Evaluation of environmental effects on fatigue crack growth behaviour of a high strength steel in a saline solution with cathodic protection

Bertrand Huneau 1 José Mendez 2
1 Matériaux, Procédés et Technologie des Composites
GeM - Institut de Recherche en Génie Civil et Mécanique
Abstract : Crack growth rates of small fatigue cracks in a high strength steel tested in 3.5% NaCl solution with cathodic protection are analysed in the Paris regime through the comparison with the corresponding results obtained in air or in high vacuum. Environmental effects in the saline solution are due to hydrogen produced by cathodic polarisation, which causes intergranular and transgranular brittle fracture surfaces. By comparison to fatigue crack growth rates obtained in air, it could be concluded that hydrogen effects are negligible at low Delta K and then increase with Delta K. But in fact, when compared to results obtained in a non-active media such as high vacuum, hydrogen effects in the saline solution are very high at low Delta K and decrease slightly when Delta K increases. In air, adsorption of the different gaseous species as well as hydrogen effects due to water vapour dissociation strongly enhance crack growth rate compared to vacuum especially for low Delta K. Consequently, a comparison with fatigue crack growth results obtained in air does not allow to quantify properly environmental effects due to another active environment such as the saline solution with cathodic protection considered in the present work.
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International Journal of Fatigue, Elsevier, 2006, 28 (2), pp.124-131. 〈10.1016/j.ijfatigue.2005.04.011〉
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Bertrand Huneau, José Mendez. Evaluation of environmental effects on fatigue crack growth behaviour of a high strength steel in a saline solution with cathodic protection. International Journal of Fatigue, Elsevier, 2006, 28 (2), pp.124-131. 〈10.1016/j.ijfatigue.2005.04.011〉. 〈hal-01006822〉

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