Fatigue crack growth of SM-1240/TIMETAL-21S metal matrix composites at elevated temperatures

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A series of high-temperature fatigue crack growth experiments was conducted on a continuous-fiberreinforced SM1240/TIMETAL-21S composite using three different temperatures, room temperature (24 °C), 500 °C, and 650 °C, and three loading frequencies, 10, 0.1, and 0.02 Hz. In all the tests, the cracking process concentrated along a single mode I crack for which the principal damage mechanism was crack bridging and fiber/matrix debonding. The matrix transgranular fracture mode was not significantly influenced by temperature or loading frequency. The fiber debonding length in the crack bridging region was estimated based on the knowledge of the fiber pullout lengths measured along the fracture surfaces of the test specimens. The average pullout length was correlated with both temperature and loading frequency. Furthermore, the increase in the temperature was found to lead to a decrease in the crack growth rate. The mechanism responsible for this behavior is discussed in relation to the interaction of a number of temperature-dependent factors acting along the bridged fiber/matrix debonded zone. These factors include the frictional stress, the radial stress, and the debonding length of the fiber/matrix interface. In addition, the crack growth speed was found to depend proportionally on the loading frequency. This relationship, particularly at low frequencies, is interpreted in terms of the development of a crack tip closure induced by the relaxation of the compressive residual stresses developed in the matrix phase in regions ahead of the crack tip during the time-dependent loading process. © 1995 The Minerals, Metals & Material Society.

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Metallurgical and Materials Transactions A