Yang, N. and Sinclair, I.
Fatigue crack growth in a particulate TiB2 reinforced powder metallurgy iron-based composite.
Metallurgical and Materials Transactions A, 34, (9), .
Fatigue crack growth behavior has been examined in a particulate titanium diboride (TiB2)–reinforced iron-based composite that had been produced via a mechanical alloying process. Comparison with equivalent unreinforced material indicated that fatigue crack growth resistance in the composite was superior to monolithic matrix material in the near-threshold regime. The composite exhibited relatively low crack closure levels at threshold, indicative of a high intrinsic (effective) threshold growth resistance compared to the unreinforced iron. The lower closure levels of the composite were consistent with reduced fracture surface asperity sizes, attributable to the reinforcement particles limiting the effective slip distance for stage I–type facet formation. The observed shielding behavior was rationalized in terms of recent finite-element analysis of crack closure in relation to the size of crack wake asperities and the crack-tip plastic zone. The different intrinsic fatigue thresholds of the composite and unreinforced iron were closely consistent with the influences of stiffness and yield strength on cyclic crack-tip opening displacements. Cracks in the composite were generally seen to avoid direct crack-tip–particle interaction.
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