Proudhon, Henry, Moffat, A., Sinclair, Ian and Buffiere, Jean-Yves
Three-dimensional characterisation and modelling of small fatigue corner cracks in high strength Al-alloys
[in special issue: Use of large scale facilities for research in metallurgy ]
Comptes Rendus Physique, 13, (3), . (doi:10.1016/j.crhy.2011.12.005).
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The growth of fatigue cracks at small length scales is known to be influenced by a variety of factors, including local microstructure, varying stress states and crack shape. High resolution computed tomography allows for sub-micron resolution imaging of failure processes in small test coupons undergoing in situ cyclic loading, providing detailed three-dimensional (3D) assessment of propagation processes across the entire crack front (surface and depth). In this work fatigue crack growth has been examined in an advanced Direct Chill (DC) cast aluminium alloy, along with a fine grained powder-metallurgy alloy. The latter is identified as a model material, offering considerably simpler microscopic crack paths than the DC cast alloy, and hence a means of separating bulk mechanical effects (such as stress state variations across a crack front and plasticity induced closure) from microstructural effects (such as crystallographic deflection and roughness induced crack closure). Crack growth has been studied in both materials under both constant amplitude (CA) and single peak overload (OL) conditions. Experimental results are presented in the present paper, particularly in relation to micromechanical understanding of failure. A modelling approach based on those results, and some typical results, is also presented.
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