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Chapter 5

Overview

Fatigue definition
A material subjected
to a repetitive or
fluctuating stress will
fail at a stress much
lower
than
that
required
to
cause
failure on a single
application of load.
Failures
occurring
under conditions of
dynamic loading are
called fatigue failures.

Fatigue Mechanisms - two steps;


Crack Initiation and
Crack Propagation

Characterisation of Fatigue
There are three commonly
recognized forms of fatigue:
High cycle fatigue (HCF),
Low cycle fatigue (LCF),
Thermal mechanical
fatigue (TMF)

Fatigue strength is
determined by running
multiple specimen tests at a
number of different
stresses.
The objective is to identify
the highest stress that will
produce a fatigue life
beyond ten million cycles.
This stress is also known as the material's endurance limit or fatigue limit.
Gas turbines are designed so that the stresses in engine components do not
exceed this value including an additional safety factor.

Fatigue Crack Growth LEFM approach


What are the important parameters to characterize a
given cyclic loading history?
Mean stress
1
m = ( max + min )
2
Stress range
= max min

Stress amplitude
1
a = ( max min )
2
Stress Ratio
R=

min K min
=
max K max

K Range

K = K max K min

Fatigue Crack Growth LEFM approach


Frequency, f in units Hz. For rotating machinery at 3000 rpm, f
= 50 Hz. In general only influences fatigue crack growth if
there are environmental effects present, such as humidity or
elevated temperatures.
Waveform, is the stress history a sine wave, square wave or
some other waveform? As with frequency, generally only
influences fatigue crack growth if there are environmental effect.
Cyclic vs. Static Loading.
Key difference between static and cyclic loading:
Static Until applied K reaches Kc (30 MPam for example)
the crack will not grow.
Cyclic K applied can be well below Kc (3 MPam for
example). Over time the crack grows.
The design may be safe considering static loads, but
any cyclic loads must also be considered.

Fatigue Crack Growth LEFM approach


In 1961 the ideas of LEFM were applied to fatigue crack
growth by Paris, Gomez and Anderson .
For given cyclic loading, define K as Kmax Kmin which
can be found and the geometry of the crack body.
Say that the crack grows an amount a during N cycles.
Paris, Gomez and Anderson said that the rate of crack
growth depends on K in the following way:
a
da
m

= C (K )
N
dN

Thus plot of log (da/dN) vs. log (K) should be straight


line with a slope m.
The actual relationship between crack growth rate and
K is depicted on the following slide. There are three
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different regime of fatigue crack growth A, B and C.

Fatigue Crack Growth LEFM approach

FATIGUE CRACK GROWTH


REGIME
Terminology

A
B
Slow-growth rate Mid-growth rate
(near-threshold) (Paris regime)

C
High-growth rate

Microscopic mode

Stage I, single
shear

Stage II,
(striations)

Additional static
modes

Fracture surface
features

Faceted or
serrated

Planar with
ripples

Additional cleavage or
microvoid coalescene

Microstructural
effects

Large

Small

Large

Load ratio effects


Environmental
effects

Large
Large

Small
*

Large
Large

Stress state effects


Near-tip plasticity

rc < dg

Large
rc > dg

Large
rc >> dg
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* large influence on crack growth for certain combinations of environment, load ratio and frequency.
rc and dg refer to the cyclic plastic zone size and the grain size, respectively.

FATIGUE CRACK GROWTH - Regime A


Concept of the threshold stress intensity Kth:
When K is Kth,, where Kth is the threshold stress
intensity factor, the rate of crack growth is so slow that the crack
is often assumed to be dormant or growing at an undetectable
rate.
An operational definition for Kth often used is that if
the rate of crack growth is 10-8 mm/cycle or less the
conditions are assumed to be at or below Kth.
An important point is that these extremely slow crack
growth rates represent an average crack advance of less
than one atomic spacing percycle. How is this possible?
What actually occurs is that there are many cycles with
no crack advance, then the crack advances by 1 atomic
spacing in a single cycle, which is followed again by 10
many cycles with no crack advance.

FATIGUE CRACK GROWTH - Regime B


When we are in regime B (Paris regime) the following
calculation can be carried out to determine the number of
cycles to failure.
From Paris Law:
K can be expressed in terms of ;
da
m
= C (K )
dN

Where Y depends on the specific specimen geometry.


K = Y a

Thus the Paris Law becomes:

da
= C Y a
dN

Assume that Y is a constant. Solve for da and integrate


both sides:
a
N

ao

da
f
m m/2
m
= CY ( ) dN
m/2
0
a

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FATIGUE CRACK GROWTH - Regime B


CONT

For m > 2:
Nf =

(m 2)CY m ( )m m / 2

1
1

(m 2 )/ 2
(m 2 )/ 2
(
)
(
a
)
a
o

For m = 2:
Nf =

af
1
ln
2
CY 2 ( ) ao

The constant C and m are material parameters that must


be determined experimentally. Typically m is in the range
2 4 for metals and 4 100 for ceramics and polymers.
For cases where Y depends on crack length, these
integration generally will be performed numerically.
Important: Note that in the Paris regime the rate of
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crack growth is weakly sensitive to the load ratio R. The
key parameter governing crack growth is K.

FATIGUE CRACK GROWTH - Regime B


CONT

From those expressions, we need to determine the initial


crack length ao and the final crack length af (some times
called the critical crack length).
How do we determine the initial crack length ao?
Crack can be detected using a variety of techniques, ranging
from simple visual inspection to more sophisticated
techniques based on ultrasonics or x-rays. If no cracks are
detectable during inspection, we must assume that a crack
just at the resolution of our detection system exists.
How do we determine the final crack length af? We know
that eventually the crack can grow to a length at which the
material fails immediately, i.e.
K max K C

or
Y max a f K C

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FATIGUE CRACK GROWTH - Regime B


CONT

Thus we may solve af as follows:

af =

K C2

2
Y 2 max

A very important idea that comes from this analysis


is the following: even if a component has a
detectable crack, it need not to be removed from
service! Using this framework the remaining life
can be assessed. The component can remain in
service provided it is inspected periodically. This is
the crack-tolerant or damage tolerant design
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approach.

FATIGUE STRIATIONS
An advancing fatigue crack leaves
characteristic markings called
striations in its wake. These can
provide evidence that a given failure
was caused by fatigue.
The striations on the fracture surface
are produced as the crack advances
over one cycle, i.e. each striation
correspond to da.
Striations are close together
indicating low stress, many cycles.
Widely spaced striations mean high
stress few cycles.
Fatigue failure is brittle in nature,
even in normally ductile materials;
there is very little plastic deformation
associated with the failure.

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EXAMPLE 5.1
A wide thick plate, K1c = 40 ksi-in0.5, contains an
edge crack 0.1 inch long. The plate is subjected to
alternating stresses between 0 and 20 ksi. Data on
similar material under similar environmental
conditions exhibited Paris law with coefficients m =
4 and C = 7x 10-10 for K in ksi-in0.5. How many
cycles will the plate support before failure?
Solution
It is first necessary to determine the length of the
longest crack the plate can support without
failure. A suitable stress intensity factor is:
K1c = 1.12 max (ac)
40 = 1.12 (20) (ac)
ac = 1.02 inches

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Solution
For this case, Paris Law has the form

da/dN = C(K)m = C [1.12)(ac)]m


Substituting this materials Paris law parameters,
we obtain;

da/dN = 7 x 10-10 (1.12)4(20)42a2


Rearranging the forgoing equations yields
da/a2 = 7 x 10-10 (1.12)4(20)42dN
Thus
1.02

1
2
N=
(
a
da)
10
4
4
2
7 x10 (1.12) (20) 0.1

Integrate from ai = 0.1 inch to ac= 1.02 inch,


N 5185 cycles
ans
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EXAMPLE 5.2
A large aluminium alloy plate contains a
central crack of length 10 mm. The plate is
subjected to a constant amplitude tensile cyclic
loading from 6 MPa to 60 MPa. The Paris law
exponent is 3, and K at da/dN = 10-7 m/cycles
is 28 MPam. Assuming that Y is 1.02,
calculate how many loading cycles must be
applied for the crack to grow to 20 mm?

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Solution
First calculate C in Paris law
C = 10-7/283= 4.55 x 10-11,for crack in m/cycle
Obtain stress range, = 54 MPa
Substitute into the given expression:
2
Nf =
(m 2)CY m ( ) m m / 2

Nf =

1
1

( m2) / 2
( m2) / 2
(a f )
( ao )

2
4.55 x10 111.023 (54) 3 3 / 2

1
1

(0.005)1/ 2 (0.01)1/ 2

Thus Nf = 195 675 cycles


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