The microstructural features of aluminum alloy 7050-T7451 in the vicinity of fatigue cracks and on the crack path were studied to determine which of these features influence fatigue crack propagation. The studies included characterization of the full spectrum of microstructural and fracture surface features— from the largest (e.g., roughness and grain type) to the smallest (e.g., second-phase particles and dislocations). Of all the features studied, only the second-phase particles were shown to have a definite influence by causing crack deflection. The number of particles encountered by the fatigue cracks were significantly higher than the expected average. The fatigue crack path was predominately transgranular, and there was no change in the dislocation and precipitation structures in the crack-affected zone.
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Luévano, A.J., Przystupa, M.A. & Zhang, J. Accumulation of microstructural damage due to fatigue of high-strength aluminum alloys. JMEP 3, 47–54 (1994). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02654498
- Aluminum alloys
- cracks: propagation