Thermo-mechanical fatigue crack growth modeling of a nickel-based superalloy
Barker, Vincent Mark
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A model was created to predict the thermo-mechanical fatigue crack growth rates under typical engine spectrum loading conditions. This model serves as both a crack growth analysis tool to determine residual lifetime of ageing turbine components and as a design tool to assess the effects of temperature and loading variables on crack propagation. The material used in the development of this model was a polycrystalline superalloy, Inconel 100 (IN-100). The first step in creating a reliable model was to define the first order effects that influence TMF crack growth in a typical engine spectrum. Load interaction effects were determined to be major contributors to lifetime estimates by influencing crack growth rates based upon previous load histories. A yield zone model was modified to include temperature dependent properties that controlled the effects of crack growth retardation and acceleration based upon overloads and underloads, respectively. Multiple overload effects were included in the model to create enhanced retardation compared to single overload tests. Temperature interaction effects were also considered very important due to the wide temperature ranges of turbine engine components. Oxidation and changing temperature effects were accounted for by accelerating crack growth in regions that had been affected by higher temperatures. Constant amplitude crack growth rates were used as a baseline, upon which load and temperature interaction effects were applied. Experimental data of isolated first order effects was used to calibrate and verify the model. Experimental data provided the means to verify that the model was a good fit to experimental results. The load interaction effects were described by a yield zone model, which included temperature dependent properties. These properties were determined experimentally and were essential in the model's development to include load and temperature contributions. Other interesting factors became apparent through testing. It was seen that specific combinations of strain rate and temperature would lead to serrated yielding, discovered to be the Portevin-Le Chatelier effect. This effect manifested itself as enhanced hardening, leading to unstable strain bursts in specimens that cyclically yielded while changing temperature.