The phenomenon of a material failing at a smaller load than that required to cause short-term failure, after a period of constant loading by the smaller load; the load necessary to produce static fatigue decreases with increasing time under load. In brittle materials, static fatigue is due to the slow growth of sub-critical cracks to a length at which they will propagate catastrophically; in ductile and/or viscoelastic materials it is due to the progress of plastic or viscoelastic deformation ie creep to the point where catastrophic yielding can occur. Also creep rupture, esp in relation to polymeric materials. Assisted by environmental stress cracking,

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