Articulo de fatiga y fractura

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Articulo de fatiga y fractura

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J. O R T I Z * , A . P. C I S I L I N O a n d J. L . O T E G U I

Welding and Fracture DivisionINTEMA, Faculty of Engineering, Universidad Nacional de Mar del PlataCONICET, Mar del Plata, Argentina

Received in final form 27 April 2001

ductile iron is studied in this paper. The mechanism of fatigue crack growth is modelled

using the boundary element method, customized for the accurate evaluation of the

interaction effects between cracks and microcracks emanating from graphite nodules.

The effects of nodule size and distribution and crack closure are considered, with

deviation bounds of computed results estimated through weight-function analyses. A

continuum approach is employed as a means of quantifying the shielding effect of

microcracking on the dominant propagating crack, due to the reduction of stiffness of

the material in the neighbourhood of the crack tip. Although the results obtained may

not yield actual numbers for real cases, they are in accordance with experimental

observations and demonstrate how the main factors affect the crack growth of the

macrocrack.

Keywords austempered ductile iron; boundary element method; fatigue crack growth;

microcracking; numerical modelling.

NOMENCLATURE

Anod =cross-sectional area of nodules

ADI=austempered ductile iron

a=length of macrocracks

c=length of microcracks emanating from nodules

C=constant in fatigue-crack propagation law

d=average minimum distance between nodules

da/dN=crack propagation rate

Km =crack-tip stress intensity factor for microcracks

Kmax , Kmin , Kop =maximum, minimum and opening level of crack-tip stress intensity

factor

Ktip =crack-tip stress intensity factor for macrocracks

E=Youngs modulus

M=number of microcracks per unit volume

m=exponent in fatigue-crack propagation law

Narea =area nodule count

Nvol =volume nodule count

N=load cycles

r=average radius of graphite nodules

rc =radius of penny-shaped microcracks

S=strain density factor

INTEMA, Faculty of Engineering, Universidad Nacional de Mar

del PlataCONICET, Av. Juan B. Justo 4302 (7600), Mar del

Plata, Argentina.

E-mail: cisilino@fi.mdp.edu.ar

*On leave from Universidad Privada del Norte, Trujillo, Peru.

2001 Blackwell Science Ltd. Fatigue Fract Engng Mater Struct 24, 591605

591

592

J. O RT I Z e t a l .

Vnod =Volume of nodule

a=microcrack nucleation parameter

b=microcrack density

Da=fatigue extensions of macrocrack

Dc=fatigue extensions of microcrack

DK=crack-tip stress intensity factor range

n=Poissons coefficient

DKth =threshold value of crack-tip stress intensity factor range

h=crack propagation angle

s=stress

e=strain

INTRODUCTION

spheroidal graphite cast irons. ADI combines good

elongation and toughness with high tensile strength; a

combination that increases the resistance to wear and

fatigue when compared with other ductile irons. The

material has a wide range of industrial applications, as

in the case of chain wheels, lines of cement mills, railroad

wheels, gears and automotive crankshafts. The application of ADI will continue to grow as the design

engineer becomes familiar with its properties.1 The

outstanding properties of ADI are a consequence of its

matrix microstructure, obtained by a thermal treatment

called austempering. ADI microconstituents are reacted

austenite (enriched in carbon), retained austenite (unreacted) and acicular ferrite. Minor amounts of martensite

and carbides may also be present. The quantity and size

of graphite nodules, matrix phases formed during thermal treatment, and alloy content influence this microstructure, denominated ausferrite.2

The quantity, size and shape of graphite nodules are,

respectively, characterized by the area nodule count Narea

(nod/mm2 ), the nodule size and nodularity.2 Figure 1(a)

shows the schematic of a standard micrograph of ADI

60100%. This means 60 nodules per mm2, with 100%

nodularity (that is, all graphite in the form of roughly

equiaxed nodules). The mechanical properties of ADI

vary over a wide range of values, mostly controlled by

microstructural factors.3 Some of these factors depend

on heat treatment, as in the case of phases present

(quantity, size and distribution). Others may be related

to solidification, such as graphite nodules (number, size

and shape), and defects (porosity, inclusions, segregated

elements, second phase particles or unwanted eutectics).

In general, the microstructural factors that contribute to

a loss of toughness are: reduction in percentage nodularity (related to the quantity of degenerated graphite),

high percentage or continuity of intercellular or interdendritic carbides, and microporosity.

microstructure. White, matrix; black, graphite nodules. Note the

sharp edges in spheroidal nodules (approximate magnification

100). (b) Enlarged 500 micrograph showing the fatigue crack

propagation mechanism in ADI.5

of 5986 MPa m, clearly higher than those of other

ductile irons, and similar to most of the quenched and

tempered AISI 4140/4340 type steels.4 Fatigue properties

2001 Blackwell Science Ltd. Fatigue Fract Engng Mater Struct 24, 591605

FAT I G U E C R A C K G R O W T H I N A U S T E M P E R E D D U C T I L E I R O N

of ADI are also better than those of other cast irons and

wrought steels, as measured by SN curves of polished

specimens. Fatigue properties can be further improved

by means of surface mechanical and thermal treatments.

The relationship between fatigue crack growth and

matrix microstructure is the focus of previous work by

one of the authors.5 A quantitative study of the morphology of fatigue crack growth proved that the crack

path preferentially intersects graphite nodules, and that

a microcracking process takes place in the region of

high-stress concentration around the tip of the macroscopic crack. Graphitematrix interfaces are extremely

irregular, with sharp corners that in some cases constitute

imminent microcracks that emanate from the nodules.

Ultimately the macroscopic crack advances by interaction

and coalescence of the microcracks, as shown in Fig. 1(b).

The authors propose that as microcracks simultaneously

propagate besides the main crack, the available elastic

energy for the propagation of the main crack is lowered

mainly because of the creation of a larger crack surface.

This reduces the general rate of advance and in some

cases causes the premature arrest of crack growth. The

above-mentioned mechanism provides evidence to

explain the relatively low propagation rates and high

effective propagation threshold values for this material.

This paper presents numerical and fracture mechanics

modelling of the mechanism of fatigue crack growth in

ADI, in order to provide further understanding of the

phenomena. The numerical tool for the analysis is based

on the boundary element method (BEM), customized

for the accurate evaluation of the interaction effects

between cracks, microcracks and graphite nodules.

Deviation bounds of the BEM results are estimated

through weight-function analyses. The shielding effect

of microcracking on the (macroscopic) main crack is

studied using a continuum mechanics approach.

NUMERICAL MODELLING

Method of analysis

Numerical modelling of fatigue crack growth requires

the capability of predicting the direction and amount of

crack growth as well as the robustness to update the

numerical model to account for the changing crack

geometry. The dual boundary element method (DBEM)

is a well-established numerical technique in this area of

fracture mechanics, as it eliminates the remeshing problems, which are typical of domain methods and other

boundary element formulations.6 General mixed-mode

crack problems are solved with the DBEM in a single

region formulation, in which the crack growth process

is efficiently simulated with an incremental analysis in

which crack extensions are modelled by adding new

2001 Blackwell Science Ltd. Fatigue Fract Engng Mater Struct 24, 591605

593

formulation are given in the Appendix.

Accurate evaluation of crack tip stress intensity factors

K is most important for the effective analysis of crack

propagation problems. For the kind of problems tackled

in this work, where propagation of close crackmicrocrack arrays is analysed, accurate assessment of interaction effects is a key factor. Crack tip stress intensity

factors are computed in this work by using the so-called

one-point displacement formula, in which the relative

displacements of the crack surfaces calculated from the

DBEM model are used in the near-crack-tip stress field

equations to obtain the local mixed-mode K-values.7

This technique was preferred to path and domain

integral methodologies. Although very accurate and

efficient,8,9 these methodologies are not the best option

for the case of close interacting cracks, as the definition

of appropriate integration paths or domains could in

some cases be difficult. On the other hand, the efficiency

of the one-point displacement formula strongly depends

on the accuracy of the displacements calculated on the

crack surface. This is ensured in this work by using

special crack-tip elements that exhibit the correct r

variation for the displacement field. The proposed

discretization strategy proved to be accurate for the

evaluation of the interaction effects between cracks and

microcracks. Details of its implementation and performance can be found in Ortiz et al.10

The incremental analysis of crack extension assumes

a piece-wise linear discretization of the unknown crack

path. For each increment of crack extension, the DBEM

is applied to carry out a stress analysis and computation

of the crack tip stress intensity factor K. The magnitude

and direction of crack increments are then computed for

each crack. Then the crack is extended accordingly by

adding new elements ahead of the previous crack tips.

The above steps are repeated sequentially until a specified number of crack-extensions are reached.

Among the several available criteria for computing the

local direction of crack growth, the minimum strain

energy criterion due to Sih11 is chosen in this work.

This criterion states that the direction of crack growth

at any point along the crack front is towards the region

with the minimum value of the strain density factor S.

The strain density factor S can be written in terms of

the stress intensity factors KI and KII as follows:

2

S(h)=a11 (h)K I2 +2a12 (h)KI KII +a22 (h)K II

(1)

angle h, which indicates the direction of the crack

extension Da relative to the current crack direction. The

propagation angle h can be obtained for each of crack

extensions by replacing the computed mixed-mode

K-values in Eq. (1) and comparing the values of S(h) at

594

J. O RT I Z e t a l .

the bisection method numerically.

As a continuous criterion, the minimum strain energy

criterion does not take account of the discreteness of the

crack extension procedure. In other words, the crack

path is always defined locally in the same direction

whatever length of crack extension Da is considered.

Therefore, the propagation direction of the crack predicted by the above procedure must be corrected to give

the direction of the actual crack-extension increment.

With this purpose a predictorcorrector algorithm due

to Portela et al.8 is employed. This algorithm ensures

that a unique final crack path is achieved regardless of

the crack-extension length Da.

The fatigue propagation formula due to Klesnil and

Lukas12 was chosen to correlate the crack propagation

rate da/dN, with the crack tip stress intensity factor

range DK=Kmax Kmin , as it accounts for the nearthreshold regime

da

m

)

=C(DK m DK th

dN

(2)

accounts for the threshold value below which cracks do

not propagate.

An important factor to be considered when assessing

fatigue crack propagation is crack closure, given by early

crack-face contact at the crack tip. Many mechanisms

have been identified for fatigue crack closure, such as

plasticity, residual stresses in the crack-tip plastic wake,

and roughness-induced closure and stress-induced metallurgical transformations. The effect of closure on crack

propagation rate is found by considering an effective

crack tip stress intensity factor range

DKeff =Kmax Kop

(3)

crack tip opens. Closure data is usually presented in

terms of Elber13 closure ratio U=DKeff /DK.

Finally, the magnitudes of crack-extensions can be

computed using Eq. (2) in an incremental form:

m

m

DK th

)DN

Da=C(DK eff

(4)

effectively model general edge or embedded crack problems; crack tips, crack-edge corners and crack kinks. For

further details on the DBEM formulation and implementation the reader is referred to the work by Portela et al.8

Numerical results

Simple models consisting of a macrocrack and a microcracked nodule were considered first in order to study

interaction mechanism. Crack closure is a relevant factor

when assessing the mechanism of fatigue crack propagation in ADI as it behaves differently for macrocracks

and microcracks.5 In this sense it is worth noting that

although closure levels can be significant for macrocracks, microcracks are mostly closure free.14

The geometry and discretization of the model are

shown in Fig. 2 together with the resulting propagation

paths for three closure levels. The length of the macrocrack was initially set to be 40 times that of the

microcracks. Microcracks were placed to coincide with

the equator of the nodule, where the maximum principal stresses develop. As for all models presented in this

work, graphite nodules were assimilated to circular voids.

This assumption implies a material with 100% nodularity, and the neglect of the mechanical response of

graphite when compared with that of the metal matrix.

The metal matrix is assumed to be isotropic and linear

elastic. Material constants for the propagation law were

obtained from data of DKth tests performed according

the ASTM E-647,15 and using the load-shedding technique. Results are C=4.431010 , m=2.85, DKth =

5 MPa m.5 Closure levels were selected as U=1 (no

closure), U=0.6 and U=0, the last one corresponding

to a limiting case for which the main crack does not

propagate. Loading configuration corresponds to remote

tension, with a load level set in such a way that initial

DK-values for the microcracks are close to the propagation threshold DKth . Growth paths were left to develop

naturally.

Figure 3 illustrates the evolution of DK with load

cycles N for the three closure levels chosen. Stress

intensity factor ranges DK are normalized with respect

to DKth , in such a way that ratios greater than one

represent propagating cracks, and values below one stand

for non-propagating cracks. Note that as the macrocrack

approaches the microcrack emanating from the nodule,

interaction effects cause a substantial increase in DK at

crack tip A, which propagates in the opposite sense to

the macrocrack growth direction until joining it. As soon

as the macrocrack and the first microcrack coalesce,

microcrack B on the opposite side of the nodule becomes

dominant, taking the role of macrocrack tip. The above

mechanism validates the theoretical model proposed by

Greno et al.5 As shown in Fig. 2, the effect of closure is

to delay the process, as the macrocrack propagation rate

slows down and it takes longer for the crack to become

close enough to the first microcrack.

A more general situation is illustrated in Fig. 4, where

a macrocrack propagates into an array of randomly

distributed nodules with equatorial microcracks, labelled

from A to L. The results obtained allow the extension

of the propagation mechanism of the previous example,

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FAT I G U E C R A C K G R O W T H I N A U S T E M P E R E D D U C T I L E I R O N

interaction mechanism between the main

crack and a microcracked graphite nodule.

2001 Blackwell Science Ltd. Fatigue Fract Engng Mater Struct 24, 591605

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596

J. O RT I Z e t a l .

Fig. 4 Evolution of propagation paths for a general nodule array ahead of a long propagating fatigue crack.

macrocrack tip. At the same time, microcracks A, C, E

and G propagate towards the macrocrack tip, to finally

become dormant due to load shielding effects.

Microcracks I, J, K and L do not take part in the main

propagation path; however, they present the same general behaviour as the other microcracks. In this case

more than one microcrack propagates simultaneously

towards the tip of the dominant crack, justifying the

presence of those bifurcations observed during experiments in the encounters of the crack with nodules.5

It is worth mentioning that the observed behaviour of

the macrocrack in propagating intersection of the graphite nodules is not only in accordance with the experimental observations in Ref. [5] but with theoretical results

reported by Petrova et al.16 In this study16 the authors

applied the methods of singular integral equations and

a small parameter method to the problem of a crack and

a system of small holes, and they also observed the

tendency of the crack to propagate towards the damaged region.

A major feature in the above analyses is that only a

limited number of nodules were included in the models,

whereas nodules are actually distributed over the entire

model domain. The effect of nodule size and distribution

on the propagation mechanism is studied in this section,

through the analysis of the stress fields in the ADI

microstructure. The ratio r/d, was chosen as the characteristic parameter, see Fig. 5(a), where r is the average

nodule radius and d the average minimum distance

between nodule centres. The results of a statistical

analysis of measurements performed on standard ADI

micrographs using image-processing software17 are

shown in Table 1. It can be seen that for a wide range

Table 1 Results of statistical analysis of measurements performed

on standard micrographs

Narea

nodules/mm2

Nodularity

(%)

Average r/d

Standard deviation

(%)

60

100

150

600

100

100

100

100

0.27682

0.26175

0.25294

0.25625

31.18

37.56

35.43

32.62

(a) characteristic dimensions of the problem;

(b) locations of internal-point arrays: (A)

vicinity of nodules, (B) lines oriented

perpendicular to the applied load.

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FAT I G U E C R A C K G R O W T H I N A U S T E M P E R E D D U C T I L E I R O N

the average r/d and its standard deviation are almost

constant, with values r/d=0.25, standard deviation 35%.

BEM models were carried out on a series of randomly

generated geometries with r/d-values ranging from 0.1

to 0.4. A typical model discretization is illustrated in

Fig. 5(b), where schematics with the locations of the

internal-point arrays used for stress computations are

also shown. The locations of the internal points were

selected to evaluate the characteristics of the stress fields

in the vicinity of nodules and along lines orientated

perpendicularly to the applied load [locations A and B

in Fig. 5(b)]. The results are employed in assessing the

effects of nodules on the growth path of microcracks

and macrocracks, respectively.

Analyses of the results show that the average stress

fields in the vicinity of nodules correspond to that of an

isolated hole under remote tension s0 , with standard

deviations increasing with r/d. Results for r/d=0.25 are

shown in normalized form in Fig. 6(a), where the vari-

nodule surface of the mean value of the

maximum principal stress (bars indicate the

standard deviation); (b) standard deviation

in K values of microcracks as a function of

microcrack length.

2001 Blackwell Science Ltd. Fatigue Fract Engng Mater Struct 24, 591605

597

stress s1 /s0 is presented together with its standard

deviation as a function of x/r, the normalized distance

from the nodule surface. It can be appreciated how the

standard deviation remains at a constant value of around

10% for distances from the nodule surface shorter than

the average nodule radius (x/r<1), and starts to increase

up to 45% for x/r=2. This behaviour somehow reflects

the extent of the area within the influence of the nodule

stress field. As we move further away from the nodule

surface the effect of the neighbouring nodules becomes

more relevant, leading to larger deviation levels. The

effect of deviations in the stress field on the K-values

was evaluated by a weight function analysis. Stress intensity factor values were calculated through numerical

integration of the weight function for the case of two

cracks emanating from a circular hole18 subjected to the

stress field of Fig. 6(a). The resultant deviation bounds

for K-values as a function of the normalized crack length

c/r are plotted in Fig. 6(b). Results are normalized with

598

J. O RT I Z e t a l .

respect to K0 , the stress intensity factor value corresponding to a crack emanating from an isolated circular

hole and subjected to a remote constant stress field.

Deviation bounds in K-values are around 10%, provided

the microcrack length is less than the nodule radius

(c/r<1). The deviation grows up to 20% for microcrack

lengths c=2r.

As mentioned above, the effect of nodules on macrocracks was studied through the analysis of the stress fields

on lines orientated perpendicularly to the remote applied

load. Figure 7 illustrates a typical distribution of the

maximum principal stress field s1 , along a line of length

equal to 25 nodule distances, x/d=25. The normalizing

parameter for s1 is the mean stress on the line sm .

Segments of the curve with zero stress correspond to

nodule positions. Spectral analysis of the stress distribution was performed using a Fast Fourier Transform

(FFT) methodology. The results are illustrated in Fig. 8

for r/d=0.2, 0.25 and 0.30. It can be seen that there is

a clear periodicity in the stress field, given by the

dominant peaks at T/d=1 for the three cases.

Consequently, the period T corresponds to the average

minimum nodule distance d. It is worth noting that as

r/d increases the dominant peak becomes more marked,

and the noise in the spectral data is reduced. This

behaviour is an indication that as r/d increases, and

consequently a more compact array of nodules is

obtained, the periodicity of the stress field is more

marked.

As with microcracks, the effect of variations in the

stress field on K-values was estimated through a weight

a finite crack of length 2a embedded in an infinitely thin

plate was numerically integrated, with a piece-wise

applied load modelling the periodic stress field. Two

load models were considered, as illustrated in the detail

of Fig. 9. For case I, a constant piece-wise stress is

applied on segments of length equal to the ligament

between nodules, whereas for case II a stress distribution

reproducing the stress concentration at the nodule surface is employed. Computed deviations in K-values with

respect to a crack in an homogeneous material are shown

in Fig. 9 as a function of a/d, for the two approaches. It

can be seen that K levels for a crack in a homogeneous

material are higher than those corresponding to the

same crack embedded in an ADI microstructure, but the

difference reduces as the crack length increases. The

reason for this is that the size of the nodules is diminishing with respect to the size of the crack. In order to

ensure a difference of less than 10%, crack lengths

2a>40d are necessary. Deviations can be reduced to 7%

if crack lengths 2a>100d are considered.

FRACTURE MECHANICS MODEL FOR CRACK TIP

SHIELDING DUE TO MICROCRACKING

Continuum approach

Microcracking in regions near the tip of a crack can

have a shielding effect on the crack tip, redistributing

and reducing the average near-tip stresses. There are

two sources for the redistribution of stresses in the near-

stress along a line perpendicular to the

remote applied load direction (path B in

Fig. 5).

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FAT I G U E C R A C K G R O W T H I N A U S T E M P E R E D D U C T I L E I R O N

599

for different r/d values.

effective elastic moduli resulting from microcracking.

The other is the strain arising from the release of

residual stresses when microcracks are formed. The

residual stresses in question could develop in the solidification process due to thermal mismatches between

phases and thermal anisotropy in the material. A study

of the shielding effect resulting from the reduction of

elastic moduli due to microcracking in ADI is conducted

in the following paragraphs, in the spirit of the work

carried out by Hutchinson.19 The effect of the release

of residual stress is discussed later.

When a continuum approach is considered, it is

assumed that a typical material element contains a cloud

of microcracks. The strainstress behaviour of the

2001 Blackwell Science Ltd. Fatigue Fract Engng Mater Struct 24, 591605

It will be also assumed that microcracking ceases or

saturates above some applied stress ss . Thus, it is tacitly

assumed that there exists a zone of nominally constant

reduced stiffness surrounding an even smaller fracture

process zone within which the microcracks ultimately

link up. The microcrack region Ac , surrounding the

crack tip has reduced elastic moduli, which are uniform

and isotropic. Such moduli reduction depends on microcrack density and orientation, the former given by

some nucleation criteria. The crack is semi-infinite with

a remote stress field specified by the applied stress

intensity factor K. The near-tip fields have the same

classical form but the stress intensity factor, Ktip , is

different. Following Hutchinson,19 the ratio Ktip /K

600

J. O RT I Z e t a l .

Fig. 9 Deviations of K values for a long crack in an ADI microstructure with respect to a crack in an homogeneous material.

shape of Ac , but not on its size:

Ktip /K=f (d1 , d2 , shape of Ac )

(5)

moduli:

d1 =

C D

G

1

1

1n G

9

(6)

Application to ADI

Figure 10(a) shows a schematic of the problem, when

applied to stationary and steadily growing cracks in ADI.

The shape of Ac results from considering that microcracks nucleate with no preferred orientation, and that

nucleation occurs when the maximum principal stress s1

reaches a critical tensile value sc , i.e.

Microcrack density b=0 (s1 )max <sc

b>0 (s1 )max sc

and

d2 =

1

G

n: n

1n

G

9

(7)

where G

9 is the effective shear modulus of the microcracked zone and n: is the effective Poissons ratio. It

is of interest to give some explicit deduction from Eq. (5).

In this sense the following result is exact to the lowest

order in d1 and d2 :

B A

5

3

Ktip

d1 + k2 +

d2

=1+ k1

K

8

4

(8)

of Ac only. It is worth noting that Eq. (8) also holds for

some non-uniform microcrack distributions. In particular, of interest for this work is the case in which the

elastic moduli vary continuously within Ac , from their

saturation values in the close neighbourhood of the

macrocrack tip to those of the uncracked material.

(9)

over the history.19

As stated in the previous section, the computation of

crack tip shielding depends on the reduced moduli

parameters G

9 and n: , which are functions of the crack

density parameter b. A convenient measure of microcrack

density has been suggested by Budiansky and

OConnell:20

b=

G H

2M A2

p

P

(10)

volume, A is the area of a crack and P is its perimeter.

If, as illustrated Fig. 10(b), it is assumed that pennyshaped microcracks with radius rc nucleate from nodules,

the number of cracks per unit volume can be computed

using

M=aNvol

(11)

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FAT I G U E C R A C K G R O W T H I N A U S T E M P E R E D D U C T I L E I R O N

601

Ac for stationary and steadily growing cracks

with nucleation criteria given by maximum

principal stress (from ref [18]); (b) a pennyshaped microcrack emanating from a

nodule; (c) a penny-shaped microcrack

under annular stress.

where Nvol stands for the nodule count per unit volume

(nod/mm3 ) and a nucleation parameter 0a1

accounts for the fact that only a fraction of nodules

actually nucleate cracks. Following Hilliard21 volume

and area nodule counts are related through the ratio

between the average nodule cross-section area and the

nodule volume, A

9 nod /V

9 nod , which results in

Nvol =Narea

A

pr2

3 Narea

9 nod

=Narea 4 3 =

V

pr

4

r

9 nod

3

(12)

counts and r are not independent, as the volume fraction

of graphite nodules must remain constant with the

nodular count. In the case of ADI with a typical carbon

content of 3%, the volume fraction of graphite nodules

is around 9%. Thus,

A B

3 Narea 4 3

pr =Narea r2 p=0.09

Nvol V

9 nod =

4 r

3

M=a

5

3/2

p N area

2

(14)

increases the compliance of the material within Ac ,

which experiences an increase in strain due to the volume

of the opened microcracks. For each microcrack this

extra volume can be assimilated to that of a pennyshaped microcrack under annular stress distributions [see

Fig. 10(c)]. Thus, the increase in strain due to a component of stress acting normal and tangential to the plane

of the microcrack can be derived as in Ref. [19] from

results given in Tada et al.22

Denn =

(13)

2001 Blackwell Science Ltd. Fatigue Fract Engng Mater Struct 24, 591605

Eq. (11) as

Dent =

C A BD

snn

V E

C A BD

snt

V E

r

16

(1n2 ) 1

3

rc

r

16 (1n2 )

1

3 (2n)

rc

3/2 3

rc

3/2 2

rc

(15)

(16)

602

J. O RT I Z e t a l .

where V stands for unit volume. Note that these contributions to the strain are also based on the assumption

that the interaction between a microcrack and its neighbours can be ignored. Results in Eqs (15) and (16) can

be assimilated to those obtained in Ref. [19] for a pennyshaped crack under constant load provided an equivalent

microcrack radius is defined as

req =rc3

SC A B D

r

1

rc

(17)

2

Considering now that A=preq

and P=2preq together

with the result in Eq. (14), then Eq. (10) for the crack

density parameter b yields

b=

A B SC A B D

rc

27

a

400p

r

r

rc

(18)

moduli parameters G

9 and n: within Ac can be obtained

from

32 (1n)(5n)

G

=1+

b

G

45

(2n)

9

V

9 =1

16n (3n)(1n2 )

b

15

(2n)

(19)

(20)

action, agree with the dilute limit estimates that approximate interaction.20

The values of k1 and k2 for the situations depicted in

Fig. 10, when microcracks nucleate at a critical maximum

normal stress, have been obtained in Ref. [19] which

after substitution in Eq. (8) results in

A B

A B

Ktip

K

stationary

Ktip

K

growing

=10.547d1 +0.674d2

=10.673d1 +0.822d2

(21)

(22)

for the stationary and steadily growing crack, respectively. A related result worth considering corresponds

to anisotropic microcracking, in which microcracks

nucleate perpendicular to the maximum principal stress

s1

A B

Ktip

K

anisotropic

1

1+5.83b

(23)

Fig. 11, wherein Ktip /K are plotted against the microcrack length rc /r for several values of the nucleation

parameter a. According to experimental data n=0.28

was employed.5 Maximum microcrack length was considered to be equal to half the average distance between

stationary and steadily growing macrocracks

due to isotropic microcracking for different

values of the nucleation parameter a.

2001 Blackwell Science Ltd. Fatigue Fract Engng Mater Struct 24, 591605

FAT I G U E C R A C K G R O W T H I N A U S T E M P E R E D D U C T I L E I R O N

nodule size and distribution, above, this length corresponds to the position of the lowest stress at the microcrack tip. Larger microcracks could not become

dormant. It can be observed that Ktip /K is reduced by

increases in microcrack lengths. Shielding is 40% larger

in the case of the growing crack. Results for the stationary crack, when the microcracks are nucleated only

perpendicular to the maximum principal stresses given

by Eq. (23) are plotted in Fig. 12. These results present

the same general behaviour as those in Fig. 11; however,

the increase in shielding is larger by a factor of two

when compared with the isotropic case.

DISCUSSION

microcracking has on the tip of a dominant macrocrack,

redistributing and reducing the average near-tip

stresses.16,19,23 For this mechanism to operate it is essential

that the microcracks arrest and be highly stable in the

arrested configuration. Ultimately the dominant crack

advances though a mechanism of interaction and coalescence of the microcracks. The existence of such a mechanism

in ADI for fatigue crack growth was found in experimental

observations5 and corroborated through numerical modelling in Numerical modelling, above. The estimates of the

deviation ranges for DK-values due to the nodules show

stationary macrocrack due to anisotropic

microcracking for different values of the

nucleation parameter a.

2001 Blackwell Science Ltd. Fatigue Fract Engng Mater Struct 24, 591605

603

load level. For applied loads that induce DKtip levels close

enough to DKth , deviation ranges can easily situate DK

levels under the propagation threshold, inducing the crack

growth mechanism to stop. On the other hand, as the

difference between the applied DK and DKth increases, the

effect of deviation bounds in DK is less important. Although

microcracked nodules could affect the general propagation

rate, the probability of the mechanism to stop diminishes.

In the near threshold region the applied load amplitudes

are small, and the probability of the initiation of microcracks starting from the nodules is lower. This was verified

in fractographic observations, which showed a decrement

in the frequency of appearance of crack bifurcations at low

levels of applied stress intensity factors DK.5

The continuum approach of the previous section provides a means to quantify the shielding effect on the

macrocrack tip. It is worth noting the important role the

shielding effect has on the propagation rate, since da/dN

varies approximately with the cube of DK. If for example

DKtip /DK=0.9 the propagation rate decreases 30%,

whereas for DKtip /DK=0.8 it halves. Although calculations

in the previous section may not yield actual numbers for

real cases, they indicate how the main factors affect the

crack growth of the macrocrack. Results show that the

shielding contribution is larger for steadily growing cracks

and for anisotropic nucleation of microcracks. At issue are

both the stress dependence of nucleation and the orien-

604

J. O RT I Z e t a l .

comparison of the results in Eqs (21) and (22). In this way

more observational data such as in Ref. [5] and a deeper

understanding of the microcracked zone are needed in

order to obtain accurate quantitative estimates of the shielding effect.

As pointed out in previous sections, an extra contribution

of the microcracks to the shielding effect arises from the

release of residual and transformation stresses when microcracks are formed. This contribution to the macrocrack

tip shielding was not considered in the analysis of the

previous section as static residual and transformation

stresses would not alter the fatigue propagation rate.

However, a significant contribution could arise from these

phenomena through the augmentation of closure levels.

The relevance of closure in delaying the propagation mechanism was shown in the section Numerical modelling

above. Although it would be difficult to quantify, closure

of the highly branched fatigue cracks in ADI can be

increased by mechanisms related to their large surface

roughness and the relatively large mode II crack opening

displacements that are generated in the inclined crack

segments between nodules. At the same time, theoretical

results exist that consider microcracking itself to be a cause

of closure. Results reported by Petrova et al.16 show that

under certain loading conditions and depending on the

configuration of the microcracks, the macrocrack could be

fully or partially closed, whereas microcracks could become

fully open or fully closed. Therefore, although unknown

beforehand, contact zones could emerge in the process of

the crack growth.

Finally, it is important not to forget the three-dimensional nature of the problem. Long and short cracks have

different behaviours due to the relative size of their crack

fronts. The effect of irregularities is more attenuated for a

wide front than for a reduced one. Therefore, it can be

said that the increment in the applied DK that was calculated for the main crack tip exerts only a local effect that

would be almost imperceptible if only the presence of a

single nodule next to the crack front is considered. The

propagation rate of the main crack corresponds to an

average of all the phenomena that simultaneously take

place along the whole extension of the crack front.

CONCLUSIONS

microstructure. Fatigue crack growth paths preferentially

intersect graphite nodules, and microcracking at graphitematrix interfaces takes place around the tip of the

macroscopic crack. Ultimately the macroscopic main

crack advances by interaction and coalescence with some

of the microcracks, which successively take the role of

the macrocrack tip. Yet some other microcracks propa-

the main propagation path, and become dormant due to

load shielding effects. This mechanism explains the

relatively low propagation rates and high effective propagation threshold values for this material. Numerical and

fracture mechanics modelling of the above micromechanism have been provided in this paper, based on the

BEM and using a continuum approach.

The effects of nodule size and distribution on the

propagation mechanisms were considered by assessing

the deviation bounds in DK levels for cracks and microcracks, through the analysis of the stress fields

in the ADI microstructure. A clear periodicity in the

stress field was found in the case of long cracks, resulting

in applied DK levels lower than those in a continuous

material. On the other hand, the average DK for microcracks emanating from graphite nodules corresponds to

that of a microcrack emanating from an isolated hole.

Redistribution of stresses in the near-tip region due to

microcracks emanating from graphite nodules was correlated to the reduction in the effective elastic moduli

using a continuum approach. Stationary and steadily

growing cracks in ADI were considered, with isotropic

and stress-orientated microcrack clouds. Load shielding

effects on the applied DK at the main crack tip were

found to be more important in the case of a steadily

growing crack, and when the microcracks are considered

to nucleate perpendicular to the maximum principal

stresses. The continuum approach allowed a qualitative

description of the shielding effect, although a deeper

understanding of the microcracked zone is needed in

order to obtain accurate quantitative estimates. In this

sense the release of residual and transformation stress

constitute interesting topics to be addressed, as they

could contribute to enhance closure levels of the main

crack, thus further delaying the propagation mechanism.

Acknowledgements

This work was financed by grant PICT 1204586 of

Agencia Nacional de Promocion Cientfica de la Republica

Argentina. The authors wish to thank CONICET and the

Organization of American States (OAS) for additional

funding. The authors are also grateful to Professor

M. H. Aliabadi for providing DBEM software and

Dr G. Rivera and M. Chapetti for useful discussions.

REFERENCES

1 Authors. (1990) Ductile iron data for design engineers, Ductile

Iron Group of QIT-Fer & Titane, Canada.

2 Gundlach, R. B. and Janowak, J. F. (1991) A review of austempered ductile iron metallurgy. In: Proceedings AFS (American

Foundrymens Society, Inc.) 1991 World Conference on Austempered

2001 Blackwell Science Ltd. Fatigue Fract Engng Mater Struct 24, 591605

FAT I G U E C R A C K G R O W T H I N A U S T E M P E R E D D U C T I L E I R O N

6

7

8

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

21

22

23

American Foundrymens Society, Des Plains, Illinois, pp. 110.

Faubert, G. P., Moore, D. J. and Rundman, K. B. (1991) ADI

Part I. microstructure and mechanical properties of high alloy

heavy section castings. In: Proceedings AFS (American Foundrymens

Society, Inc.) 1991 World Conference on Austempered Ductile Iron,

(Edited by the American Foundrymens Society, Inc). American

Foundrymens Society, Des Plains, Illinois, pp. 1016.

Kobayashi, T., Yamamoto, H. and Yamada, S. (1991) On the

toughness and fatigue properties of austempered ductile cast

iron. In: Proceedings AFS (American Foundrymens Society, Inc.)

1991 World Conference on Austempered Ductile Iron, (Edited by the

American Foundrymens Society, Inc). American Foundrymens

Society, Des Plains, Illinois, pp. 567577.

Greno, G. L., Otegui, J. L. and Boeri, R. E. (1999) Mechanisms

of fatigue crack growth in austempered ductile iron. Int. J.

Fracture 21, 3543.

Aliabadi, M. H. (1997) Boundary element formulations in

fracture mechanics. Appl. Mech. Rev. 50/2, 8396.

Aliabadi, M. H. and Rooke, D. P. (1994) Numerical Fracture

Mechanics. Kluwer Academic Publishers, London, UK.

Portela, A., Aliabadi, M. H. and Rooke, D. P. (1993) Dual

boundary element incremental analysis of crack propagation.

Computers Struct. 46/2, 237247.

Cisilino, A. P., Aliabadi, M. H. and Otegui, J. L. (1998) Energy

domain integral applied to solve centre and double-edge crack

problems in three dimensions. Theoret Appl. Fracture Mech.

29, 181194.

Ortiz, J., Cisilino, A. P. and Otegui, J. (2001) Boundary element

analysis of fatigue crack propagation micromechanisms in ductile iron. Engng Anal. Boundary Elem. 25, 467473 (in press).

Sih, G. C. (1991) Mechanics of Fracture Initiation and Propagation.

Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht.

Klesnil, M. and Lukas, P. (1972) Influence of strength and stress

history on growth and stabilisation of fatigue cracks. Engng.

Fract. Mech. 4, 7792.

Elber, W. (1971) The significance of fatigue crack closure. In:

Damage Tolerance Aircraft Structures, ASTM STP 486. American

Society of Testing and Materials, Philadelphia, PA, pp. 230247.

Leis, B. N., Hoper, A. T. and Ahmad, J. (1986) Critical review

of the fatigue growth of short cracks. Engng. Fract. Mech.

23, 883898.

E 647-88, Standard Test Method for Measurements of Fatigue Crack

Growth Rates (1988) Annual Book of ASTM Standards,

Section 3, Metals Test Methods and Analytical Procedures,

American Society of Testing Materials, Philadelphia, 1988.

Petrova, V., Tamuzs, V. and Romalis, N. (2000) A survey of

macromicrocrack interaction problems. Appl. Mech. Review

53, 117146.

Image-Pro Plus. Media Cybernetics Inc., USA.

Wu, X. R. and Carlsson, A. J. (1991) Weight Functions and Stress

Intensity Factor Solutions. Pergamon Press, Silver Spring, MD.

Hutchinson, J. W. (1987) Crack tip shielding by micro-cracking

in brittle solids. Acta Metallurgica 35, 160519.

Budiansky, B. and OConnell, R. J. (1976) Elastic moduli of a

cracked solid. Int. J. Solids Structures 12, 81.

Hilliard, J. E. (1968) Measurement of volume in volume. In:

Quantitative Microscopy, (Ed. by R. T. DeHoff and F. N. Rhines).

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Tada, H., Paris, P. C. and Irwin, G. R. (1985) Handbook for

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Laws, N. (1992) The effect of microcracks on energy density.

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and E. E. Gdoutos), Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht,

pp. 195201.

APPENDIX

The mathematical degeneration of the boundary element

method when applied to crack problems, where the two

crack surfaces are considered coplanar is well known.7

Some special techniques have been devised to overcome

this difficulty. Among these, the most general is the dual

boundary element method (DBEM) introduced by

Portela et al.8 that has been used in this work. The

DBEM incorporates two independent boundary integral

equations, with the displacement equation applied for

collocation on one of the crack surfaces and the traction

equation on the other.

In the absence of body forces and assuming of the

displacements at a boundary point x, the boundary

integral representation of the displacement components

uj is given by

cij (x)uj (x)+

(A1)

and Uij (x, x) represent the Kelvin traction and displacement fundamental solutions, respectively, at a boundary

point x.

Assuming continuity of both strains and traction at x

on a smooth boundary, the traction components tj are

given by:

1

tj (x)+ni (x)

2

=ni (x)

(A2)

Tij (x,x) and Uij (x,x), respectively, and ni (x) denotes the

component of outward normal to the boundary at x.

The boundary integral equations [Eqs (A1) and (A2)]

constitute the DBEM.

For the sake of efficiency, and to keep the simplicity

of the standard boundary element, the DBEM uses

discontinuous quadratic elements for the crack modelling, whereas the remaining boundary of the model is

discretized using continuous elements. This simple strategy is robust and allows the DBEM to effectively model

general edge or embedded crack problems; crack tips,

crack-edge corners and crack kinks do not require special

treatment, as they are not located at nodal points where

collocation is carried out.

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