The local mechanical behavior of fatigued steel specimens was probed using nanoindentation. High-carbon steel cantilevers were exposed to nonlinear harmonic oscillation. The indentation modulus on the beam surface and plastic work during indentation decreased as a function of cycles, which was attributed to grain fragmentation and reorientation as well as the continuous reduction in inherent energy dissipation capacity of the material. X-ray diffraction, electron backscatter diffraction, and atomic force microscopy were used to characterize this microstructural evolution during early stages of the beam fatigue life, which altered 1) the local mechanical properties and 2) the global structural dynamic response. The results provide insight into fatigue damage precursors and provides a framework for connecting materials evolution with nonlinear structural dynamics.
Experimental Mechanics – Springer Journals
Published: Jan 20, 2017
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