Fatigue deformation in a polycrystalline nickel base superalloy at intermediate and high temperature: Competing failure modes

Jean Charles Stinville, Etienne Martin, Mallikarjun Karadge, Shak Ismonov, Monica Soare, Tim Hanlon, Sairam Sundaram, McLean P. Echlin, Patrick G. Callahan, William C. Lenthe, V. M. Miller, Jiashi Miao, Andrew E. Wessman, Rebecca Finlay, Adrian Loghin, Judson Marte, Tresa M. Pollock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

111 Scopus citations


The microstructural configurations that favor early strain localization and fatigue crack initiation at intermediate and high temperature (400 °C–650 °C) have been investigated using novel experimental techniques, including high resolution digital image correlation and transmission scanning electron microscopy. Cyclic fatigue experiments in the high and low cycle fatigue regimes have been performed on a René 88DT polycrystalline nickel-base superalloy at temperatures up to 650 °C and compared to previous fatigue results obtained from tests in the very high cycle fatigue regime. Competing failure modes are observed along with an inversion in the temperature fatigue life dependence of fatigue strength from the low to high cycle fatigue regime. Oxidation-assisted processes are dominant at high applied stresses while cyclic plastic localization and accumulation govern fracture at low applied stresses. In addition, a second competing mode exists in the high and very high cycle fatigue regime from non-metallic inclusions as compared to internal intrinsic initiation sites. The grain-scale features that exhibit strain localization and crack initiation were investigated in detail. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM), transmission scanning electron microscopy (TSEM) and electron channeling contrast imaging have been conducted on samples removed from targeted regions with microstructural configurations that favor crack initiation to characterize the associated dislocation sub-structure and its evolution with temperature. Plasticity is observed to be less localized during cyclic loading at high temperature compared to room temperature. The microstructural features that drive initiation across the temperature range investigated are: twin-parent grains pairs that are at the upper end of the size distribution, are oriented for near maximum elastic modulus mismatch, and have high stresses along planes parallel to the twin boundaries.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)16-33
Number of pages18
JournalActa Materialia
StatePublished - Jun 15 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Coherent twin boundary
  • Elastic anisotropy
  • Fatigue crack initiation at intermediate and high temperature
  • High resolution digital image correlation
  • Microstructural effect
  • Polycrystalline microstructure
  • René 88DT polycrystalline superalloy
  • Strain localization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Metals and Alloys


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