Bridging macro to micro-scale fatigue crack growth by advanced fracture mechanical testing on the meso-scale

J. Luksch; A. Lambai; G. Mohanty; F. Schaefer; C. Motz

Materials Science and Engineering: A 884 (2023) 145452-145452

Fatigue and fracture mechanics testing is strictly regulated by standards that specify a minimum specimen size. However, when component sizes or material volume decrease below this limit, test methods need to be adapted for small scales. In fatigue crack growth studies, experiments become complex and challenging. Thus, there is lack of systematic scale-bridging studies from meso- to micro-scales on ductile materials. This study outlines a method to bridge this scale gap by performing meso-scale studies. Cantilver bending specimens with a cross section of 50×50µm2 and a lever arm length of 200µm of nanocrystalline nickel, as a model material, are milled by Xe plasma focused ion beam technique and tested following ASTM E647 standard. The gathered da/dN-curves are highly reproducible. The threshold stress intensity factor ΔKth is obtained by step-wise load reduction and discussed in context of crack closure. So, not only the gap between macro and micro-scaled testing was bridged, but also a pre-cracking step was shown to be essential for obtaining reliable data, and a new method to determine the intrinsic threshold stress intensity factor was introduced.