On the mechanism of dynamic embrittlement and its effect on fatigue crack propagation in IN718 at 650°C

Abstract

1N718 is a commonly used nickel-base alloy for high temperature applications, e.g., in gas and steam turbines. At elevated temperatures, this and other superalloys are prone to the failure mechanism "dynamic embrittlement". Dynamic embrittlement can be considered as a kind of stress corrosion cracking, driven by tensile-stress-controlled oxygen grain boundary diffusion. Oxygen embrittles the grain boundaries by weakening the grain boundary cohesion resulting in fast and brittle intercrystalline crack propagation. In order to reveal the mechanism of dynamic embrittlement, high-temperature fatigue crack propagation tests were carried out at 650 degrees C applying various dwell times and testing frequencies. Most of the tests were performed in laboratory air, but some experiments were run in vacuum as well, in order to eliminate environmental effects and, hence, to define the reference fatigue crack propagation behaviour. The observations show that at low stress intensity factor ranges Delta K-I, continuous crack growth occurs. At intermediate values of Delta K-I, no crack propagation takes place during the dwell part of the cycle. Rather, the crack extends during unloading and reloading between subsequent hold times. The time necessary to grow the crack under sustained load during the dwell time was found to decrease with increasing stress intensity factor. Therefore, at high values of Delta K-I, there is a contribution of the crack propagation at constant stress, since the incubation time is shorter than the dwell time. A mechanism-based model was developed for the range of test parameters, where intergranular and transgranular areas exist side by side in the fracture surface. The total crack growth per cycle is calculated by a linear combination of the intergranular and the transgranular contribution using the corresponding area fractions as weighting factors. It is shown that simulation calculations based on this model approach correspond very reasonably to the experimental observations. Hence, the model provides a quantitative mechanismen-related description of the effect of dynamic embrittlement on fatigue crack propagation rate.