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In engineering, manifestation of progressive fracture in a solid under cyclic loading, as in the case of a metal strip that ruptures after repeated bending back and forth (seemetal fatigue). Fatigue fracture begins with one or several cracks that spread in the course of repeated application of forces until complete rupture suddenly occurs when the small unaffected portion is too weak to sustain the load. See alsoductility, testing machine.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on fatigue, visit Britannica.com.