Very high cycle fatigue of a high strength steel under sea water corrosion: A strong corrosion and mechanical damage coupling
Article dans une revue avec comité de lecture
This paper is focused on the effect of sea water corrosion on the gigacycle fatigue strength of a martensitic–bainitic hot rolled steel R5 used for manufacturing off-shore mooring chains for petroleum platforms in the North Sea. Crack initiation fatigue tests in the regime of 106 to 1010 cycles were carried out on smooth specimens under three different environment conditions: (i) without any corrosion (virgin state) in air, (ii) in air after pre-corrosion, and (iii) in-situ corrosion-fatigue under artificial sea water flow. A drastic effect of sea water corrosion was found: the median fatigue strength beyond 108 cycles is divided by 5 compared to virgin state specimens. The crack initiation sites were corrosion pits caused by pre- corrosion or created during corrosion-fatigue under sea water flow. Furthermore some sub-surface and internal crack initiations were observed on specimens without any corrosion (virgin state). Crack propagation curves were obtained in mode I in air and under sea water flow. Calculation of the stress intensity factor at the tip of cracks emanating from hemispherical surface pits combined with the Paris–Hertzberg–Mc Clintock crack growth rate model showed that fatigue crack initiation period represents most of the fatigue life in the VHCF regime. Additional original experiments have shown physical evidences that the fatigue strength in the gigacycle regime under sea water flow is mainly governed by the corrosion process with a strong coupling between cyclic loading and corrosion.
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