The effect of grain size on the fatigue overload behaviour of nickel

Wen Zhang*, Christopher A. Simpson, Pablo Lopez-Crespo, Mehdi Mokhtarishirazabad, Thomas Buslaps, Reinhard Pippan, Philip J. Withers*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)
146 Downloads (Pure)


The fatigue overload behaviours of coarse grain (~30 μm), ultrafine grain (360 nm) and nanocrystalline (~30 nm) Ni are compared under constant amplitude loading at R = 0.1 after a 100% overload. Synchrotron X-ray diffraction is applied to map the elastic crack-tip strain fields at the mid-thickness of a compact tension specimen of nanocrystalline Ni at various stages through the loading cycles, from which the variation in stress before, during and after overload is estimated. Digital image correlation is used to measure the crack length and the displacement fields at the specimen surfaces for both grain sizes, from which the fatigue crack growth (FCG) rate, crack opening displacement and stress intensity factor range are determined. The FCG for coarse grain Ni is most significantly retarded whereas the nanocrystalline Ni is least affected by the overload due to an increased yield stress and a more planar crack surface morphology. As a result, FCG retardation by plasticity, surface roughness and residual stress-induced crack closure are reduced.

Original languageEnglish
Article number108526
Number of pages16
JournalMaterials and Design
Early online date25 Jan 2020
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2020


  • Crack path
  • Energy dispersive X-ray diffraction
  • J-integral
  • Nanocrystalline
  • Retardation mechanisms


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