Analysis of fatigue behavior, fatigue damage and fatigue fracture surfaces of two high strength steels
Lester, Charles Gilbert, IV
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Building fuel efficient automobiles is increasingly important due to the rising cost of energy. One way to improve fuel efficiency is to reduce the overall automobile weight. Weight reductions using steel components are desirable because of easy integration into existing manufacturing systems. Designing components with Advanced High Strength Steels (AHSS) has allowed for material reductions, while maintaining strength requirements. Two Advanced High Strength steel microstructures investigated in this research utilize different strengthening mechanisms to obtain a desired tensile strength grade of 590MPa. One steel, HR590, utilizes precipitation strengthening to refine the grain size and harden the steel. The other steel, HR590DP, utilizes a dual phase microstructure consisting of hardened martensite constituents in a ferrite matrix. The steels are processed to have the same tensile strength grade, but exhibit different fatigue behavior. The central objective of this research is to characterize and compare the fatigue behavior of these two steels. The results show the dual phase steel work hardens at a low fatigue life. The precipitation strengthened microstructure shows hardening at low strain amplitudes, softening at intermediate strain amplitudes and little to no effect at high strain amplitudes. These different fatigue responses are characterized and quantified in this research. Additionally, observations showing the fracture surfaces and the bulk microstructure are analyzed.