Ferrie, Emilie; Buffiere, Jean-Yves; Ludwig, Wolfgang; Gravouil, Anthony and Edwards, Lyndon
Fatigue crack propagation: In situ visualization using X-ray microtomography and 3D simulation using the extended finite element method.
Acta Materialia, 54(4),
The propagation of a semi-elliptical crack in the bulk of an ultrafine-grained Al-Li alloy has been investigated using synchrotron radiation X-ray microtomography. In this material, the studied crack, despite its small dimension, can be considered as "microstructurally long" and described in the frame of the linear elastic fracture mechanics. The extended finite element method is used to calculate the stress intensity factors along the crack front taking into account the three-dimensional geometry extracted from the tomographic images. For the same nominal value of the stress intensity factor range, crack propagation is faster in the bulk than at the surface. The observed anisotropy is attributed to the variation of the closure stress along the crack front between surface and bulk. The experimentally observed fatigue crack propagation is compared to numerical simulations. Good agreement is found when a linear variation of closure stress along the crack front is taken into account in the "3D crack propagation law" used for the simulation. (c) 2005 Acta Materialia Inc. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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