The fatigue crack propagation process in an Al-Mg-Si alloy was investigated using in situ high-resolution synchrotron radiation X-ray microtomography. Tomography datasets were obtained at periodic intervals throughout the 120,000 fatigue cycles. Three-dimensional rendering of the through-thickness crack shape indicates that in a number of regions the adjacent sides of two branched cracks tend to overlap with fatigue cycling and form a crack overlapping region. Measured crack growth rates in each tomographic slice show that crack growth retardation generally occurs in these crack overlapping regions. The through-thickness variation in crack tip opening displacement was also measured and was used to account for the observed crack propagation behavior. Crack morphologies were observed at different load levels in a fatigue cycle. The crack closure level varied for two selected regions comprising different overlapping cracks. The correlation of the crack growth rate with both crack opening and closure levels was discussed and interpreted.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Ceramics and Composites
- Polymers and Plastics
- Metals and Alloys