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steel. Analysis and modelling

PII: S1350-6307(17)30477-6

DOI: doi: 10.1016/j.engfailanal.2017.06.053

Reference: EFA 3218

To appear in: Engineering Failure Analysis

Received date: 13 April 2017

Revised date: 18 May 2017

Accepted date: 26 June 2017

Please cite this article as: Donka Angelova, Rozina Yordanova, Svetla Yankova , Influence

of microstructure on fatigue process in a low carbon steel. Analysis and modelling,

Engineering Failure Analysis (2017), doi: 10.1016/j.engfailanal.2017.06.053

This is a PDF file of an unedited manuscript that has been accepted for publication. As

a service to our customers we are providing this early version of the manuscript. The

manuscript will undergo copyediting, typesetting, and review of the resulting proof before

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journal pertain.

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INFLUENCE OF MICROSTRUCTURE ON FATIGUE PROCESS IN A LOW CARBON

STEEL. ANALYSIS AND MODELLING

University of Chemical Technology and Metallurgy, 8 St. Kliment Ohridski, Blvd., 1756 Sofia, Bulgaria

donkaangelova@abv.bg, r.yordanova@uctm.edu, svetla_y@abv.bg

crack propagation and on growth of cracks in preliminary notched specimens. Testing uses three

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groups of specimens. For surface crack observation there are two groups of samples consisting of

cylindrical specimens subjected to tension-tension and rotating-bending fatigue; in this case surface

microstructurally-short crack propagation is monitored by acetate-foil replica technique. For crack

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growth observation (in situ) in notched specimens there is a third group of samples including flat

specimens preliminary notched by FIB-technique and then subjected to pure-bending fatigue. Here

microstructurally-short crack propagation is examined at interruptions of each test at a given equal

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number of cycles for detailed observation of specimen surface by optical- and SEM-microscopy. The

study is focused on examining of crack paths in terms of interaction between the propagating short

cracks and the microstructure, and on a suitable mathematical description of crack growth in the

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investigated microstructure. The obtained data for pure-bending fatigue show higher crack growth

rates (dominated by the interaction with ferrite and pearlite grain boundaries and interfaces, ferrite

grains, pearlite colonies and non-metal inclusions) and shorter fatigue lifetimes than those found for

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rotating-bending fatigue. In comparison, the registered tension-tension fatigue data present the lowest

crack growth rates, due to much lesser loading than that applied at rotating-bending and pure-bending

fatigue. Based on data obtained, a Parabolic-linear model Crack growth rate Crack length is used

for describing and predicting adequately short crack propagation under the specified three types of

fatigue. The model is supported by a comparison between the predicted and the actual fatigue

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lifetimes.

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INTRODUCTION

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performed in order to clarify the relationship between the typical features of the studied

microstructure and the specific behaviour of cracks propagating through it.

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Short cracks are recognized to have considerable influence on fatigue strength of a large number

of engineering components and structures. The standard approach usually uses the Paris relation to

describe crack growth data in terms of crack growth rate versus stress intensity factor range. But it

does not describe the propagation of sub-critical cracks which control a large part of the fatigue

lifetime of a component. These cracks grow at stress intensity ranges, smaller than the threshold value

of the stress intensity factor and show a specific behavior, with a widely fluctuating crack growth

rates higher than those of long cracks, described by the standard LEFM-procedure at the same

nominal driving force. In order to understand mechanics, mechanisms and microstructural effects on

short fatigue crack propagation, the mentioned specific crack growth behavior has been examined in

many different metallic materials. It is well known that usually there is a change of crack growth

direction and considerable slowdown in crack growth rate when cracks propagate across grain

boundaries and in the vicinity of an interface between phases with different mechanical properties.

These microstructural features can act as stress raisers or can cause shielding effect at the crack tip.

The barriers can reduce the effective driving force for crack propagation and that is why short crack

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growth is so microstructurally sensitive; all the variations in the microstructure surrounding the crack

tip are responsible for its specific growth behavior [1, 2].

In the present work short fatigue crack propagation behavior is investigated under tension-

tension, (T-T), rotating- bending (RB) and pure-bending (PB) loading conditions [3-10]. Three

different groups of specimens are used: for surface crack observation two groups of hour-glass

specimens for T-T and RB fatigue tests [3]; and for crack growth observation (in situ) in notched

specimens a group of flat samples notched by Focused Ion Beam (FIB) technique, tested under PB

[4, 5, 10]. A plastic-foil replication is used for short fatigue-crack growth monitoring at T-T and RB

fatigue and direct observation by optical- and SEM-microscopy at PB fatigue. The obtained data are

presented by microstructural photos, and plots Crack length Cycles and Crack growth rate

Crack length; some comparisons between them are made. A mathematical model of fatigue crack

propagation Parabolic-Linear Model, PLM, is proposed in [6] and employed for mathematical

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propagation description of data obtained.

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A rolled low-carbon, low-alloyed steel, ROLCLAS, marked as 09Mn2 Steel (according to the

Bulgarian Construction Steel Standard), used mostly for offshore applications and in shipbuilding,

was subjected to tension-tension, rotating-bending and pure-bending fatigue.

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The chemical composition of ROLCLAS and its mechanical and microstructural characteristics

are given in Table 1.

ROLCLAS was available in sheets of 8 mm thickness. Its microstructure revealed a sequence

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of long and uniform pearlite and ferrite bands, as shown in Fig. 1a. The bands are wider in the middle

of the sheet but loose and thinner close to the surface. Two groups of hour-glass specimens were

under investigation: Group A consisting of specimens for T-T fatigue with geometry shown in Fig.

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1b; and Group B including specimens for RB fatigue with geometry presented in Fig. 1c.

A third group (Group C) of flat specimens with shape and sizes shown in Fig. 1d was specially

machined in the Erich Schmid Institute of Material Science, Leoben-Austria for microstructural

investigations, [5]. On each specimen four micro-notches were machined by FIB technique in

different position in the microstructure, Fig. 2a, 2b, and the notch geometry presented in Fig. 2c,

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2d. Three of the notches were central (made on the longitudinal axis of specimen and perpendicular

to it) and located in-between the pearlite bands (notch 1 is very close to one of the pearlite band); the

forth one was an edge notch aligned with the top notch from the group of the central notches. The

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Chemical Composition

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0,09 0,28 1,63 0,05 0,04 0,017 0,026 0,13 0,12 0,014

Mechanical and Microstructural Properties

Tensile Strength Proof strength Cross section Hardness Average grain

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482 382 62,3 148 25,6

The T-T tests were carried out on Amsler Fatigue Machine in Acad. A. Balevski Institute of

Metals Science, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Sofia. The chosen loading conditions for the

specimens from Group A were: applied stress range = 396 MPa, stress ratio R = 0,1, frequency

190 Hz. For RB tests a table model Fatigue Rotating-Bending Machine, FATROBEM-2004 was

used, designed and assembled in Fracture and Fatigue Laboratory in UCTM-Sofia, [4]. The

specimens from Group B were tested at stress ranges = 580 MPa and 620 MPa, applied stress

ratio R = 1, frequency 11 Hz. The PB tests ( with flat specimens of Group C) was carried out on

Schenk Fatigue Machine in Erich Schmid Institute of Materials Science, Austrian Academy of

Sciences, Leoben under constant stress control at: stress level 580 MPa, stress ratio R = 1, frequency

5Hz [5].

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b c d

Figure 1: Microstructure of cross section of ROLCLAS specimens (a), hour-glass fatigue specimens for T-T

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(b) and RB fatigue (c), flat fatigue specimen for RB fatigue (d); all dimensions are in mm

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a b

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c d e

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f

Figure 2: FIB- machined micronotches on a specimen of Group C: central notches (a), edge notch (b);

geometry of notches (c) and (d); cracks starting from notches under stress range 580 MPa (e); two parts of

the fracturing crack accordingly to the axis perpendicular to the top central notch (f) - right part with cracks

1, 2 (started from the edge notch aligned with the top central notch) and crack 3 (started from the top central

notch), and left part with crack 4 (started from the top central notch); crack bifurcation at point A and

merging of cracks 2 and 3 at point B

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The surface short-crack propagation on the hour-glass specimens was monitored by acetate-foil

replica technique during a fixed interval of fatigue cycles and observed on the replicas by an optical

microscope for measuring registered surface crack lengths. The short fatigue-crack experiments with

the flat specimens included interruptions of the test at every 1000 cycles for in-situ examination of

the specimen surface under optical microscope and SEM-microscope. The crack lengths were

measured by using an image analyzer, as described in [5].

Data obtained from the fatigue experiments with specimens from Groups A, B, C the crack

lengths a, at the corresponding numbers of cycles N are plotted as:

a) functions Crack length, a Number of cycles, N, {a-N}, in log-log scale, shown for Group

C in Fig. 3a for cracks 1-4;

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b) functions Number of cycles, N Crack length, a, {N-a}, in semi-log scale (N in log scale and

a in ordinary scale); they are presented

- for Group C in Fig. 3b (cracks 1-4), Fig. 4-1 (crack 2), Fig. 4-2 (showing the whole length of

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crack 2 (a) and its first 300 m (b)), Fig. 4-3 (cracks 1, 2), Fig. 5-1 (crack 4), Fig. 5-2

(showing the whole length of crack 4 (a) and its first 300 m (b)), Fig. 5-3 (crack 3, 4), Fig. 6

(part of crack 1, crack 2 and part of crack 3; this crack combination form the combined right crack

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part from the two-parts notch-specimen fracturing crack, the left part consists only of crack 4); in

Figs. 4-3a, 5-3a a decreased image of Fig. 2f is represented only to show cracks location

under discussion in the whole microstructure picture,

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- for Group B in Fig. 7 (showing: at = 580 MPa the whole length of the major crack (a) and

its first 500 m (b); at = 620 MPa the major crack length (c) and its first 500 m (d),

- for Group A in Fig.8 ( showing the whole length of the major crack at = 396 MPa (b);

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c) functions Crack growth rate da/dN Crack length a, {da/dN -a}, in semi-log scale (N in log

scale and a in ordinary scale); they are presented for Group C in Fig. 3c, and for Groups A,

B, C in Figs. 4-1, 4-2, 4-3, 5-1, 5-2, 5-3, 6, 7, 8 as it is fully explained in b);

d) functions Crack growth rate da/dN Crack length a, {da/dN -a}, in semi-log scale (N in log

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scale and a in ordinary scale) represented by a Parabolic-Linear Model, PLM, proposed and

described in detail in [6]; PLM consists of three sections two parabolas and a linear part

and is applied to the data of all presentations {da/dN -a} and shown in Fig. 4-3, Fig. 5-3, Fig.

6; the three sections of PLM are located in the following a-intervals [0, d1], [d1, d2], [d2 , a])

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where d1, d2 are known as microstructural barriers connecting with microstructural influence on

crack propagation;

e) functions Crack growth rate da/dN Crack length a, {da/dN -a}, in log-log scale, shown in

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Fig. 9 for Groups A, B, C; the same PLM from [6] is applied here to the data of {da/dN -a}

and shown in the same Fig. 9;

f) functions Cycles to failure calculated by PLM Nfmodel Cycles to failure obtained

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experimentally Nfexp, {Nfmodel -Nfexp}, in log-log scale, plotted in Fig. 10 for Groups A, B, C;

the adequacy of PLM-s are proved through a comparison between Nfmodel and Nfexp in {Nfmodel

-Nfexp} presentation, Fig. 10, [6-9]; = |100(, , )/, | coefficient showing the

precision of PLM.

Propagation of some of the observed short cracks through the microstructure (Group C) is

presented in Fig. 2e, 2f, Figs. 4-1, 4-3, Figs 5-1, 5-3, Fig. 6, Fig. 8.

The first analysis begins with a notched specimen from Group C. This specimen shows

appearance of 8 cracks started from the notches, Figs. 2e, 2f, [5]. Our main interest is focused on

cracks 1, 2, 3, 4 which fracture the specimen, Fig. 2f, Fig. 3a, Figs. 4-1, 4-2, 4-3, Figs. 5-1, 5-2, 5-3,

Fig. 6, [7, 8].The longest crack is crack 2, which originates from crack 1 as its branch at 15000 cycles.

At this moment crack 1 has a length of 107.73 m. After the bifurcation (point A in Fig. 2f) the crack

2 grows faster than the other cracks during the rest of fatigue lifetime and causes the specimen failure,

merging with crack 3 (point B in Fig. 2f) which starts from the central notch 1. Finally, crack 1

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showing high growth rate during its propagation, Fig. 3c, becomes a non-propagating crack at 27000

cycles with a length 367.36 m.

The central notch 1 is machined in the ferrite band, so that its right side is very close to the next

pearlite band, Figs. 2a and 2f. Thus the crack 3 starts its growth through the pearlite band at the very

early loading cycles without significant retardation, [5]. On the other side of notch 1 crack 4 begins

its growth into the ferrite band; in the beginning its growth is slower than that of the crack 3.

Afterwards both cracks continue to grow faster and faster through the microstructure having higher

growth rate than those of the other central-notches cracks, Fig. 3c [5].

It can be clearly seen in Figs. 3b, 3c, Fig. 4-3, Fig. 5-3 and Fig. 6 that short fatigue crack growth

data exhibit considerable fluctuations and scattering and alternating decreases and increases in crack

propagation rates. This effect is caused by the interactions between the crack tip and associated

microstructural obstacles, and the crack geometry. Such a behavior can be described by the PLM

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presented in Fig. 4-3, Fig. 5-3 and Fig. 6, [6, 9]. In more details, the highest growth rates belong to

cracks 2 and 3 (Fig. 3c) which merge with crack 4 and cause the specimen failure. Crack 2 starts its

propagation as a branch of crack 1 relatively late; it shows the highest growth rate and has different

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behavior in comparison with all the other cracks. In the beginning crack 2 starts with permanently

increasing growth rate reaching a length of 53.79 m. At the same time all the other cracks show

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mostly decreasing growth rates due to an intensifying crack closure effect.

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a b

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c

Figure 3: Plots Crack length, a Number of cycles, N for cracks from Groups A, B, C T-T, RB, PB

fatigue (a), Number of cycles, N Crack length, a for cracks 1, 2, 3, 4 from Group C specimen PB

fatigue (b), Crack growth rate da/dN Crack length a for the first 100 m of cracks 1, 2, 3, 4 from

Group C specimen PB fatigue (c) ; plots from (b) and (c) show a coordinate system with Y-axis located

in the middle of the central notches, which specifies left and right propagation of the cracks

accordingly to the central notches

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Figure 4-1: Microstructural path of crack 2 (Group C specimen), together with its corresponding growth

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a b

Figure 4-2: Combined plots Crack growth rate da/dN Crack length a & Number of cycles, N Crack

length, a {da/dN a & N a} for crack 2 (Group C specimen) in semi-log scale presentations for the

whole length of crack 2 (a), and for the first 300 m of its propagation (b); d1 and d2 are the microstructural

barriers from the Parabolic-Linear Model, PLM, proposed in [6] and presented in Fig. 4-3

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Figure 4-3: Decreased image of Fig. 2f representing cracks location under discussion in the

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whole microstructure picture (a); microstructural paths of cracks 1 and 2 (Group C specimen) with their

corresponding growth rates in da/dN -a terms, crack propagation in N-a terms, and PLM applied

to the fatigue data of presentation da/dN a (b, c)

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In detail as it is described in [5] the micronotch surfaces do not contact during the loading, hence in

the beginning the propagating crack is open during the complete load amplitude (even at stress ratio

R = -1); with the growth of crack length, new-generated fracture surfaces come to an effective contact

and crack closure load increases.

A careful examining of combined fracture-crack path (of cracks 1, 2, 3, 4) shows the following.

Crack 1 starts from the edge notch, Figs. 2b, 2e, 2f, Fig. 4-3 and Fig. 6 at a length of 68.11 m

it reaches an obstacle in the ferrite band that leads to decrease in its growth rate [5]. To overcome this

obstacle crack 1 changes its direction at almost 90 degrees. Five thousand cycles later when it reaches

a length of 107.73 m, a branch appears as crack 2, Fig. 4-1, Fig. 4-3 and Fig. 6. Even when crack 1

shows steep slope on its growth curve (Figs. 3a and 3b), and has significantly high growth rate before

the appearance of crack 2 (Fig. 3c), finally it stops without any further propagation. At the same time

crack 1 does not have pronounced growth-rate drops through the microstructure, because of its start

from the edge notch and its propagation near to the specimen surface, where the microstructure does

not have well defined ferrite-pearlite bands and looks more homogeneous, Fig. 1a.

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Although the crack 2 shows the highest growth rate there are some large slowdowns during

its propagation, Fig. 4-1, Fig. 4-3 and Fig. 6. These slowdowns can be associated with crack entrances

into the pearlite structure. Anyway, at a length of 467.43 m its growth stops; at this point crack 2

leaves a pearlite band and enters into a ferrite band. This is an example for crack retardation when it

approaches the immediate vicinity of the strong-week (pearlite-ferrite) metal interface. There are

more examples of this type of behaviour, shown by crack 4 (Fig. 5-1, Fig. 5-3, Fig. 6) and cracks 5

and 8 [5]. According to Pippan [10] the driving force of crack propagation in such a non-uniform

material is not only depends on crack length, applied load, geometry of microstructural elements, but

also on the physical properties of the different phases and their geometrical arrangement.

In all the cases of 1-8 cracks, they exhibit relatively high growth rates traversing a pearlite band.

It shows that microstructurally short fatigue cracks can sometimes propagate faster in the

mechanically stronger material which in this case is the pearlite phase [5].

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Crack 3 starts its growth immediately from the central notch 1 into a pearlite band while the

other cracks start propagation into the ferrite grains, Fig. 2f, Fig. 5-3 and Fig. 6. Its initial growth rate

is not quite different than those of the other cracks how it can be seen in Fig. 3c. It seems that there

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is no difference in the initial crack growth rate, if the crack starts either in the pearlite or in the ferrite

structure. Crack 3 shows slowdowns either starting its growth into a pearlite band or having its

direction changes when it passes trough a ferrite band; some slowdowns can be observed later when

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the crack approaches the next pearlite band and shows increasing growth rate inside it [5].

Crack 4 starts from the central notch 1 and forms the left part of the two-parts fracturing crack

of the notch specimen (the right part of the notch specimen consists of the following combination

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crack 1 to the bifurcation point A, crack 2, and crack 3 to the merging point B, and can be observed

in Fig. 6). The microstructural path of crack 4 through the ferrite-pearlite microstructure can be seen

in Fig. 5-1, Fig. 5-3. After a considerable retardation in front of the pearlite bands, crack 4 enters into

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a wide pearlite band. Since this happens, the crack growth rate da/dN increases rapidly and reaches

its highest values during the whole fatigue lifetime. The described high growth rate is caused by a

row of nonmetal inclusions which are used by crack 4 for easier propagation along them, even that

they are perpendicular to its propagation direction. Such nonmetal inclusions consist of plastic MnS

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which has been preliminary deformed during the hot rolling process of the studied steel.

Part of crack 1, crack 2 and part of crack 3 form together the combined right part of the two-

parts notch-specimen fracturing crack, which can be clearly seen in Fig. 6 (the left part of the two-

parts fracturing crack consists of crack 4 - Fig. 2f, Fig. 5-1, Fig.5-3). The line L1L2, Fig.6 effectively

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represents the merging process of cracks 2 & 3 against the actual oscillations of the growth rates of

crack 2, and crack 3 to the merging point B.

So, the major fracturing crack of the studied notch-specimen, Group C, is a complicated

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As it is already mentioned above, a mathematical Parabolic-linear model, PLM, proposed in

[6] is used to describe fatigue data from all the presentations {da/dN -a} in semi-log scales (shown in

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Fig. 4-3, Fig. 5-3, Fig. 6); PLM consists of two parabolas and a final linear part, divided by two

microstructural barriers d1 and d2 at which cracks significantly slow down their growth rates. Each

parabola and the linear part describe three different stages of crack development. The first two stages

are greatly influenced by the studied different microstructures, when the third one is independent and

can be described by the linear fracture mechanics.

The complete mathematical description of the major fracturing crack of the notch-specimen

consists of PLM-s for

- crack 4, shown in Fig. 5-3c and,

- the complicated combination of part of crack 1, crack 2 and part of crack 3, shown in Fig.

6 and for the first time in the present paper.

All the minimums of crack growth rates in Figs. 4-1, 4-3, Figs. 5-1, 5-3 and Fig.6 are connected

by arrows with the corresponding elements of the microstructure which slow down cracks

propagation.

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Figure 5-1: Microstructural path of crack 4 (Group C specimen), together with its corresponding growth

rates and its propagation in N-a terms

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a b

Figure 5-2: Combined plots {da/dN a & N a} for crack 4 (Group C specimen) in semi-log scale

presentations for the whole length of crack 4 (a), and for the first 300 m of its propagation (b); d1 and d2 are

the microstructural barriers from the Parabolic-linear model, PLM, proposed in [6] and presented in Fig. 5-3

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Figure 5-3: Decreased image of Fig. 2f representing cracks location under discussion in the

whole microstructure picture (a); microstructural paths of cracks 3 and 4 (Group C specimen) with their

corresponding growth rates in da/dN -a terms, propagation in N-a terms, and PLM applied to the

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The same elements are connected by other arrows with the corresponding crack lengths from the

newly inserted Plot {N a}, built in semi logarithmic scale to correspond to crack growth through the

microstructure. In all figures there is an example of a perpendicular dash line to the a-axis, which

connects a minimum of the crack growth rate from the Plot {da/dN a} with the corresponding crack

length from the Plot {N a}. The dash line is a resulting line which is connected with the projection

(on the a-axis) of the real crack length (between two successive interruptions of the cycles); usually

crack propagates at an angle to the a-axis. Only in the case when the real crack length between two

successive interruptions of the cycles is zero, which means that the crack is perpendicular to the a-

axis, the resulting dash line coincides completely with the two arrows (for example see fig 5-1).

Propagation of some of the observed fatigue cracks through the microstructure (Group A, B)

is respectively presented in Figs. 7 and 8, and their corresponding PLM-s in Figs. 9a and 9b; the

microstructural barriers d1, d2 of PLM-s are shown in Figs. 7 and 8b.

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Figure 6: Microstructural paths of part of crack 1, crack 2 and part of crack 3 (which together form the

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combined right part from the two-parts notch-specimen fracturing crack, the left part consists only of crack 4

- Figs. 2f, 5-1, 5-3) with their corresponding growth rates in da/dN -a terms, propagation in N-a terms, and

PLM applied to the data of da/dN a; here the part of crack 1 is to the A-bifurcation, and the part of crack 3

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Analyzing all fractured specimens two important remarks should be made concerning the

three groups of samples, beginning with the most interesting one involving in-situ observation:

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- Group C (Fig. 4-1, Fig. 4-2a, Fig. 4-3c, and especially Fig. 4-2b; Fig. 5-1, Fig. 5-2a and Fig.

5-3, and especially Fig. 5-2b; Fig. 6),

- Group B (Fig. 7a, and especially Fig. 7b as well as Fig. 7c, and especially Fig. 7d) and

- Group A (Fig. 8a, and especially Fig. 8b).

(1) All crack-growth-rate minimums from the Plot {da/dN a}, connected by resulting lines

(dash lines) with the corresponding crack lengths from the Plot {N a} show change in direction of

propagating crack presented in the Plot {N a} that is inserted to correspond to crack growth through

the microstructure. So when there are not direct observations of cracks propagation through the

microstructure, the combined plots Crack growth rate da/dN Crack length a & Number of cycles,

N Crack length, a, {da/dN a & N a}, can give information about presence of some

microstructural obstacles or elements. It is of special interest for the interval from crack initiation to

crack length coinciding with the first microstructural barrier d1, (Figs 4-2b, 4-3, Figs. 5-2b, 5-3, Fig.

6, Fig. 7, Fig. 8b) as in this interval the influence of microstructure on crack propagation is the most

pronounced one;

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Figure 7: Combined plots {da/dN a & N a} for Group B specimens in semi-log scale presentations for

the whole length of the major crack: at = 580 MPa (a) and for the first 500 m of its propagation (b); at

= 620 MPa (c) and for the first 500 m of its propagation (d); d1 and d2 are the microstructural barriers

from the PLM presented in Fig. 9a

the interval between d1 and d2 (Fig. 4-2a, Fig. 5-2d, Fig. 6, Fig. 7, Fig. 8b) is interesting too, as in this

interval cracks change their mode from shear to tensile. In this sense Fig. 4-2b includes only one deep

minimum which coincides with d1; all the other minimums marked by the previous five dash lines do

not influence significantly crack 2 propagation, as they belong to the growth of crack 1, from which

crack 2 branches at the fifth minimum (107.73 m). In the 5-minimums interval, crack 1 develops

from the edge notch and is not so sensitive to the influence of microstructure.

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a b

Figure 8: Microstructural crack propagation (a), and Combined plots {da/dN a & N a} in semi-log scale

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for Group A presentation for the whole length of the major crack at = 396 MPa (b); d1 and d2 are the

microstructural barriers from the PLM presented in Fig. 9b

1.E+00 1.E-01

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1.E-01

for cylindrical specimens 1.E-02

da/dN, 10 m/cycle

da/dN, 10 m/cycle

1.E-02

-6

-6

1.E-03

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620 MPa

580 MPa 1.E-04 for cylindrical specimen

1.E-04 580 MPa

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1.E-05 1.E-05

1.E+01 1.E+02 1.E+03 1.E+04 1.E+01 1.E+02 1.E+03 1.E+04

a, 10-6 m a, 10-6 m

a b

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1.E+00

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1.E-01

da/dN, 10 m/cycle

1.E-02

rotating bending fatigue

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1.E-03

1.E-04

tension-tension fatigue

1.E-05

1.E+01 1.E+02 1.E+03 1.E+04

a, 10-6 m

c

Figure 9: Description of fatigue data by PLM proposed in [6] for all Groups of specimens

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Figure 10: Graphical presentation of adequacy of PLM for Group A (a), Group B (b), Group C (c)

(2) When cycle intervals (Nm and Nm+1) between measuring of two successive crack lengths (am

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and am+1) are equal and (am+1-am) is significantly bigger in comparison with the other crack length

intervals, that means that there is probably a real change in crack propagation direction and it is near

to 90 degrees, (see the interval [100 200] m in Fig. 5-2b).

As it is already mentioned above, a mathematical Parabolic-linear model, PLM, proposed in [6] is

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used to describe fatigue data from all the presentations {da/dN -a} in log-log scale, Fig. 9.

The adequacy of models applied to the presentations {da/dN -a} in semi-log and log-log scales

is accordingly proved in [6-9] where the procedure is explained in detail; the graphical results can be

seen in Fig. 10. The symbols presenting cycles to failure, obtained by PLM, determine the straight

lines symmetrically surrounding the diagonals and showing the intervals of model precision.

CONCLUSIONS

Three groups of low-carbon-steel specimens with ferrite and pearlite microstructure are

subjected to tension-tension, rotating-bending and pure-bending fatigue. Two of the groups use

cylindrical specimens subjected to tension-tension and rotating-bending fatigue; surface crack

propagation is monitored by acetate-foil replication. The third group of flat specimens are preliminary

notched by FIB-technique alongside their longitudinal axis and at one of the edges, and then subjected

to pure-bending fatigue; interaction between surface cracks and the microstructure is directly (in situ)

observed by optical- and SEM-microscopy.

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Microstructure. The most interesting data are obtained at pure-bending fatigue of a notched

specimen with major fracturing crack represented by a complicated combination of cracks and part

of cracks (crack 4, and part of crack 1, crack 2 and part of crack 3). These data show higher crack

growth rates (dominated by the interaction with ferrite and pearlite grain boundaries and interfaces,

ferrite grains, pearlite colonies and non-metal inclusions) and shorter fatigue life in comparison with

the specimens subjected to rotating-bending fatigue. Crack propagation rates at pure-bending fatigue

decrease in the vicinity of (i) interface between ferrite and pearlite bands when a crack propagates

into the ferrite or pearlite colony, (ii) ferrite-ferrite or pearlite-pearlite grain boundary, (iii) obstacles,

where a crack changes its propagation direction or bifurcates. In this case, the observed rows of

longitudinal nonmetal inclusions (MnS) increase crack growth rate serving as crack paths. At the

same time the registered tension-tension fatigue data represent the lowest crack growth rates, due to

much lesser loading than that applied at rotating-bending and pure-bending fatigue.

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Data presentations. The newly inserted Plots Number of cycles, N Crack length, a in semi-

logarithmic scale is a base for constructing new Combined Data Presentations {Crack growth rate,

da/dN - Crack length, a} with Parabolic-Linear Model describing the da/dN-a data Real

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Microstructure Image {Number of cycles, N Crack length, a} for more successful analyzing of

microstructural crack paths together with some fatigue characteristics; also for getting useful

information even without detailed microstructural observations.

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Models. The applied Parabolic-linear model can describe and predict adequately short crack

behaviour under conditions of tension-tension, rotating-bending and pure-bending fatigue. For the

first time a complete Parabolic-linear model is represented for describing the complicated major

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fracturing crack of the notch specimen at pure-bending fatigue. The inserted Parabolic-linear models

allow comparison between the fatigue characteristics of different metallic materials at different kinds

of loading.

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AKNOWLEGEMENTS

The authors thank the University of Chemical Technology and MetallurgySofia, Bulgaria for

its valuable support.

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REFERENCES

[1] S. Suresh, Fatigue of Materials, Cambridge Univ. Press, Cambridge, UK, 1998.

[2] N. Dowling, Mechanical Behavior of Materials. Engineering Methods for Deformation, Fracture,

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[3] D. Angelova, R. Yordanova, Bending Fatigue in a Low-Carbon Steel, in: V.V.Panasyuk (Ed.)

Fracture Mechanics of Materials and Structural Integrity, Karpenko Physico-Mechanical Institute of

CE

[4] A. Davidkov, On factors influencing fatigue in 09Mn2 steel, PhD Thesis, University of Chemical

Technology and Metallurgy Sofia, 2007.

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[5] A. Davidkov, R. Pippan, Studies on short fatigue crack propagation through a ferrite-pearlite

microstructure, CD ROM, 9-th International Fatigue Congress, Atlanta, Georgia, USA, 2006.

[6] R. Yordanova, Modeling of fracture process in a low-carbon 09Mn2 steel on the bases of short

fatigue crack growth experiments. Comparative analyses on the fatigue behaviour of other steels, PhD

Thesis, University of Chemical Technology and Metallurgy Sofia, 2003.

[7] D. Angelova, R. Yordanova, S. Yankova, Fatigue crack paths in a low-carbon steel. Modelling of

fatigue behaviour, Proceedings of The Fifth International Conference on Crack Paths CP 2015,

Ferrara, Italy, 16 - 18 September, 2015.

[8] D. Angelova, R. Yordanova, S. Yankova, Fatigue crack development in a low carbon steel.

Microstructure influence. Modelling, Procedia Structural Integrity, 2 (2016) 2726-2733.

[9] D. Angelova, A. Davidkov, in: Proceedings of Second International Conference Deformation,

Processing and Structure of Materials, Belgrade, Serbia and Montenegro (2005) 179-184.

[10] R. Pippan, K. Flechsig, F. O. Riemelmoser, Mater. Sci. Eng., A283 (2000) 225.

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Highlights

Short fatigue crack length, a, in notch specimens is observed in situ and measured

Presentations Number of cycles N/Crack growth rate da/dN a are plotted and modeled

Combined Presentations {da/dN-a and its model}Microstructure Image{N a}are studied

Combined Presentations show the relation fatigue parametersmicrostructure elements

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