Thermal mechanical fatigue (TMF) is caused by combined thermal and mechanical loading where both the stresses and temperatures vary with time. This type of loading can be more damaging by more than an order of magnitude compared with isothermal fatigue at the maximum operating temperature. Material properties, mechanical strain range, strain rate, temperature, and the phasing between temperature and mechanical strain all play a role in the type of damage formed in the material. These types of loadings are most frequently found in start-up and shut-down cycles of high temperature components and equipment. Typically, design lives are a few thousand cycles and involve significant plastic strains.
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