For critical component application, such as aerospace turbine rotors, it is imperative to be able to make accurate in-service material behaviour and component life predictions for both design and monitoring of component life. The development of such predictive capability is dependent on the quality of the experimental data from which the material parameters are derived. This paper shows the effect that scatter which may be present within experimental data, manifesting itself within the constitutive parameters derived from this data, has on the resulting fatigue crack initiation life of the nickel-based superalloy RR1000. Industrial relevance was added to this investigation by the use of flight representative thermomechanical fatigue loading cycles and state of the art material behaviour and fatigue crack initiation models used within the finite element simulations conducted. The effect of the ‘scatter in’ to the modelling approach on the outcoming predictions is made via a Monte-Carlo analysis. This analysis consisted of running the same simulation several times, but with the experimentally determined and validated ‘baseline’ constitutive parameters varied via correction factors built into the model, for each run via a singular value decomposition procedure. It was found that small ‘scatter in’ has only a very localised ‘scatter out’ effect on the crack initiation predictions under the flight representative loading.
The current paper presents work on identification and evaluation of a range of factors influencing accuracy and comparability of data generated by three laboratories carrying out stress-controlled thermo-mechanical fatigue crack growth tests. It addresses crack length measurements, heating methods and temperature measurement techniques. It also provides guidance for pre-cracking and use of different specimen geometries as well as Digital Image Correlation imaging for crack monitoring. The majority of the tests have been carried out on a coarse grain polycrystalline nickel-base superalloy using two phase angles, Out-of-Phase and In-Phase cycles with a triangular waveform and a temperature range of 400-750 oC.
The polycrystalline nickel-base superalloy RR1000 is used as turbine rotor material in Rolls-Royce aero engines and has to withstand a wide variety of load and temperature changes during operation. In order to maximize the potential of the material and to improve component design, it is of great interest to understand, and subsequently be able to accurately model the crack propagation caused by thermo-mechanical fatigue conditions. In this work, experimental data is analysed and used to inform unified modelling approaches in order to predict the crack propagation behaviour of RR1000 under a variety of stress-controlled thermo-mechanical fatigue conditions.
An understanding of rate dependency over a wide range of time scales is vitally important in approximating the transient response of critical components operating in extreme environments. Many examples of viscoplastic model formulations can be found in the literature, wherein all rate dependency is assumed to occur after yielding. Such models neglect any viscous effects during elastic deformation. In the present work, a unified viscoelastic - viscoplastic material model is developed for the Nickel superalloy RR1000. Particular emphasis is placed on model parameter determination, which is accomplished using standard cyclic plasticity and stress relaxation experimental data.
Thermo-mechanical fatigue data is critical for the generation of appropriate lifing methodologies for a range of in-service applications where non-isothermal conditions are prevalent. Recently the development of more standardised testing approaches through appropriate code of practice documents and international standards has proved crucial. In the current paper, several methods of undertaking TMF testing are explored, with the benefits and pitfalls of each test type investigated. It is shown that bespoke test setups are often required, dependent on material, TMF cycle and specimen type. Further developments are suggested, along with a suggested methodology for TMF crack growth tests.
The current paper describes TMF crack growth behaviour in an advanced nickel-based superalloy. Changes in behaviour are examined which occur as a function of the phase angle between applied stress and temperature. The fractography of the failed specimens reveals changes from transgranular to intergranular growth between high and low phase angle tests as a result of the onset of high temperature damage mechanisms. More targeted testing has also been undertaken to isolate the contributions of these mechanisms, with specific transitions in behaviour becoming clear in 90° diamond cycles, where dynamic crack growth and oxidation strongly interact.
The crack driving mechanisms in a coarse grained nickel-base superalloy RR1000 when subjected to in- and out of phase thermo mechanical fatigue are investigated. It is found that the difference in fatigue crack growth rate between these two load conditions is accounted for by the different mechanical conditions at the crack tip region, rather than oxidation effects. This is based on digital image correlation and finite element analyses of the mechanical strain field at the crack tip, which demonstrate that in phase leads to larger crack tip deformation and crack opening. Notably, it is demonstrated that in- and out of phase crack growth rates coincide when correlated to the crack tip opening displacement.
The computational efficiency in analysing cyclically loaded structures is a highly prioritised issue for the gas turbine industry, as a cycle-by-cycle simulation of e.g. a turbine disc is far too time consuming. Hence, in this paper, the efficiency of two different procedures to handle computational expansive load cases, a numerical extrapolation and a parameter modification procedure, are evaluated and compared to a cycle-by-cycle simulation. For this, a local implementation approach was adopted, where a user-defined material subroutine is used for the cycle jumping procedures with good results. This in contrast to a global approach where the finite element simulation is restarted and mapping of the solution is performed at each cycle jump. From the comparison, it can be observed that the discrete parameter modification procedure is by margin the fastest one, but the accuracy depends on the material parameter optimisation routine. The extrapolation procedure can incorporate stability and/or termination criteria.
A fatigue crack initiation model based on damage accumulation via a fatigue memory surface in conjunction with a plastic strain energy parameter was evaluated for thermomechanical fatigue loading in a gas turbine disc alloy. The accumulated damage in each hysteresis loop was summed up, and it was assumed that the damage at the stable state is repeated until failure occurs. Crack initiation occurs when enough fatigue damage has been obtained, and the number of cycles can thus be directly determined. The fatigue damage is highly coupled to the constitutive behaviour of the material, where the constitutive behaviour was modelled using a non-linear hardening description. Based on this, a stable state was achieved and the obtained damage could be extracted. A user-defined material subroutine was implemented, incorporating both the constitutive description and the fatigue damage accumulation. The framework was adopted in a finite element context to evaluate the thermomechanical fatigue crack initiation life of the disc alloy RR1000. From the evaluation it could be seen that a good prediction of the thermomechanical fatigue life was achieved compared to performed experiments.