2021