L. Duarte, A.C. Andrade, D. Bettge
December 9, 2020
Fatigue failure of a component can occur at service loads considerably lower than the yield strength of the material. Under fatigue loading condition, the material in the vicinity of the tip of a propagating crack repeatedly deforms plastically, leaving microscopic marks on the crack surface, commonly known as fatigue striations. Counting and measuring fatigue striations is a method in estimating the number of loading cycles a component went through until fracture. Some studies suggest a one-to-one relation between the number of fatigue striations and the number of load cycles, but this relation is still debatable, given that there are many factors influencing the formation of those striations. The main purpose of this work is to analyze the influence of microstructure and mechanical strength on the formation of fatigue striations in structural steels, in order to understand how these material properties are related to the fatigue crack behavior. For such, standard Charpy-V samples were subjected to hardness, fatigue and impact testing. Metallography was performed to characterize the microstructure, and a fractographic analysis by using optical and scanning electron microscopy was carried out to investigate the fracture surface. This study shows that steels with higher ductility have a closer one-to-one relation than those with a higher tensile strength. Above a certain level of tensile strength, fatigue striations do form rarely or completely disappear.