On the application of the Kitagawa-Takahashi diagram to foreign-object damage and high-cycle fatigue


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The role of foreign-object damage (FOD) and its effect on high-cycle fatigue (HGF) failures in a turbine engine Ti-6A1-4V alloy is examined in the context of the use of the Kitagawa-Takahashi diagram to describe the limiting conditions for such failures. Experimentally, FOD is simulated by firing 1 and 3.2 mm diameter steel spheres onto the flat specimen surface of tensile fatigue specimens at velocities of 200 and 300 m/s. Such damage was found to markedly reduce the fatigue strength of the alloy, primarily due to four factors: stress concentration, microcrack formation, impact-induced plasticity and tensile residual stresses associated with the impact damage. Two groups of fatigue failures could be identified. The first group initiated directly at the impact site, and can be readily described through the use of a fatigue-crack growth threshold concept. Specifically, a Kitagawa-Takahashi approach is presented where the limiting threshold conditions are defined by the stress-concentration corrected smooth-bar fatigue limit (at microstructurally small crack sizes) and a "worst-case" fatigue-crack growth threshold (at larger crack sizes). The second group of failures was caused by fatigue cracks that initiated at locations far from the impact site in regions of high tensile residual stresses, the magnitude of which was computed numerically and measured experimentally using synchrotron X-ray diffraction. Specifically, these failures could be rationalized due to the superposition of the residual stresses on the far-field applied mean stress, leading to a locally elevated load ratio (ratio of minimum to maximum loads). The effects of residual stress, stress concentration, and microstructurally small cracks are combined in a modified Kitagawa-Takahashi approach to provide a mechanistic basis for evaluating the detrimental effect of FOD on HCF failures in Ti-6A1-4V blade alloys. © 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1425-1446
Number of pages22
JournalEngineering Fracture Mechanics
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2002
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

This work was supported by the Air Force Office of Science and Research, grant no. F49620-96-1-0478, under the auspices of the Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative on “High Cycle Fatigue” to the University of California, Berkeley. Special thanks are due to Prof. W. Goldsmith (UCB) for providing the compressed-gas gun facility, to J.D. Donovan, Y. Yanxia and H.-R. Wenk (UCB) for help with the EBSD analysis, and to A.W. Thompson (UCB) for helpful discussions. BLB would also like to thank the Hertz Foundation for financial support in the form of a fellowship for graduate study.


  • Fatigue-crack growth threshold
  • Fatigue-crack initiation
  • Foreign-object damage
  • High-cycle fatigue
  • Residual stress
  • Ti-6Al-4V


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