Fractographic analysis of fatigue damage in 7000aluminium alloys

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In this paper, an attempt is made to correlate the fatigue damage in 7000 aluminium alloys with different impurity contents to the microstructural features and to explain their interdependence through fractographic observations. The Paris constants of these alloys in the form of hot-forged plates subjected to the overaged T73 temper are evaluated and differences in the fatigue crack growth rate described by striation spacing measurements. Scanning electron microscopy analysis of fatigue fracture surfaces revealed that the type and morphological parameters of coarse intermetallic particles play a critical role in fatigue crack growth behaviour. The elemental distribution determined by means of energy-dispersive spectroscopy analysis showed that the fractured particles accelerating the crack advances are larger particles of Fe-rich phases. The fatigue crack growth rate increases considerably with increasing amounts of these particles. The smaller η, S and Mg2Si particles contribute beneficially to fatigue life.

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