Fatigue crack initiation in nickel-based superalloys studied by microstructure-based FE modeling and scanning electron microscopy
1 MTU Aero Engines AG, 80995 Munich, Germany
2 Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Institute of General Material Properties WW1, 91058 Erlangen, Germany
3 Zentralinstitut für Neue Materialien und Prozesstechnik ZMP, 90762 Fürth, Germany
4 Now at University of Applied Sciences Augsburg, Faculty of Electrical Engineering, 86161 Augsburg, Germany
a Corresponding author: email@example.com
In this work stage I crack initiation in polycrystalline nickel-based superalloys is investigated by analyzing anisotropic mechanical properties, local stress concentrations and plastic deformation on the microstructural length scale. The grain structure in the gauge section of fatigue specimens was characterized by EBSD. Based on the measured data, a microstructure-based FE model could be established to simulate the strain and stress distribution in the specimens during the first loading cycle of a fatigue test. The results were in fairly good agreement with experimentally measured local strains. Furthermore, the onset of plastic deformation was predicted by identifying shear stress maxima in the microstructure, presumably leading to activation of slip systems. Measurement of plastic deformation and observation of slip traces in the respective regions of the microstructure confirmed the predicted slip activity. The close relation between micro-plasticity, formation of slip traces and stage I crack initiation was demonstrated by SEM surface analyses of fatigued specimens and an in-situ fatigue test in a large chamber SEM.
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