1. Introduction
2. Details of the types of failure in materials
2.1 Ductile failure
2.2 Brittle failure
2.3 Fatigue failure
3. How fatigue failure initiated from the point of physical behaviour
3.1 Crystallographic aspects
3.2 Crack initiation at inclusions
3.3 Small cracks, crack growth barriers, thresholds
3.4 Number of crack nuclei
3.5 Surface effects
4. How fatigue failure initiated from the point of physical microstructure
4.1 Fatigue failure initiated from the point of microstructure
4.2 Fatigue crack stages and fatigue crack propagation
5. Recommendation and discussions on some measure to prevent fatigue failure
6. Discussion
7. Conclusion
8. References




0 DETAILS OF THE TYPES OF FAILURE IN MATERIALS The major types of failures to be encountered in materials are ductile. 2 . One of the examples of fatigue failure is breaking a thin steel rod or wire with hands after bending it back and forth several times in the same place. The number of cycles required to cause fatigue failure at certain peak stress is quite large and prone to failure as the stress increased. there is very little or warning before failure if the crack is not noticed. stable crack growth and rapid fracture. The final fracture may occur in a ductile or brittle mode depending on the characteristics of the material. However. Fatigue fractures have a characteristic appearance which has normal the initiation site and start to progressive development of the crack before culminating in final overload fracture. Failure is the end result of a process involving the initiation and growth of a crack. Fundamental requirements are necessary during designing and manufacturing of the products to avoid fatigue failure and should be considered as critical in design phase. slow. usually at the site of a stress concentration on the surface. it can be said that fatigue failure occurs in three stages which are crack initiation. Nevertheless.Fatigue is defined as a sudden fracture of a component after a period of cyclic loading in the elastic regime. there is certain fatigue failure is that there is no noticeable warning. Figure 1: Metal fatigue failure 2. Another example is an unbalanced pump impeller resulting in vibrations that cause fatigue failure. The fatigue life of a component can be expressed as the number of loading cycles required to initiate a fatigue crack and to propagate the crack to critical size. brittle and fatigue failures. Thus.

It is stable. It is also have a small shear lip. cracks spread very quickly. This deformation happens before the final fracture. It normally occurs in a trans-granular manner (across the grains) in metals that have good ductility and toughness. Brittle fracture can be recognised by spotting the features on the failed surface. 2. and exhibit characteristic surface features with a significant portion of the fracture surface having an irregular. amount of plastic deformation including necking is observed in the failed component.2 Brittle failures In brittle failures. and are so unstable that crack propagation occurs without further increase in applied stress. and is a slow process. The term ‘fatigue’ is used since this type of failure normally occurs after a lengthy 3 . Ductile 2. Even metals that are normally ductile may fail in a brittle manner at low temperatures.1 Ductile failure Ductile failure undergoes plastic deformation in the vicinity of an advancing crack. gives the fracture the cup-and-cone form. giving a shiny. indicating that slip occurred. in metals with poor ductility and toughness. If a failure occurs by cleavage. each fractured grain is flat and differently oriented. or in existence of flaw. fibrous face. The shear lip. Fatigue failure failure occurs at stresses below the yield strength of a material and no visible warning prior to failure. with little or no plastic flow. crystalline appearance to the fracture surface. Generally. where the fracture surface is at a 45° angle to the applied stress. Regularly.3 Fatigue failure Figure 2 : Ductile and brittle Fatigue is a form of failure that occurs in materials due to repeated loading cycles. and in ceramics. Ductile failure are normally initiated by simple overloads or by applying too high a stress to the material. It take place in high strength metals.2. the fracture surface is flat and perpendicular to the applied stress in a tensile test. in thick sections. at high strain rates (such as impact). and will not continue except there is an increase in the level of applied stress.

The size of an object affects its fatigue. Larger objects have lower fatigue strengths Environmental effects. Some factors that affect fatigue life is. The crack propagates to a critical size without any evidence of plastic deformation in the part. the part fails by sudden fracture. Size effects.0 HOW FATIGUE FAILURE INITIATED FROM THE POINT OF PHYSICAL BEHAVIOUR 4 .Temperature and corrosion may play are role in fatigue failure. Although it is possible to assess the inherent fatigue resistance of a material.period of repeated stress cycling. and polymers and ceramics are also at risk to this type of failure. Constrained parts that are subject to fluctuating temperatures and repeated thermal Figure 3 : Fatigue failure process 3. surface treatments. Once the crack reaches a critical size. Surface Treatments – The quality of a surface finish determines the number and size of imperfections on the surface. Design Factors – Geometric discontinuities provide areas for higher stress concentrations that are more susceptible to fatigue. as well as the crucial area of jointing ( welded) can be a major problem. size effects. This is the crack beginning. A main problem with fatigue is that it is dominated by design. and environmental effects. the effects of stress-raisers such as surface irregularities and changes in cross-section. design factors. Failure usually start on the surface of an object at some discontinuity or imperfection in the surface. It is the single largest cause of failure (approximately 90%) of metallic materials.

it is technically consider the crack initiation and crack growth periods separately due to the several practical conditions that have a large influence on the crack initiation period. A lot of aspects of crystallographic are type of crystal lattice. small cracks. The initiation period is supposed to include some microcrack growth. The crystallographic properties vary from one material to another. ease of cross slip. In this case. Then. Furthermore.2 Crack initiation at inclusions: 5 . the crack is growing until complete failure. Thus. Figure 4 : Microcracking Structure 3. but a limited influence or no influence at all on the crack growth period. For case of fatigue failure. it is consists of crystallographic nature of the material.In case of fatigue life. 3. crack initiation at inclusions. thresholds. and also grain size and shape. crack growth barriers.1 Crystallographic aspects: The initial growth of a microcrack shows a tendency to grow along a slip band. elastic anisotropy. it is split into a crack initiation period and a crack growth period. but the fatigue cracks are still too small to be visible. the initial microcracking depends on the material. it must be expected that the crystallography of a material has some influence on the mechanistic behavior during the initiation period. slip systems. allotropy. number of crack nuclei and surface effects.

Figure 5 : Slip band microcrack 3.3 Small cracks.4 Number of crack nuclei: 6 . The barrier was a threshold for crack growth. a variety of inclusions can be present. crack growth barriers. The cracks encountered a type of a crack growth barrier and could not grow any further. but they are not considered in this section. Large defects have occasionally caused disastrous failures in service. Larger macroscopic inclusions are generally regarded as material defects which should not be present such as slag streaks.In materials. Fatigue crack nucleation occurred at these inclusions located at the material surface or slightly below the surface. thresholds: The cracks were nucleated which stopped growing at a small crack length. Figure 6 : Small crack 3. weld defects. such as impurities during the melting production process of the alloys. major porosities.

5 Surface effects: Surface effects include all conditions which can reduce the crack initiation period. Although the stress concentration will rapidly fade away from the surface. Surface roughness and surface damage imply that the free surface is no longer perfectly flat. 3.Figure 7 : Crack nuclei Fatigue crack initiation is a surface phenomenon. In this case. the stress is not equal in all surface grains due to the anisotropy of the material. Figure 8 : Surface effects on the S-N curve 4. For example. However. but thousands of grains are found at the material surface of unnotched specimens. In this case. A small sized stress concentrations along the material surface occur. nucleation depends on the occurrence of cyclic slip. it is still significant for promoting cyclic slip and crack nucleation at the material surface. rough machining causes deeper circumferential grooves than fine machining.0 HOW FATIGUE FAILURE INITIATED FROM THE POINT OF PHYSICAL MICROSTRUCTURE 7 . it is cover the phenomena which enhance the crack initiation mechanism.

Figure 9 : Typical clamshell markings on a fatigue fracture surface of a shaft The fracture started at the left side of the bar and progressed to the right. The initiation site of the crack can easily be located by examining these marks. The first is nucleation of a crack by small amounts of inhomogeneous plastic deformation at a microscopic level. Fatigue fractures are also particularly dangerous because they can occur under normal service conditions.A microscopic examination of the exterior surface of a specimen after cyclic stressing will usually reveal a roughening even before any cracks have formed.1 Fatigue failure initiated from the point of microstructure Fatigue is the most common type of fracture in engineered components. The second is the slow growth of these cracks by cyclic stressing. There are three stages of fatigue. Under high magnification. where final failure occurred in a single cycle. Sometimes striations cannot be observed because they are damaged when the crack closes.4. with no warning that a progressively growing crack is developing until the final catastrophic failure. Fatigue cracks initiate at the intrusions and grow inward along the persistent slip bands. Often visual examination of a fatigue fracture surface will reveal clamshell or beach markings. Finally sudden fracture occurs when the cracks reach a critical size. 8 . These intrusions and extrusions are the result of slip on one set of planes during the compression half-cycle and slip on a different set of planes during the tension half-cycle. Microscopic examination of a fracture surface often reveals markings on a much finer scale. Persistent slip bands beneath the surface are associated with these intrusions and extrusions. The distance between striations is the distance advanced by the crack during one cycle. These are called striations and they do represent the position of the crack front at each cycle.intrusions and extrusions are often apparent.

Vol. A242 (1957). Proc..2 Fatigue crack stages and fatigue crack propagation STAGE 1 9 . beneath the surface. Cottrell and D. Roy. From A. Hull. 9. From Metals Handbook. steel. ASM.Figure 10 : SEM picture of fatigue striations Figure 11 : Intrusions and extrusions at on a fracture surface of type 304 stainless surface formed by cyclic deformation.Soc. 1974. (London) Vol. 4. eighth These correspond to persistent slip bands ed.

10 .(a) static deformation (b) fatigue deformation leading to surface notch (intrusion) (c ) fatigue deformation leading to slip-band extrusion STAGE 2 Figure 12 : Plastic blunting process for growth of stage 2 fatigue crack Figure 13: Showing how intrusions and extrusions can develop if slip occurs on different planes during the tension and compression portions of loading.

Figure 14: Dislocation Slip Crack Nucleation Appearance and disappearance of slip bands at a various points of the hysteresis loop of the first cycle. (low-cycle pull-push fatigue of aluminium alloy) 11 .

laser peening. Using a testing machine for this purpose a series of specimen are each subjected to a specified stress and cycled to failure. the stress in the material must not exceed a specified endurance or fatigue limit. at which austenite is the stable crystal structure. it is necessary to determine a limit below which no evidence of failure can be detected after applying a load for specified number of cycle. Hardening is accomplished when the high-carbon surface layer is quenched to form martensite so that a high-carbon martensitic case with good wear and fatigue resistance is created on a tough.5. which send shocks waves through the part. 12 .1 Prevention of fatigue failure Introducing a compressive stress into thin surface layer by “shot peening”. 5. low-carbon steel core. Carburizing is the addition of carbon to the surface of low-carbon steels at temperatures generally between 850 °C and 950 °C. Stress concentrations should be avoided where possible for example a design with smooth 'flowing' lines is usually the optimum. In laser peening process high energy laser is fired at the surface of a metal part to generate pressure pulses of one million pounds per square inch. This graph is called an S-N diagram or stress-cycle diagram. Another thing is to optimize the geometry by avoiding internal corners and notches. that is firing small shot into surface to be treated. This value is determine from S-N diagram as the maximum stress the material can resist when subjected to a specified number of cycles of loading. In order to specify a safe strength for a metallic material under repeated loading. The results are plotted as a graph representing the stress S (or σ) on the vertical axis and the number of cycle-to-failure N on the horizontal axis.0 RECOMMENDATION AND DISCUSSIONS ON SOME MEASURE TO PREVENT FATIGUE FAILURE To prevent fatigue. Premature fatigue failure is prevented by careful attention to detail at the design stage to ensure that cyclic stresses are sufficiently low to achieve the required endurance. Fine austenite and tempered martensite prevent nucleation of fatigue cracks and fatigue crack initiation until very high stress level is reached. Next are the design and the geometry of the metal itself. This limiting stress is called the endurance or fatigue limit. Corners should be avoided in a design as it causes high concentration of stress that will lead to fatigue failure. the higher the resistance of the metal to fatigue and corrosion failure. Multiple firing of the laser in a pre-defined surface pattern will impart a thick layer of residual compressive stress. High tech solution that uses an ion implementation. The deeper the level of compressive stress.

inspection must be done on the part periodically for cracks and to replace the part once a crack exceeds a critical length. temperature. lower the amplitude of cyclic loading and decrease the failure. heat treating will oppose a tensile load and therefore. or materials science. overload. it does not lead to other failure and compromise the entire system. corrosion. mechanical engineering. The crack is likely to nucleate if higher stress concentration on the material. There are four examples that keep the life assurance of the parts which the parts must be design to keep below threshold of fatigue limit. The level and number of stress concentrations on the surface is directly related to surface roughness. design safe-line design for a fixed life parts after which the user is instructed to replace the part with a new one and design in with no single point of failure. when any one part completely fails. The surface condition of the material being experienced will have an effect on its fatigue life when fatigue cracks generally initiate at a surface. Third. redesign the parts can be done which requires thorough education and supervised experience in structural engineering. The number of cycles required to initiate and grow a crack is largely are depend on the repeatedly maximum value of cycles. large enough variation or fluctuation with loading pattern must contain minimum and maximum peak values. fatigue life can be decrease if the material is in notches. Beside of these three factors. Secondly. 13 . Besides. Surface residual stress also has tremendous effect on fatigue life. cold working. thus. scratches. Compressive residual stresses from machining. and residual stresses. Crack initiation will not exist if the peak stresses are too low. Thus. To reduce or eliminate fatigue failure. Smooth surfaces increase the time of crack nucleation. sufficient large number of cycles of the applied stress must be experienced by the material. the peak stress levels must be of sufficiently high enough to initiate the crack. metallurgical structure.6.0 DISCUSSION Three basic factors are necessary to make fatigue cracks to initiate. there are other variables that prone to fatigue failure such as stress concentration. First. it is important variable in fatigue failure. and other stress risers. The reverse loading cycle must be sufficiently large for fatigue crack initiation even though the peak values can be in tension or compression.

14 . and etc.7. residual stresses cause by welding. There are also other factors that affect fatigue failure on the material such as temperature. casting. Complete replacement and redesign of parts can also reduce the fatigue failure of the materials. large peak stress applied on the material and sufficient large number of cycles experienced by the material. quality.0 CONCLUSION Based on the characteristics of material fatigue failure. Fatigue failure can be prevent by careful attention to detail at the design stage to ensure that cyclic stresses are sufficiently low to achieve the required endurance. The material parts can be changed to improve fatigue life which the parts can be made from better fatigue rated metals. we can conclude that three basic factors that promote the crack to initiate are large variation or fluctuation in loading pattern. material type. crack closure. and drilling.

Metal Fatigue. BSI London. 4. Oxford. 1988. 6. Fatigue Strength of Welded Structures. Society of Automotive Engineers. 5. 1974. Fatigue Design Handbook. Clarendon Press.0 REFERENCES 1. Warrendale PA.8. 1996. Maddox S J. Marsh K J. 3. 2. Fatigue Design of Welded Joints and Components. Second Edition 1991. Frost N E. 15 . Abington Publishing. BS 7608:1993 Fatigue Design and Assessment of Steel Structures. Recommendations of IIW Joint Working Group XIII-XV. Abington Publishing. & Pook L P.