Abstract The aim of this study was to estimate the ΔKth crack arrest stress intensity factor related to the crack arrest condition of a material subjected to partial slip fretting loadings, by coupled experimental and numerical simulation. The study focuses on a plane (Al-alloy)/cylinder (TA6V) interface. Fretting tests were performed for each configuration to obtain the crack length as a function of the number of fretting cycles, in order to establish the crack length related to crack arrest condition. Using a reverse FEM analysis of crack arrest fretting experiments, the thresholds ΔKth(fr) are extracted. Two 2196-T8 and 2196-UA aluminium alloys were compared, while the short crack arrest versus the crack length evolutions were formalized using a Kitagawa Takahashi formalism.