Research in Engineering and Aviation

Subsurface crack initiation and propagation mechanisms in gigacycle fatigue

October 2010

Author(s): Huang, Z., Wagner, D., Bathias, C., Paris, P.C.

Journal: Acta Materialia, Volume 58, Issue 18, October 2010, pp. 6046-6054, ISSN 1359-6454, DOI: 10.1016/j.actamat.2010.07.022


In the very high cycle regime (Nf > 107 cycles) cracks can nucleate on inclusions, “supergrains” and pores, which leads to fish-eye propagation around the defect. The initiation from an inclusion or other defect is almost equal to the total crack growth lifetime, perhaps much more than 99% of this lifetime in many cases. Integration of the Paris law allows one to predict the number of cycles to crack initiation. A cyclic plastic zone around the crack exists, and recording the surface temperature of the sample during the test may allow one to follow crack propagation and determine the number of cycles to crack initiation. A thermo-mechanical model has been developed. In this study several fish-eyes from various materials have been observed by scanning electron microscopy, and the fractographic results analyzed as they related to the mechanical and thermo-mechanical models.