Metals and Materials International

, Volume 24, Issue 5, pp 970–980 | Cite as

Effect of Hierarchical Microstructures of Lath Martensite on the Transitional Behavior of Fatigue Crack Growth Rate

  • Ming Yang
  • Yi Zhong
  • Yi-long Liang


In this study, the fatigue-crack growth (FCG) behavior of 20CrMTiH steel with different substructure sizes was investigated. The results showed that coarsen microstructures exhibit excellent growth resistance. Moreover, two transitional behaviors were observed in the FCG curves of all specimens. The first transition point occurs in the near-threshold regime, whereas the second transition point occurs in the Paris regime. A comparison of substructure size to cyclic plastic size showed that the block size is almost equal to cyclic plastic size at ∆KT1, indicating that block size is an effective grain size to control the first transitional behavior of fatigue-crack propagation, whereas the second transitional behavior is related to the packet width or grain size. According to the fracture morphology, the fracture mechanism above and below the transition point responsible for the above phenomenon were distinguished. In addition, two prediction models based on microstructure size were established for lath martensite to evaluate the threshold and stress intensity factor range at the transition point.


Fatigue Crack growth Lath martensite Microstructure Transitional behavior 



The research documented in this work was financially supported by the Joint Foundation of Guizhou province, China (Grant No. [2017] 7244 and [2017]5788), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 51461006), and the Natural Science Foundation of Guizhou province, China (Grant No. [2014] 2003).


  1. 1.
    Y.N. Du, M.L. Zhu, F.Z. Xuan, Transitional behavior of fatigue crack growth in welded joint of 25Cr2Ni2MoV steel. Eng. Fract. Mech. 144, 1–15 (2015)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    S. Suresh, Fatigue of Materials, 2nd edn. (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1998)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    M.L. Zhu, F.Z. Xuan, G.Z. Wang, Effect of microstructure on fatigue crack propagation behavior in a steam turbine rotor steel. Mater. Sci. Eng., A 515(1), 85–92 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    H.W. Liu, D. Liu, Near threshold fatigue crack growth behavior. ScriptaMetallurgica 16(5), 595–600 (1982)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    F. Iacoviello, Microstructure influence on fatigue crack propagation in sintered stainless steels. Int. J. Fatigue 27(2), 155–163 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    J. Zheng, B.E. Powell, A method to determine the transition point of fatigue crack growth rate from near-ΔKth to paris regions. J. Test. Eval. 27(4), 2 (1999)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    M.R. James, W.L. Morris, A.K. Zurek, On the transition from near-threshold to intermediate growth rates in fatigue. Fatigue Fract. Eng. Mater. Struct. 6, 293–305 (1983)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    X.H. Shi, W.D. Zeng, C.L. Shi et al., The effects of colony microstructure on the fatigue crack growth behavior for Ti–6A1–2Zr–2Sn–3Mo–1Cr–2Nb titanium alloy. Mater. Sci. Eng., A 621, 252–258 (2015)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    M. RadhakrishnanV, A kink in the fatigue crack growth curve. Int. J. Fatigue 6(4), 217–220 (1984)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    G.R. Yoder, L.A. Cooley, T.W. Crooker, On microstructural control of near-threshold fatigue crack growth in 7000-series aluminum alloys. ScriptaMetallurgica 16(9), 1021–1025 (1982)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    K.S. Ravichandran, Near threshold fatigue crack growth behavior of a titanium alloy: Ti–6A1–4V. Acta Metall. Mater. 39(3), 401–410 (1991)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    D. Lal, A mechanistic model for the effect of stress ratio on the LEFM fatigue crack growth behavior of metals and alloys-II. Crack-brittle materials. Eng Fract. Mech. 49, 899–931 (1994)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    D.A. Lal, Detailed physical analysis of the R-effect on LEFM fatigue crack growth-I. On the combined roles of critical zones, LEFM parameters and stress ratio. Eng. Fract. Mech. 55, 115–132 (1996)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    A. Lost, The effect of load ratio on the m and C relationship. Int. J. Fatigue 13, 25–33 (1991)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    D. Hu, J. Mao, J. Song et al., Experimental investigation of grain size effect on fatigue crack growth rate in turbine disc superalloy GH4169 under different temperatures. Mater. Sci. Eng., A 669, 318–331 (2016)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    M. Yingjie, J. Liu, J. Lei et al., The turning point in Paris region of fatigue crack growth rate in titanium alloy. Acta Metall. Sin. 44(8), 973–978 (2008)Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    R.J.H. Wanhill, R. Galatolo, C.E.W. Looije, Fractographic and microstructural analysis of fatigue crack growth in a Ti-6Al-4V fan disc forging. Int. J. Fatigue 11(6), 407–416 (1989)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    D.H. Jeong, S.G. Lee, W.K. Jang et al., Cryogenic S-N fatigue and fatigue crack propagation behaviors of high; Manganese austenitic steels. Metall. Mater. Trans. A 44(10), 4601–4612 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    C.R. Aita, J. Weertman, The effect of microstructure on fatigue crack propagation in iron-carbon alloys. Metall. Trans. A 10(5), 535–544 (1979)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    R.J. Cooke, C.J. Beevers, Slow fatigue crack propagation in pearlitic steels. Mater. Sci. Eng. 13(3), 201–210 (1974)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    G.R. Yoder, L.A. Cooley, T.W. Crooker, in A critical analysis of grain size and yield strength dependence on near-threshold fatigue crack growth in steels. Fracture mechanics: Fourteenth symposium—Volume I: Theory and Analysis (ASTM International, 1983)Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    M.F. Carlson, B.V.N. Rao, G. Thomas, The effect of austenitizing temperature upon the microstructure and mechanical properties of experimental Fe/Cr/C steels. Metall. Trans. A 10(9), 1273–1284 (1979)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    S. Morito, H. Yoshida, T. Maki et al., Effect of block size on the strength of lath martensite in low carbon steels. Mater. Sci. Eng., A 438(1), 237–240 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    S. Morito, H. Tanaka, R. Konishi et al., The morphology and crystallography of lath martensite in alloy steels. Acta Mater. 54(19), 5323–5331 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    C. Du, J.P.M. Hoefnagels, R. Vaes et al., Block and sub-block boundary strengthening in lath martensite. ScriptaMaterialia 116, 117–121 (2016)Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    A.J. Kaijalainen, P.P. Suikkanen, T.J. Limnell et al., Effect of austenite grain structure on the strength and toughness of direct-quenched martensite. J. Alloy. Compd. 577(7), S642–S648 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    R. Jiang, S. Everitt, M. Lewandowski et al., Grain size effects in a Ni-based turbine disc alloy in the time and cycle dependent crack growth regimes. Int. J. Fatigue 62(30), 217–227 (2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    P. Ma, L. Qian, J. Meng et al., Fatigue crack growth behavior of a coarse- and a fine-grained high manganese austenitic twin-induced plasticity steel. Mater. Sci. Eng., A 605(6), 160–166 (2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    P. Ma, L. Qian, J. Meng et al., Influence of Al on the fatigue crack growth behavior of Fe–22Mn–(3Al)–0.6C TWIP steels. Mater. Sci. Eng., A 645, 136–141 (2015)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    S. Kim, J. Kwon, Y. Kim et al., Factors influencing fatigue crack propagation behavior of austenitic steels. Met. Mater. Int. 19(4), 683–690 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    S.A.P. Ii, A. Shyam, R.O. Ritchie et al., High frequency fatigue crack propagation behavior of a nickel-base turbine disk alloy. Int. J. Fatigue 21(7), 725–731 (1999)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    J. Lindigkeit, G. Terlinde, A. Gysler et al., The effect of grain size on the fatigue crack propagation behavior of age-hardened alloys in inert and corrosive environment. Acta Metall. 27(11), 1717–1726 (1979)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    C.W. Shao, F. Shi, X.W. Li, Cyclic deformation behavior of Fe–18Cr–18Mn–0.63N nickel-free high-nitrogen austenitic stainless steel. Metall. Mater. Trans. A 46(4), 1610–1620 (2015)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    F.A. Mcclintock, G.R. Irwin, Plasticity Aspects of Fracture Mechanics (ASTM International, West Conshohocken, 1965)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    B. Tomkins, W.D. Biggs, Low endurance fatigue in metals and polymers. J. Mater. Sci. 4(6), 532–538 (1969)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    R.O. Ritchie, S. Suresh, Some considerations on fatigue crack closure at near-threshold stress intensities due to fracture surface morphology. Metall. Trans. A 13(5), 937–940 (1982)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    T. Zhai, A.J. Wilkinson, J.W. Martin, A crystallographic mechanism for fatigue crack propagation through grain boundaries. Acta Mater. 48(20), 4917–4927 (2000)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. 38.
    S. Li, G. Zhu, Y. Kang, Effect of substructure on mechanical properties and fracture behavior of lath martensite in 0.1C–1.1Si–1.7Mn steel. J. Alloy. Compd. 675, 104–115 (2016)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. 39.
    S.L. Long, Y.L. Liang, Y. Jiang et al., Effect of quenching temperature on martensite multi-level microstructures and properties of strength and toughness in 20CrNi2Mo steel. Mater. Sci. Eng., A 676, 38–47 (2016)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Korean Institute of Metals and Materials 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Material Science and EngineeringKunming University of Science and TechnologyKunmingPR China
  2. 2.The National and Local Joint Engineering Laboratory for High-performance Metal Structure Materials and Advanced Manufacture TechnologyGuiyangPR China

Personalised recommendations