The corrosion fatigue crack propagation behaviour of a high strength low alloy steel, N-A-XTRA 70, in a synthetic sea water solution was tested using S. E. N. specimens subjected to a loading frequency of 0.1 Hz and a load ratio of 0.6. In order to simulate the conditions encountered by a thumbnail type crack several specimens from each of the microstructural types tested, namely parent plate, heat affected zone and heat treated material, had their crack sides covered by transparent plastic covers. Severe overprotection and slight underprotection conditions were produced using cathodic protection potentials of -1400, -1300, -1200 and -700 mV (S. C. E. ). The Paris relationship da/dN = CLKm was found to be a useful tool in describing the crack propagation rate data. Results obtained, presented in the form of plots of log da/dN against log AK, show that for parent plate, H. A. Z. and heat treated material, covering the crack sides of specimens produces enhanced corrosion fatigue crack propagation rates, at cathodic protection potentials of -1400 and -1300 mV (S. C. E. ), when compared to non covered specimens. This trend was also true for H. A. Z. specimens at a potential of -700 mV (S. C. E. ). For parent plate specimens, however, covering the crack sides at a potential of -700 mV (S. C. E. ) produced reduced crack propagation rates over non covered specimens. It is believed restriced oxygen access may account for these results. Plots of the Paris exponent m and constant C for the three microstructures tested produced three lines of the form m= alnC +b where a and b were found to be dependent upon material parameters. Comparison of results with BS 4360: 50D revealed that N-A-XTRA 70 exhibited superior fatigue performance when tested in air but behaved worse under conditions of free corrosion
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