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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.

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.

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

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.

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

line with a slope m.

The actual relationship between crack growth rate and

K is depicted on the following slide. There are three

7

different regime of fatigue crack growth A, B and C.

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

Environmental

effects

Large

Large

Small

*

Large

Large

Near-tip plasticity

rc < dg

Large

rc > dg

Large

rc >> dg

9

* 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.

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.

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

K = Y a

da

= C Y a

dN

both sides:

a

N

ao

da

f

m m/2

m

= CY ( ) dN

m/2

0

a

11

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

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

12

crack growth is weakly sensitive to the load ratio R. The

key parameter governing crack growth is K.

CONT

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

13

CONT

af =

K C2

2

Y 2 max

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

14

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.

15

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

16

Solution

For this case, Paris Law has the form

Substituting this materials Paris law parameters,

we obtain;

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

N 5185 cycles

ans

17

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?

18

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

19

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