Effects of loading frequency on fatigue crack growth mechanisms in α/β Ti microstructure with large colony size

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This paper deals with crack tip/microstructure interactions at 520 °C in lamellar Ti-6Al-2Sn-4Zr-2Mo-0.1Si (Ti6242) alloy under different fatigue loading frequencies. A series of heat treatments were performed in order to produce large colony microstructures that vary in their lamellar and colony size. Fatigue crack growth (FCG) experiments were conducted on these microstructures at loading frequencies of 10 and 0.05 Hz. The lower frequency was explored with and without imposing a 5 min hold-time at the peak stress level during each loading cycle. Results show that the crack growth behavior is sensitive to the loading frequency. For the same microstructure, the crack growth rate is found to be lower at 10 than at 0.05 Hz. The addition of a hold-time, however, did not alter the FCG rate indicating that creep strain during one loading cycle does not contribute significantly in the crack growth process. It is also shown that variations in lamella and colony size have no effects on the FCG rate except for the early stage of crack propagation. Scanning Electron Microscope examinations are performed on the fracture surface in order to identify the relevant crack growth mechanisms with respect to the loading frequency and the microstructure details. Quasi-cleavage of the α/β colonies along strong planar shear bands is shown to be a major mode of failure under all test condition. At a loading frequency of 10 Hz, the crack path proceeds arbitrary along planes either perpendicular or parallel to the long axis of α lamellae, while at 0.05 Hz, parallel-to-lamellae crack paths become favored. Corresponding differences of crack growth behavior are examined in terms of slip emission at the crack tip and interactions with the microstructure details. © 2003 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.

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Materials Science and Engineering A