An Abrupt Transition to an Intergranular Failure Mode in the Near-Threshold Fatigue Crack Growth Regime in Ni-Based Superalloys
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Cyclic near-threshold fatigue crack growth (FCG) behavior of two disk superalloys was evaluated and was shown to exhibit an unexpected sudden failure mode transition from a mostly transgranular failure mode at higher stress intensity factor ranges to an almost completely intergranular failure mode in the threshold regime. The change in failure modes was associated with a crossover of FCG resistance curves in which the conditions that produced higher FCG rates in the Paris regime resulted in lower FCG rates and increased ∆Kth values in the threshold region. High-resolution scanning and transmission electron microscopy were used to carefully characterize the crack tips at these near-threshold conditions. Formation of stable Al-oxide followed by Cr-oxide and Ti-oxides was found to occur at the crack tip prior to formation of unstable oxides. To contrast with the threshold failure mode regime, a quantitative assessment of the role that the intergranular failure mode has on cyclic FCG behavior in the Paris regime was also performed. It was demonstrated that even a very limited intergranular failure content dominates the FCG response under mixed mode failure conditions.
This work supports the objectives and goals of NASA’s Advanced Air Transportation Technology Project funded by the Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate.
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