A Fatigue Model for Discontinuous Particulate-Reinforced Aluminum Alloy Composite: Influence of Microstructure
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In this paper, the use of a microstructure-sensitive fatigue model is put forth for the analysis of discontinuously reinforced aluminum alloy metal matrix composite. The fatigue model was used for a ceramic particle-reinforced aluminum alloy deformed under conditions of fully reversed strain control. Experimental results revealed the aluminum alloy to be strongly influenced by volume fraction of the particulate reinforcement phase under conditions of strain-controlled fatigue. The model safely characterizes the evolution of fatigue damage in this aluminum alloy composite into the distinct stages of crack initiation and crack growth culminating in failure. The model is able to capture the specific influence of particle volume fraction, particle size, and nearest neighbor distance in quantifying fatigue life. The model yields good results for correlation of the predicted results with the experimental test results on the fatigue behavior of the chosen aluminum alloy for two different percentages of the ceramic particle reinforcement. Further, the model illustrates that both particle size and volume fraction are key factors that govern fatigue lifetime. This conclusion is well supported by fractographic observations of the cyclically deformed and failed specimens.
Keywordsaluminum alloy 6061-T6 discontinuous reinforcement fatigue metal matrix composites microstructure modeling
The authors would like to acknowledge Lyan Garcia and Jeb Tingle for the encouragement of this study. A portion of this research was funded by the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center, Army Corp of Engineers, under Contract No. W912HZ-11-C-0040. Permission to publish was granted by the Director of the Geotechnical and Structures Laboratory.
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