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Fatigue, fracture and failure

analysis
Lecture 1
Jan, 2013
T. Umasankar Patro
Course structure
Stress cycles, Interpretation of Fatigue Data. Endurance Limit,
Effect of Mean Stress on Fatigue, Cyclic Stress-Strain Curve, Low
Cycle Fatigue, Plastic Strain & Fatigue Life, Effect of Structural
Features, Fatigue Crack Propagation, Stress Concentration &
Fatigue, Size & Surface Effect, Effect of Metallurgical Variables &
Enhancement of Fatigue Life

Classification of Fracture, Theoretical Strength of Metals,
Griffith Theory of Brittle Fracture, Metallographic features of
Fracture, Fractography, Dislocation Theory of Brittle Fracture,
Effect of Tri-axial Stress, Strain Energy Release Rate, Stress
Intensity Factor, Fracture Toughness & Design, K
IC
, CTOD, J-
Integral, R-Curve, Toughness of Metals & Alloys.
References
Mechanical Metallurgy, McGrawHill, G.E.
Dieter, 3rd Ed.
Deformation and fracture mechanics of
engineering materials, John Wiley & Sons,
Richard W. Hertzberg, 4
th
Ed.
Strength of materials, McGraw Hill, F. R.
Shanley
The objective of this course is to understand
various phenomena of fatigue, fracture and
failure mechanisms and how these
phenomena depend on microstructure.

Objective
Fatigue failures
bicycle crank spider arm
Material; AISI/SAE 4140 low
allow carbon steel
Fracture surface of a failed bolt. The fracture
surface exhibited beach marks, which is
characteristic of a fatigue failure.

928 Porsche timing pulley
Crack started at the fillet

Gear tooth failure
Crank shaft
Hawaii, Aloha Flight 243, a Boeing 737, an upper part of the plane's cabin area
rips off in mid-flight. Metal fatigue was the cause of the failure.
Fatigue
Fatigue is the name given to failure in response to
alternating loads.
Instead of measuring the resistance to fatigue
failure through an upper limit of strain (as in
ductility), the typical measure of fatigue
resistance is expressed in terms of number of
cycles to failure.
For a given number of cycles (required in an
application), the stress (that can be safely
endured by the material) is specified.
Fatigue: general characteristics
Primary design criterion in rotating parts.
Fatigue as a name for the phenomenon based on
the notion of a material becoming tired, i.e.
failing at less than its nominal strength.
Cyclical strain (stress) leads to fatigue failure.
Occurs in metals and polymers but rarely in
ceramics.
Also an issue for static parts, e.g. bridges.
Cyclic loading stress limit < static stress capability.
Fatigue: general characteristics
Most applications of structural materials involve cyclic
loading; any net tensile stress leads to fatigue.
Fatigue failure surfaces have three characteristic
features:
A (near-)surface defect as the origin of the crack
Striations corresponding to slow, intermittent crack growth
Dull, fibrous brittle fracture surface (rapid growth).
Life of structural components generally limited by cyclic
loading, not static strength.
Most environmental factors shorten life.
S-N Curves
S-N [stress-number of cycles to failure] curve defines locus
of cycles-to-failure for given cyclic stress.
Rotating-beam fatigue test is standard; also alternating
tension-compression.
Plot stress versus the
log(number of cycles
to failure), log(N
f
).

For frequencies < 200Hz,
metals are insensitive to
frequency; fatigue life in
polymers is frequency
dependent.
Fatigue testing, S-N curve
[Dieter]
Note the presence of a
fatigue limit in many
steels and its absence
in aluminum, magnesium and
copper alloys.
The greater the number of
cycles in the loading history,
the smaller the stress that
the material can withstand
without failure.
log N
f

o
a

o
mean 1

o
mean 2

o
mean 3

o
mean 3
> o
mean 2
> o
mean 1

For high-cycle region, S-N curve is
described by the Basquin equation
C N
p
a
= o

a
= stress amplitude
p and C are constants
Statistical nature of fatigue
Fatigue life and limit are statistical
quantities.
Probability of a specimen attaining
a certain life at a given stress or the
probability of failure at a given stress
in the vicinity of the fatigue limit.

Relationship between stress,
number of cycles to failure and
probability of failure

Large no. of samples are tested
(~1000)

Muller-stock found that 200 steel
specimens, when tested, followed a
Gaussian or normal distribution of
fatigue life (expressed as log N) at a
single stress.

10 S-N curves for steel specimens,
each based on 10 specimens
The fatigue limit of steel was
thought to be a sharp threshold
value, but its not!

In a heat treated alloy forging steel
the stress range is found to be from
280 MPa to 360 MPa for 95%
specimens within the fatigue limit.

Inclusions in steel effects the
fatigue limit but even vacuum
melted steel also shows variability in
fatigue limit.

Effect of mean stress on fatigue
A
l
t
e
r
n
a
t
i
n
g

s
t
r
e
s
s
,

a

M
a
x
i
m
u
m

s
t
r
e
s
s
,

m
a
x

For completely reversed cycles of stress,
m
= 0
There are several methods of determining S-N
curve, when
m
= 0.

In the figures, two most common methods of
presenting S-N data are given.
R =
min
/
max
As R becomes more +ve, the measured fatigue limit
becomes greater.
As the mean stress becomes more +ve, the
allowable
a
decreases
Other ways of plotting these data:
max stress vs. cycles to failure at const mean stress
max stress vs. cycles to failure at const min stress
Endurance Limits
Some materials exhibit endurance limits, i.e. a stress
below which the life is infinite:
Steels typically show an endurance limit, = 40% of yield; this is
typically associated with the presence of a solute (carbon,
nitrogen) that pines dislocations and prevents dislocation
motion at small displacements or strains (which is apparent in
an upper yield point).
Aluminum alloys do not show endurance limits; this is related to
the absence of dislocation-pinning solutes.
At large N
f
, the lifetime is dominated by
nucleation.
Therefore strengthening the surface is beneficial to
delay crack nucleation and extend life.
Fatigue fracture
surface
[Hertzberg]
Fatigue crack stages
Stage 1
Stage 2
[Dieter]
Fatigue Crack Propagation
Crack Nucleation stress intensification at crack
tip.
Stress intensity crack propagation (growth);
- stage I growth on shear planes (45),
strong influence of microstructure
- stage II growth normal to tensile load (90)
weak influence of microstructure
Crack propagation catastrophic, or ductile
failure at crack length dependent on boundary
conditions, fracture toughness.
Fatigue Crack Nucleation
Flaws, cracks, voids can all act as crack
nucleation sites, especially at the surface.
Therefore, smooth surfaces increase the time
to nucleation; notches, stress risers decrease
fatigue life.
Dislocation activity (slip) can also nucleate
fatigue cracks.
For each mean stress, there is a
different value of limiting stress,

max
-
min

The dependence of limiting range of
stress on mean stress are called
Goodman diagrams
As the mean stress becomes
more tensile the allowable range
of stress is reduced.
At u the stress range is zero.
the test data lie somewhat
above and below the
max
and

min
lines
Mean Stress
Alternating stress oa = (omax-omin)/2.
Raising the mean stress (om) decreases Nf.
Various relations between R = 0 limit and the
ultimate (or yield) stress are known as
Soderberg (linear to yield stress), Goodman
(linear to ultimate) and Gerber (parabolic to
ultimate).
o
a

o
mean

tensile strength
endurance limit at zero mean stress
o
a
= o
fat
1
o
mean
tensile strength
|
\


|
.
|
|
Slip steps
and the
stress-strain
loop
Design Philosophy: Damage Tolerant
Design
S-N (stress-cycles) curves = basic characterization.
Old Design Philosophy = Infinite Life design:
accept empirical information about fatigue life (S-
N curves); apply a (large!) safety factor; retire
components or assemblies at the pre-set life
limit, e.g. N
f
=10
7
.
Crack Growth Rate characterization ->
Modern Design Philosophy = Damage Tolerant
design: accept presence of cracks in components.
Determine life based on prediction of crack
growth rate.
Cyclic strain vs. cyclic stress
Cyclic strain control complements cyclic stress
characterization: applicable to thermal fatigue, or
fixed displacement conditions.
Cyclic stress-strain testing defined by a controlled
strain range, c
pl
.
Soft, annealed metals tend to harden; strengthened
metals tend to soften.
Thus, many materials tend towards a fixed cycle, i.e.
constant stress, strain amplitudes.
Cyclic stress-strain curve
Large number of cycles typically needed to reach
asymptotic hysteresis loop (~100).
Softening or hardening possible. [fig. 12.26]
Cyclic stress-strain
Wavy-slip materials
generally reach asymptote in
cyclic stress-strain: planar
slip materials (e.g. brass)
exhibit history dependence.
Cyclic stress-strain curve
defined by the extrema, i.e.
the tips of the hysteresis
loops. [Courtney fig. 12.27]
Cyclic stress-strain curves
tend to lie below those for
monotonic tensile tests.
Polymers tend to soften in
cyclic straining.
Cyclic Strain Control
Strain is a more logical independent variable for
characterization of fatigue.
Define an elastic strain range as c
el
= o/E.
Define a plastic strain range, c
pl
.
Typically observe a change in slope between the
elastic and plastic regimes. [fig. 12.12]
Low cycle fatigue (small N
f
) dominated by plastic
strain: high cycle fatigue (large N
f
) dominated by
elastic strain.
Strain control
of fatigue
Cyclic Strain control: low cycle
Constitutive relation
for cyclic stress-strain:
n 0.1-0.2
Fatigue life: Coffin Manson relation:


c
f
~ true fracture strain; close to tensile
ductility
c -0.5 to -0.7
c = -1/(1+5n); large n longer life.
Cyclic Strain control: high cycle
For elastic-dominated strains
at high cycles, adapt
Basquins equation:
Intercept on strain axis of extrapolated elastic
line = o
f
/E.
High cycle = elastic strain control:
slope (in elastic regime) = b = -n/(1+5n)
The high cycle fatigue strength, o
f
, scales with
the yield stress high strength good in high-
cycle
o
a
= E
Ac
e
2
= ' o
f
2N ( )
b
Strain amplitude cycles
Total strain (plastic+elastic) life
Low cycle = plastic control: slope = c
Add the elastic and plastic strains.



Cross-over between elastic and plastic control is
typically at N
f
= 10
3
cycles.
Ductility useful for low-cycle; strength for high cycle
Examples of Maraging steel for high cycle endurance,
annealed 4340 for low cycle fatigue strength.
A
2
=
Ac
el
2
+
Ac
pl
2
=
' o
f
E
2N
f
b
+ ' c
f
2N
f
c