High Strength Steels Fracture Toughness Variation by the Media
The stress corrosion cracking process is at this moment an unknown mechanism of deterioration. It is a process that implies the joint action of the media, the presence of corrosion or a surface defect and of stress in the metal. Prestressing tendons can suffer SCC jointly with hydrogen embrittlement which dramatically changes not only the type of fracture (from ductile to brittle) but also the kinetics of the process leading to unexpected collapses. The metal should be resistant to this type of process which can be characterized by its toughness and therefore by its damage tolerance. This research shows that the Fracture Toughness change when the steel corrodes, questioning the idea that is an intrinsic characteristic of the material. The reduction in the fracture toughness of steel wires when they are in contact to aggressive media involve that the material fractures with a lower crack depth for the same stress level. That means that the material becomes less damage tolerant, which implies that it is necessary to detect defects of smaller size, as for example, small notch, pits or superficial cracks. In the paper some results of the percentage of decrease of the toughness of prestressing wires suffering corrosion are presented.
KeywordsFracture Toughness Stress Intensity Factor High Strength Steel Stress Corrosion Stress Corrosion Crack
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