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Title:The microstructural evolution of fatigue cracks in FCC metals
Author(s):Gross, David William
Director of Research:Robertson, Ian M
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Robertson, Ian M
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Stubbins, James F; Bellon, Pascal; Dillon, Shen J
Department / Program:Materials Science & Engineerng
Discipline:Materials Science & Engr
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM)
Fatigue Crack Propagation
Focused Ion Beam (FIB)
Abstract:The microstructural evolution during fatigue crack propagation was investigated in a variety of planar and wavy slip FCC metals. The planar materials included Haynes 230, Nitronic 40, and 316 stainless steel, and the wavy materials included pure nickel and pure copper. Three different sets of experiments were performed to fully characterize the microstructural evolution. The first, performed on Haynes 230, mapped the strain field ahead a crack tip using digital image correlation and electron backscatter diffraction techniques. Focused ion beam (FIB) lift-out techniques were then utilized to extract transmission electron microscopy (TEM) samples at specific distances from the crack tip. TEM investigations compared the measured strain to the microstructure. Overall, the strain measured via DIC and EBSD was only weakly correlated to the density of planar slip bands in the microstructure. The second set of experiments concerned the dislocation structure around crack tips. This set of experiments was performed on all the materials. The microstructure at arrested fatigue cracks on the free surface was compared to the microstructure found beneath striations on the fracture surfaces by utilizing FIB micromachining to create site-specific TEM samples. The evolved microstructure depended on the slip type. Strong agreement was found between the crack tip microstructure at the free surface and the fracture surface. In the planar materials, the microstructure in the plastic zone consisted of bands of dislocations or deformation twins, before transitioning to a refined sub-grain microstructure near the crack flank. The sub-grain structure extended 300-500 nm away from the crack flank in all the planar slip materials studied. In contrast, the bulk structure in the wavy slip material consisted of dislocation cells and did not transition to a different microstructure as the crack tip was approached. The strain in wavy slip was highest near the crack tip, as the misorientations between the dislocation cells increased and the cell size decreased as the crack flank was approached. The final set of experiments involved reloading the arrested crack tips in monotonic tension. This was performed on both the Haynes 230 and 316 stainless steel. This technique exposed the fracture surface and location of the arrested crack tip away from the free surface, allowing for a sample to be extracted via FIB micromachining and TEM evaluation of the microstructure. This permitted the crack tip microstructure to be investigated without exposing the microstructure to crack closure or free surface effects. These experiments confirmed what was inferred from the earlier experiments, namely that the banded structure was a product of the crack tip plastic zone and the refined structure was a product of the strain associated with crack advance. Overall the microstructural complexity presented in this work was much higher than would be predicted by current models of fatigue crack propagation. It is recommended that future models attempt to simulate interactions between the dislocations emitted during fatigue crack growth and the pre-existing microstructure to more accurately simulate the processes occurring at the crack tip during crack growth.
Issue Date:2016-09-14
Rights Information:Copyright 2016 David Gross
Date Available in IDEALS:2017-03-01
Date Deposited:2016-12

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