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MATWIALS
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The Nature of Fati@e
KARL L FETTERS
MEMBERAIME
I YOUNGSTOWN SHEET& TUBECO.
YOUNGSTOWN,OHIO

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,, Abstract essary to cause fatigue failure. These S-N Curves
are: (1) a maximum tensile stress of The most common method of pre-
While ‘the fundarnentaf nature of a sufficiently high value; (2) a large senting fatigue da~ is by means of
fatigue is not well understood, many enough fluctuation in the value of the the strem-number (S-N) curve, which
of the Rhenonwnolog!cal aspects of applied stress; and (3) a sufficiently relates the numb of cyclic stresses
/he probiem have been sorted out. A large number of cycles of the ih.rctuat- ifiposed on a s~cimen to failure, ,,
general o~tline of the problem, meth- ing applied stress. with the maximum stress applied. . I
ods of presenting data, types of fa- WhHe these are” sufficient to cause These data are generally obtained by
tigue and the. factors involved are fatigue, there are a host of other vari- imposing a sinusoidal stress pattern
discu?.”cd;, The fundamentals’ of the ables which alter the conditions for with a net resultant “(or mean) stress
probletn and what- isknownaboutfa- fatigue, such ‘as temperature, crystal of zero as shown in Fig. 1.
rigue today are outlined, and the inz- system of the rne!.al, grain size, en- Fig, 2 shows a typical S-N curve
pliiations of this knowledge:in tertns vironment (corrosive or otherwise), for a ferrous and nonferrous material.
Ot possible treattnenp, iWectiont metallurgical strudure, stress system, The fatigue life of the nonferrous ,
etc., pa:ticular[y as related to the etc. j matefial is very short for high stress-
drilling industry, are presented. es, but this life becomes increasingly
Fluctuating’ Stress longer a’s the magnitude of the maxi- I
Introduction The general types of fluctuating mum stress is reduced.
stresses which can cause fat igtie are F~r the c~e of the ferrous metals,
Wtigueis,a strange and exceeding- illustrated in Fig. 1. a piateau is reached when the stress
ly dangerous problem. Fatigue failure The first represents an idealized sit- is :educed below a certain level, This .
, occurs with little or no wai~ttg un- uation wherein the net resultant m~ans that for a stress equal to or -
der repeated applications of a.load stress is zero, fluctuating in a sinuso- less, than,the plateau value, the speci-
which the metal would support in- idal fastilon from tensile to compres- men wilk support an infinite riumber.
definitely if the load were applied sive. ‘Ms is the most common form of cycles without failure, This plateau
stati~ally, The, ”problem was first rec- used to study fatigue in a laboratory, vahre is the maxim”um stress for in-
ognized in 1850, but it has become but is also approached in service by finite life, and is called the fatigue or
progressively more prevalent = @- a rotating shaft operating at a con- endurance limit, Most nonferrous
nology has developed mach~nes and staut speed without overload. The :ec- metals such as aluminum, magnesium
/, ‘equjpment subjected to repeated load- ond shows the sinusoidal stress form and copper alloys do not have a true
ing and vibration. Today fatigue ac- but here the resultant (or mean) fatigue limit because the S-N curve
counts for about 90 per cent of all stress is not zero. The third shows an never becomes horizontal and they
service failures due to mechanical irregular or random stress cycle of will eventually fail at any value of an
causes, the type most frequently encountered applied cyclic load. In addition to the
in actual service, and of course is of
Causes of Fati~e Failure the type found in drilling operations.
Much has been written about fa-
tigue and a great many people have
studied and continue to study ic us-
ing the most modern techniques and w-
ingenirws experiments. V/Me a great CYCLES - ,1’ CYCLES--
deal is known about the phenomenon,
we do not understand the basic mech-
.. anism or. nature of the. . prfibfem, l-” > --- --- -~,
+
Three basic factors are, however, nec-
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OrfehIalmanuscriptreceivedin SW!*Y of Pe- v Number of CmJ-.Te FOIIUW’I N
tmtem Engineereotfke Feb. 17, 1964. Paper I CVCLES-
Presentedat imehm~ En@nwlng As~e*
Of Drulsngd ProduettonSymposium held In Fig, l—Typical fatigue stress cycles. Fig. !2-Typicd fatigue CUI’VW
~Ort-Worth, March 28-24,1964.
~69
AUGUST, 1964
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menl on fatigue life. 3 shows the considerable reduction of . . Let us now turn our attention to whist has been learned in various stud. The latter is called l~ody center cubic and is shown in deck of cards method tind pure iron considerable variation. Sw. that one plane slips over the pkrrw .330F to the melting point and one from many imperfections.. 4—flody ceotered robir rrystsd.1nhn W ilcy The defects which cause slip to oc- point of view to determine the prob.. using fatigue data. . vironment on fatigue properties.. other form of deformdion. metals have the would require it shear stress of about mens of the same material are tested 1. It does point up the necessity bfode of J?aMrtrc most common mctuls. the fatigue limit is subject to below 1.con. drilling people is the influence of tm- . corrosive environment unit cube is exceedingly small—2. Fig. )’ &~ Environn]ent . however.330F. & Sons.. Fig. .$ the fatigue life due to corrosive med. recent research’p has re.. If speci.SCIItter ies of fatigue. als are crystalline and that they re- main crystalline during fatigue or tiny ing all the bonds over the whole slip there is &considerable amount of scat. This is twice the number of system. It is best to look -— at this information from a statistical I ‘:t{ntc+wmnl. If one considers all the pos- are too many unknowg factors in a . designers to evaluate the stresses oxide coating on the surface. ~~. . 870 . low ii. .jf cyclic stress and chem. several other implications of these studies might b. has 24 different slip or deformation ing an accurate analysis of the stress systems. rather Slip Oirection than to rely on data from only a few tests. angstroms on cxlge or 2. strength of shout reasons one must.86X 10”’ cm.at- ttik occurs simultaneous with fatigue loading. perfect. or ... Iron has discrepancy lies in the fact that real cles to failure. imposed stress often produces pitting of metal surfaces. K. for this would require break- ditions which are greatly ideahzed. there Fig. The exphmation for the observed values of the number of cy. when. does serious problems which complicate not occur by one whole plane moving McItd Strocture : the subject even further.e. the fatigue properties of some steels. 5—Principul dip plnnc in iron. The restriction that metals remain stress system on th~ length of the fa. . symmetry is brought about by the na- ture of the metallic bond. ally subject to attack in a particular are about 10“ of these unit cubes. slip could only occur by the dition. . ~ ia of varying severity. not clearly understood why some met... . corrosion environment fail very iapid- [y when cyclically loaded in this same Deformation trates the importance of the imposed. In acf. The process of slip. Unfortunately in tions. however. 4 as a unit cube with an iron atom at etich of the eight corners and 2 million psi. Fig.. Such a process ter irt the . 5.: One other very sericms problem which is of particular interest to . Slip occurs’ of making an effort to keep these much like shearing a deck of curds. In. These pits can act -k as notches and produce a reduction in -@Q’’’-@” fatigue strength .:.. a cubic centimeter of iron there als exhibit it and others do not. it appcms rosion fatigue are probably the same. W. There are. in stresses at a minimum.000 times the value of the stresses under identical stress conditions there simplest and the most symmetrical crsytrd systems.However.. Deform- that a part loaded In “a cyclic manner ation must occur along specific crys- will have to endure. Research indicates that the basic nature of norms I fatigue and cor.. vealed that coatings’ containing long organic molecules seriously . a very pronounced reduction in fatigue properties results. The S-N type of plot clearly ilhss. S-N type data. plane at one time..: l’rnd IIw. reaI crystals. For * these would have a yield. *. Frequently there is as crystak are not perfect but cent ain much as one log cycle between the two crystal forms-one from 1. . 3—l%ffcct of corrosive mvirm- tigue. ..86 metals have fatigtre limits. and great pains fire taken that plastic flow in & meta I must oc- by.”.” iron of feet underground) to permit mirk.!. expos- ing fresh metal to corrosive condi.as in most cases.. ferrous alloys such as steel. impair sible planes of this type and all the drill string (which may be thousands possible directions in each plane.+’. Number OfCYC19S x tOe . plane and ih the direction shown in calculated.by concentrating stress. Slip Plane .. Corrosive attack without super. JO UXITAL OF PUrItOt. but it is the process is greatly accelerated. This high degree of which are observed to cssusc slip in is a great amount of scatter in the. R.. slip generally occurs on the stress systems are too complex to be by protecting it from the corrosive en- vironment. This occurs because the cyclic load disrupts the protective crystalline during deforrnat”on means tigue life.im:wott Canfwcnca ( l!lfi!l ) 10+ cur at very low values trrc called dis- ability ‘of failure at a given stress in the yicinity of the fatigue limit. Many materials which are not norm. Even under one atom clis~dnce over the plane be- It should be remembered that met- carefuUy controlled laboratory . Of all crystalline materials.-. 2 4 eous action . one in the.. be very careful in Fig. Fig. cur in a very particular way. . and to sec what the below it as illustrated in Fig. . center. environment. While !iome coatings may in- crease the fatigue life of the material tal planes and in specific directions... the drilling business the imposed in iron.EllM TIICIih’OLOCY . If a crystal were minimum and maximum value. corrosive . ical attack is known as corrosion fa. The size of this that titanium and one or two other but that in a. 6. The sinmltan.

what we see how this dislocation can move be discerned. -.. Fig. and the dislocations are observed to be very tangled.. 1964 871 -----. Fig. work hardening of the metal occurs. . During this period the care crystals can be grown with only is the formation of cracks of atomic cracks grow very slowly. ~regardless of eye. 7—lJefOrmatim by u Jislocut ion. vis)blo- A R c L_____ ~~LOGN Fig. one direction does not. tion moving through the crystal pro. 8 shows a pic- ture of a fatigued specimen.~Ig. In the slip process dislocations cracks can be. If thir stress level is high enough. and it does so These cracks occur very early in very easily. Figs. While tangles are observed in unaxially loaded specimens there are distinct differences-but what differ- entiates them is not yet clear. . Fig. which causes fatigue is closely related 11 shows similar cracks along slip to the slip process and that it is in bands. constitutes about 90 to but in cyclic fatigue they move back . can be detected as early ing the whole top plane over the bot. 1. techniques”’ used and’ the skill . the process and depending on the Practical Application. While this process is not well understood it can be thought of in terms of disloc~ tions becoming entangled with one smother so that they do not move as Fig. times and illustrate how small these tice. is occurring in them. . Figs. The next stage. < should cause fatigue when motion in . Fig. but unfortunately dimensions. . whether the specimen is stressed by propagation and coalescence of these 7 shows an example of a dislocation bending.000 atoms thick) of metal. Dislocations can be studied in the electrofi “microscope-’ by examining very thin pieces (about 1. and generafly crystals con. 9 and 10 are electron someway involvecf with the motion of micrographs taken at about 40. . locations. In thelotker part -of the figure. called Stage 2. Just precisely why ]. as 2 per cent of the fatigue life. is the heart of the problem. The next stage specimen. They are so minute that to cause failure. With very great further deformation. 9-Twin boundary fatigue crack.000 times or more that they can ous stages and in general terms. 30.llordwlngl /’ s. . . cases these cracks commence at or they become discernible to the naked ing so at tho first sign of deformation near the surface.of the gressively is exactly the same as%lid. easily as before. z--—:. In all but very special only at the very end of this stage that dislocations are capable of multiply. . and Fig. usuaily generally move only in one direction. 1 I—Fntiguc lxmnhries along slip hands uird twin boundaries (750X).. . through the crystal. . 12—VnrioI& stages of fracture. and the metal resists 95 per cent of the fatigue Iif& of the tain about 100/cc. . . Stages of Fatigue The initial stage of fatigue depends upon the stress level imposed. . . 12 schematically . .. tomsimukaneoudybut at much lower 9 and 10 show cracks which have values of stress.. The third stagq constitutes the the number grows to 10° to 10”. A CRYSTAL FAULT ‘DISLOCATION’ I %f%zaxm SIOQ* 3 f(’%.000 ‘dislocations through the crystal lat. and forth under the influence of the ‘ reversing stress. 8—Dislocation. the reversal of these dislocations L. by push-pull or by some visible cracks to a size large enough wldch is really no more than an extra other means. The restr~t of a djsli)ca.. 0 . AUGUST. Now that we have discussed the experimenter.-. Research in fatigue formed at a twin boundary Yery early has demonstrated that the mechanism in the life of a specimen. half plane of atoms inserted into the it is only with magnifications of shows the relative lengths of the vari- crystal. :--. w -Falluro rack roak “--”””D “EC!) !3 nitiatlen ‘ “.structure in fatigue specimen. . Fig. but it is 104 dislocations/cc.

of the damaged material. nor the number of cYcles appreciation to hf.—. phenomenological aspects of fatigue. ... technical and economic aspects. the formed very early in the fatigue life cracks which form are so small they staff at Youngstown Research Center of a specimen. nlent of damage irr the form of cracks Of on the S-N curve. . the’ S-N curve. tion. however. is would have’ to be carried out is still ‘than electron microscopy. . with any degree of precision. be improbable that the extent of the Research onci De- It was stated earlier that fatigue damage. of the fatigue life. the search supervisor. emphasizing that metallurgical engineering and a DSC . the removal of the surface layer after Conclusion He is a graduate a cextain amount of fatigue can result of Carnegie Institute of Techn ok%y in a new life for the specimen equal I have tried to give you some idea and Mm’sachusetts Institute of Tech- to the life of a new unused part.rfficieidlycon.. could be evaluated yOLUZgS/OW Sheet atomic dimensions start at the surface. in Many experiments have shown that Youngstown.. research is showing that there initial state. - .. The of the present state of knowledge of nology... and this of course would failure is imminent. . the variables which control the depth Youngstown we . At Many experimenters have tried inter.. . Work in this area is being are ways in which the fatigue prop- the same thing for fatigue samples? carried out.determining the initial cost of the steel products but nealed at every loper cent increment progress of fatigue in a particular not to the long-term cost. .: within the statistical variation of the what stres~. to recommend generally that ‘ aspects are’ not well understood. In It would be very nice to have a erally. Roblin. tent of damaged material due to sorting out the phenomenological as- what are the implications? cracking cannot accurately be deter. have to anneal the specimens about niques) until a point so late in the every 1 to 2 per cent of the estimated fatigue life of the specimen that fatigue life.. in addi- the material it can be restored to its are the present results sr.are examining these rupting fatigue testi at various per... Unfortunately. mined at the present even under very cussed some of the implications re- aged metal. these improvements add to the one such test the.. This and many piece of metal with reference to a other such experiments have shown point on. . effect in the laboratory is by no means the subject is complex and that many in 1940. system has been imposed The author expresses his sincere control samples. particularly Acknowledgment ‘ no improvement of the’ fatigue li~e for those cases where we have no idwa .”:”—. On Metallurgical Society of.———- J –——– -. at various possibilities carefully from both the centages of the fatigue life and giving points in the fatigue life. preparation of this paper. . and by simply annealing closely controlled test conditions. cracks could be observed by some TERS. great strides 1961-62 and a nzetnber of the Board - in service. This coatlrms the o~ the part.—. The reason is that the ex. To show an improve. K. nor sulting from this knowledge. . Even if these KARL L. pects of the problem. have been made in recent years in of Directors of AIME.. Would such a process do elusive. Fetters was president of the sufficient. 1964 presi- dition the point at which annealing presently unknown technique other dent of AIME.: –––. J. . A !ME itl the procedure be followed on parts the plus side.–-— -. cannot be detected (except by the for their invaluable assistance in the ment in the properties one would most elaborate of experimental tech.. and others of. as it is important to know erties of steel can be improved. .:. simple method of . . re- studies which postulate that cracks are it has experienced.. . it would vice-president for not absolutely clear. and I have dis- Work-hardened metal is not dam. .. and Tube Co. In ad.specimens were an. FE’r- be uneconomic and unrealistic. Ohio. . .. Gen- the specimens an annealing cycle. He received a 5S degree in %ct that it is possible to show this the fatigue problem.. or in other words its position velop.