Environmental effects on the fatigue behavior of copper nickel alloys
Sudarshan, T. S.
MetadataShow full item record
Mode I and Mode III fatigue tests were performed on copper nickel alloys in helium, salt water environments. The hydrogen, oxygen, two alloys used air and in this investigation were 90-10 and 70-30 copper nickel. Both alloys contained iron which was added to improve the erosion corrosion resistance. The extent of cracking varied with the test environment. Tests showed that oxygen and humid air promoted cracking while salt water helium was used as the baseline retarded cracking when environment. Hydrogen promoted cracking when compared to helium but retarded cracking if comparisons were made with oxygen or humid air. The environmental effects (helium as the base case} in the Mode I tests in gaseous environments were manifested in the form of shorter fatigue lives, easier crack initiation, marginally higher crack growth rates and the development of intergranular fracture at the surface. These effects were accompanied by a change in the near surface deformation characteristics. The increases in fatigue life induced by testing in aqueous environments were greatly extended if the copper nickel was galvanically coupled to steel. Mode III tests showed the same ranking of environmental effects as Mode I tests and also showed multiple initiation, brittle fracture and secondary cracking. Two models were proposed to explain the observed results. One was based on the dilation-aided diffusion of oxygen ahead of the crack tip and subsequent oxidation of internal iron particles. The oxidation caused a volume expansion which produced internal tensile strains and facilitated fracture. The other mechanism was based on dilation-aided transport of hydrogen with subsequent accumulation of hydrogen at interfaces, resulting in a lowering of the interfacial strength and promoting intergranular fracture. The observed increases in life in the aqueous environments were rationalized by the reduced oxygen content available in the stagnant solutions. These observations suggest that the presence of iron accelarates fatigue in copper nickel alloys exposed to aggressive environments. Thus, any application involving fatigue loading with simultaneous exposure to aggressive environments should attempt to ensure that the iron content of the copper nickel alloys is minimized.
- Doctoral Dissertations