3D Discrete Dislocation Dynamics Investigations of Fatigue Crack Initiation and Propagation


C. Déprés (SYMME)
C. Robertson (SRMA, CEA )
M. Fivel (SIMaP, CNRS)

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Both nucleation and propagation of fatigue cracks in fcc metals are investigated, using 3D discrete dislocation dynamics (DDD) simulations. Firstly, DDD simulations explain the mechanisms leading to the formation of persistent slip bands in surface grains loaded in fatigue. Extrusions are evidenced where the bands intercept the free surface. The extrusion growth rate is estimated for different material parameters and loading conditions. Energy and stress calculations performed inside the simulated grain lead to a possible scenario for the crack initiation at the interface between the band and the matrix, as reported in the literature. Secondly, a crack is inserted at the persistent slip band interface and the crack tip slip displacement evolutions are evaluated. It is shown that the crack growth rate is strongly related to the grain size and to the distance to the grain boundary; the smaller the grain, the faster the crack growth. Finally, the crack propagation to the next grain is investigated by conducting DDD fatigue simulations in a surface grain next to a cracked grain. It is shown that the development of the persistent slip band is modified by the presence of the crack. The crack orientation affects the orientation of the persistent slip band, as well as the extrusion rate, and consequently the crack propagation in the next grain.