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Modeling the microstructure influence on fatigue life variability in structural steels
The endurance and HCF lifetime of multiphase steel components depend mainly on the phase of fatigue microcrack initiation and early propagation. A numerical study, which quantitatively describes the influence of microstructural features on the initiation and growth of cyclic microcracks, is presented within the context of microstructure-sensitive modeling. The implementation of kinematic hardening on each slip system in a crystal plasticity model allows for capturing the local accumulation of plastic microdeformation representing slip irreversibility occurring in the crack incubation phase. A load increasing testing technique with continuous temperature measurement and interrupted cyclic bending experiments deliver information about the endurance strength of a structural steel and allow for metallographic observation of cyclic microcrack propagation and thereby provide the experimental basis for the numerical simulations. The material model is implemented in cyclic computations with statistically representative volume elements, which are based on experimental microstructure description using the electron backscatter diffraction technique (EBSD). The extreme value distributions of the computed accumulation of local dislocation slip are then correlated to the microstructure in an approach to assess and explore the validity extent of microstructure-sensitive modeling using fatigue indicator parameters (FIPs) to correlate to the endurance limit and fatigue life under high-cycle fatigue conditions. The eligibility of consideration of the stresses normal to the planes of localized plastic damage assisting fatigue crack formation into these FIPs is investigated.