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Fatigue short fibre TPC review

Fatigue short fibre TPC review

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journal homepage: www.elsevier.com/locate/ijfatigue

experimental results and analysis

Seyyedvahid Mortazavian, Ali Fatemi ⇑

Mechanical, Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering Department, The University of Toledo, 2801 West Bancroft Street, Toledo, OH 43606, USA

a r t i c l e i n f o a b s t r a c t

Article history: Cyclic deformation and fatigue behavior of two short fiber thermoplastic composites (SFTCs) under a

Received 15 December 2016 number of loading and environmental conditions are investigated. The considered environmental effects

Received in revised form 24 January 2017 include those of low and elevated temperatures as well as moisture (or water absorption). Fatigue behav-

Accepted 25 January 2017

ior is also explored under the action of non-zero mean stress (or R ratio) in addition to fully-reversed

Available online 7 February 2017

(R = 1), as well as various cyclic loading frequencies. Material anisotropy and geometrical discontinuity

effects (i.e. stress concentration) are other aspects considered in this study. Mechanisms of fatigue failure

Keywords:

are also assessed under environmental effects. Based on experimental observations and analysis, a num-

Fatigue

Short fiber

ber of analytical and empirical models are developed for estimating fatigue behavior under different con-

Thermoplastic composites ditions. Empirical equations are presented to characterize self-heating under cyclic loading. Tsai-Hill

Modeling criterion is applied to account for the effect of fiber orientation on fatigue life. Mean stress effect is cor-

rected with several mean stress parameters and a shift factor of Arrhenius type is defined to characterize

the effect of temperature on fatigue life. Two methodologies are presented to estimate fatigue properties

based on tensile properties, in addition to approximation of strain-life curves based on load-controlled

fatigue data. Estimation of notched fatigue behavior based on smooth (un-notched) fatigue behavior is

also presented.

Ó 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

properties and relatively low melting temperatures. As a result,

Application of short fiber thermoplastic composites (SFTCs) is significant effect of load frequency is observed on fatigue behavior

increasingly growing due to their remarkable properties. Light of SFTCs [4].

weight, low manufacturing cost with a high volume production Increased fatigue performance of SFTCs is a function of fiber

rate, and the capability to be molded in complex geometries are reinforcement, its orientation and distribution which in turn is

the main characteristics of SFTCs. A wide range of effects related associated with the geometry of fibers and the component, vis-

to microstructure, environment and load conditions are involved coelastic behavior of the matrix, and flow field during the injection

in fatigue design of SFTCs. However, a relatively small number of molding process [5]. A shell-core morphology across the thickness

studies have been conducted on fatigue behavior characterization of a molded part has frequently been reported for SFTCs, where

of SFTCs, although components made of these materials are typi- higher fiber alignment exists in two shell layers compared with

cally subjected to cyclic loads. Due to the complexity as well as a the core layer [6]. Recently, micro-tomography studies have been

large number of parameters influencing mechanical behavior of performed on SFTCs for their fatigue damage investigation [7].

SFTCs, fatigue behavior has been mainly investigated through However, the effect of fiber orientation effect has often been eval-

experimental techniques, while less attention has been given to uated through conducting fatigue tests on samples with different

fatigue behavior modeling [1]. thicknesses and with fibers in different orientation with respect

Under cyclic loading, a continuous softening is generally to the loading [6].

observed in SFTCs, which is typically due to initiation and growth Environmental effects including temperature and moisture on

of damage in the matrix as well as at fiber ends and fiber-matrix fatigue behavior of SFTCs have been explored in several studies.

A significant degradation of fatigue strength has been observed

⇑ Corresponding author. from temperatures below to above the glass transition tempera-

E-mail addresses: seyyedvahid.mortazavian@rockets.utoledo.edu (S. Mortaza- ture (Tg) [6]. A recent extensive survey has been performed on high

vian), afatemi@eng.utoledo.edu (A. Fatemi). temperature fatigue behavior of SFTCs in [8]. The effect of water

http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijfatigue.2017.01.037

0142-1123/Ó 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

172 S. Mortazavian, A. Fatemi / International Journal of Fatigue 102 (2017) 171–183

absorption is a function of the polymer type and fiber-matrix cou- analysis model used to represent or estimate each effect. The con-

pling agents [9]. sidered effects include cyclic deformation, load frequency and self-

A small number of studies have been devoted to effects of mean heating, anisotropy or fiber orientation effect, moisture, tempera-

stress or R ratio and stress concentration on fatigue behavior of ture, mean stress, and stress concentration.

SFTCs. A significant effect of mean stress, which may be accompa-

nied by cyclic creep or ratcheting is observed on fatigue behavior of 2. Material, specimen geometry, and experimental method

SFTCs [10]. The reduction of fatigue strength due to mean stress

has been observed to be less for notched specimens as compared The two composite materials considered were a polybutylene

with smooth specimens, due to the presence of stress gradient near terephthalate with 30 wt% short glass fiber (here referred to as

the notch root. Modified Goodman and Gerber mean stress equa- PBT) and a polyamide-6 with about 10 wt% rubber and 35 wt%

tions have been used with the use of creep rupture strength to cor- short glass fiber (here referred to as PA6). The glass transition tem-

rect for the mean stress effect [11,12]. perature (Tg) of both materials was about 60 °C, as obtained from

In this study, a number of aspects related to fatigue behaviors of dynamics mechanical analysis. The average fiber aspect ratio was

two short fiber thermoplastic composites (SFTCs) were experimen- estimated at 26 [13,14].

tally investigated and fatigue life estimation methodologies are Materials were injection molded in rectangular plaques with

presented to account for these aspects. The materials and specimen dimensions of 100 mm 200 mm in 3 and 3.8 mm thicknesses.

geometries used, as well as the experimental procedure are To study the effect of fiber orientation, rectangular strips were

described first. Then, experimental results for the different effects machined from molded plaques at 0°, 18°, 45° and 90° angles with

considered are presented and discussed, followed by the fatigue respect to the injection mold flow direction, as shown in Fig. 1(a). A

Fig. 1. (a) Specimen cutting directions with respect to mold flow and, (b) specimen geometry designed for fatigue tests. For notched specimens a 2 mm diameter central hole

was drilled in the middle of the gage section (Kt = 2.5) (all dimensions are in mm).

S. Mortazavian, A. Fatemi / International Journal of Fatigue 102 (2017) 171–183 173

from the strips, as shown in Fig. 1(b). For notched tests, a circular

hole with diameter of 2 mm was drilled in the center of the spec-

imen gage section. The elastic stress concentration factor (Kt) in the

critical section of the notched specimen was obtained to be 2.5.

Fatigue tests were conducted on a uniaxial servo-hydraulic test-

ing machine and controlled by a digital controller. A mechanical

extensometer was used to measure strain and a thermal imaging

camera was used to measure surface temperature rise in room

temperature tests. For temperature effect study, an environmental

chamber employing an electronic heating element and a liquid

nitrogen cooling system was used. For studying moisture or water

absorption effect, specimens were immersed at room temperature

water for a certain period of time prior to testing and then tested at

room temperature.

Load-controlled un-notched fatigue tests were performed in a

range of cycles to failure between 103 and 106 cycles on specimens

machined in various directions of mold flow. Fatigue tests were

conducted at 40 °C, 23 °C, and 125 °C under the stress ratios of

1, 0.1, and 0.3. Notched fatigue tests were conducted using spec-

imens in both longitudinal and transverse directions of mold flow

and under stress ratios of 1 and 0.1.

ferent with that of metallic materials with grain boundaries. This is

due to formation of long chain molecules in polymeric materials. In

this study, incremental step cyclic deformation tests with blocks of

increasing stress amplitude were performed with a sinusoidal

load-controlled wave form under fully-reversed (R = 1) condition Fig. 2. (a) Progressive deformation of PBT in the transverse direction with

at 40°, 23° and 125 °C and in both longitudinal and transverse hysteresis loops shown from initial cycles to and near fracture cycles and, (b)

directions. Test continued at each stress level until a relatively sta- Cyclic stress-strain data and the corresponding Ramberg-Osgood (dashed) and

monotonic tension (solid) curves for PBT in the longitudinal direction [14].

bilized strain was reached. Test results were then used to obtain

cyclic stress-strain curves and evaluate cyclic softening.

Progressive cyclic deformation of PBT in the transverse direc- 125 °C. Similar behavior was observed for the transverse direction,

tion at a stress level corresponding to about 65% of tensile strength as well as for PA6.

is shown in Fig. 2(a). With continued cycling, the area under the Under cyclic loading, the strain is adjusted by microscopic rear-

hysteresis loops increases and the cyclic modulus decreases. Due rangement of polymer molecules. Polymeric materials often show

to higher straining in tension than in compression, the strain cyclic softening and a number of factors such as molecular struc-

amplitude and mean strain increase as cycling is continued. This ture, time, temperature and additives control the degree of soften-

behavior was observed for both materials, in both longitudinal ing. A number of cyclic deformation mechanisms which can take

and transverse directions, and at all test temperatures. The afore- place in polymers consist of homogenous mechanisms such as

mentioned changes in hysteresis loops were more pronounced at molecular chain disentanglement, reorientation or slip and crystal-

higher temperatures and at higher stress levels, such that at stress lization as well as heterogeneous mechanisms including craze and

levels corresponding to fatigue life of 103 cycles or shorter, no sta- shear band formation [16].

bilized hysteresis loop was observed.

The stress-strain response of the materials under cyclic loading 3.2. Temperature rise effect and modeling

can be quite different from that under monotonic loading. Cyclic

stresses and strains from relatively stabilized hysteresis loops were The hysteresis area in each load cycle generally represents

used to obtain the cyclic stress-strain curves. Ramberg-Osgood energy loss per unit volume of the material. At lower frequencies,

equation was used to mathematically represent the cyclic stress- a greater time is given to polymer chains to disentangle and align

strain behavior, expressed as [15]: into the load direction and, therefore, thermoplastics indicate a

1=n0

ra ra lower stiffness and a higher degree of energy dissipation per cycle.

ea ¼ þ ð1Þ As frequency of test increases, the dissipated energy reduces and a

E0 K0

higher stiffness is observed. However, due to low thermal conduc-

where K0 and n0 are cyclic strength coefficient and cyclic hardening tivity of thermoplastics, the generated heat due to energy dissipa-

exponent, respectively, and obtained from the fit of true stress tion results in self-heating. Presence of fiber reinforcements can

amplitude versus true plastic strain amplitude. increase strength, stiffness, as well as thermal stability of thermo-

The cyclic stress-strain data, corresponding Ramberg-Osgood plastics, but friction between fiber and matrix and higher stress

curves, as well as and monotonic tension curves are superimposed concentrations near fiber ends may increase the degree of self-

in Fig. 2(b) for PBT in the longitudinal direction and at tempera- heating [17,18].

tures of 40, 23, and 125 °C. Significant cyclic softening is observed Fatigue life predictions for service load histories are generally

at room temperature, while small softening is observed at 40 and based on fatigue data performed with constant amplitude loading,

174 S. Mortazavian, A. Fatemi / International Journal of Fatigue 102 (2017) 171–183

which can be substantially influenced by cyclic frequency in ther- at 1 Hz for the higher stress amplitude test and more than 35 °C

moplastics. Therefore, an appropriate frequency should be selected at 4 Hz for the lower stress amplitude test. The degree of cyclic

for obtaining constant amplitude fatigue properties of thermoplas- softening, as reflected by the increase in displacement amplitude,

tic materials. The effect of frequency on R = 1 fatigue life of PA6 in is related to the amount of increase in temperature.

the longitudinal direction is shown in Fig. 3(a). Two stress ampli- Regardless of the chosen stress amplitude and test frequency,

tudes corresponding to about 40% and 34% of ultimate tensile when the temperature rise exceeded 10 °C, the displacement

strength (Su) were used. Considerable effect of frequency on fatigue amplitude rapidly increased and thermal failure occurred. There-

life was observed by changing the frequency by a factor of 4 for the fore, low test frequencies were chosen to limit the temperature rise

higher stress amplitude test (from 0.25 Hz to 1 Hz) and by a factor to a maximum of 10 °C in fatigue tests in order to prevent signifi-

of 2 for the lower stress amplitude test (from 2 Hz to 4 Hz). cant self-heating. A relatively higher sensitivity to frequency was

Displacement amplitude versus applied cycles for these tests observed for PA6 as compared with PBT, due to a higher dissipation

are shown in Fig. 3(b), along with the increase in measured surface of energy in PA6. Due to viscoelastic nature of polymers, with

temperature relative to the beginning of the test. As can be seen increasing test frequency up to a critical frequency, fatigue life

from this figure, the temperature increase was more than 13 °C may increase [19]. This is because with increasing frequency, the

chain disentanglement is restricted and polymer stiffness

increases. However, for the considered short fiber thermoplastics

in this study, this effect was not evident.

To characterize the effects of stress level and frequency on tem-

perature rise, incremental step tests with increasing frequency at

each step were performed. At each stress level, cycles were applied

under a constant frequency until the surface temperature of spec-

imen was nearly stabilized. Then the test was stopped for a period

of time, until the surface temperature returned to the room

temperature.

Transient temperature rise curves with applied cycles at differ-

ent frequencies are shown in Fig. 4(a) for a longitudinal sample of

PBT under R = 1 with stress amplitude of about 32% of Su. The sta-

bilized temperature is higher at higher frequency, as expected. At a

critical frequency, the temperature rise was more than 10 °C and

surface temperature did not stabilize.

At all stress levels of both materials and in both longitudinal

and transverse directions of mold flow, a linear relationship

between stabilized temperature rise and cycling frequency was

obtained, as seen in Fig. 4(b). As the stress level is increased, a

higher rate of temperature rise is observed with increased

frequency.

Energy-based models were applied to the incremental step fre-

quency data to generalize correlation of temperature rise as a func-

tion of cycling frequency and stress amplitude for each material. A

linear relationship between the temperature rise and dissipated

energy per unit volume and time was obtained, as follows [4]:

DT ¼ Bwf ð2Þ

is temperature rise, and B is a material parameter. A linear correla-

tion of temperature rise data presented in Fig. 4(b) with parameter

(w f) in Eq. (2) is shown in Fig. 4(c).

Another model based on a constant energy approach was also

applied to the data. This model is based on a linear one-

dimensional conductive heat transfer and assumes negligible

energy storage in the test specimen, expressed as [20]:

DT ¼ C ra e2a f ð3Þ

rial parameter which can be obtained by a linear fit of temperature

rise data on Eq. (3). Linearity of the relationship between tempera-

ture rise and (ra ea2 f) parameter is observed in Fig. 4(c).

Knowing the constant B in Eq. (2) or the constant C in Eq. (3),

Fig. 3. (a) Effect of testing frequency on fatigue life and, (b) displacement amplitude temperature rise as a function of the loading (stress and strain)

versus applied cycles for PA6 in the longitudinal direction at room temperature

under R = 1 condition for stress amplitudes of 40% and 34% of Su [21]. The

and the applied frequency can be estimated. These constants for

temperatures shown are measured surface temperatures relative to the beginning each material and mold flow direction can be obtained from a

of the test. small number of tests.

S. Mortazavian, A. Fatemi / International Journal of Fatigue 102 (2017) 171–183 175

Fig. 5. Thickness and plaque location effects on fatigue behavior of PA6 in the

longitudinal and transverse directions at room temperature [14]. Test frequency is

between 0.25 and 5 Hz.

Fig. 1(a).

Fatigue lives of the middle specimens were reduced by about a

factor of two, compared to the edge specimens, as seen in Fig. 5.

This may be due to the relatively thinner core layer in the edge

samples, compared to the middle samples. No effect of thickness

is observed in the longitudinal direction, while in the transverse

direction fatigue lives of 3 mm samples were reduced by about a

factor of 5 for PA6, as compared to the fatigue lives of 3.8 mm sam-

ples. The effect of thickness in the longitudinal direction of PBT was

also negligible, but a factor of 4 reduction in fatigue life was

observed from 3.8 mm to 3 mm thickness.

The effect of thickness is due to a shell-core morphology

observed across the thickness of the short fiber composites. During

the injection molding process, due to the gradient of velocity of

mold, fibers in the core layer are mainly oriented perpendicular

to the injection molding direction, while they are highly in line

with the mold flow direction in the two shell layers near the walls.

The core layer comprises about 0.5 mm and 0.2 mm of the speci-

men thickness for 3.8 mm and 3 mm thickness samples, respec-

tively. Therefore, the effect of thickness on fatigue strength of the

considered SFTCs can be related to the thicknesses of the core

and shell layers.

The effect of mold flow direction was evaluated in 0°, 18°, 45°,

and 90° directions relative to the injection molding direction.

Due to the presence of fiber reinforcement, fatigue performance

was highly dependent on the sample orientation relative to the

mold flow direction. With increasing the specimen angle with

respect to the mold flow direction, fatigue strength increases such

that longitudinal specimens have about 40% higher fatigue limit

(defined as fatigue strength at 106 cycles) than transverse speci-

mens, as seen in Fig. 6(a) for PBT at R = 1 condition. A higher

degree of anisotropy is observed at 125 °C, compared with 23 °C

and 40 °C, such that fatigue limit increased about 60% from the

transverse direction to the longitudinal direction of the injection

Fig. 4. (a) Transient surface temperature rise curves at the stress amplitude of 32% mold flow.

Su, (b) stable surface temperature rise as a function of cycling frequency at different The Tsai-Hill [22] criterion was utilized to estimate the off-axis

stress amplitudes and, (c) fits of stable surface temperature rise versus parameters fatigue strength, which is commonly used for orthotropic laminate

introduced in Eqs. (2) and (3) [21].

composites, expressed as:

" #12

2 4 2

3.3. Anisotropic fatigue behavior and modeling cos2 ðhÞðcos2 ðhÞ sin ðhÞÞ sin ðhÞ cos2 ðhÞ sin ðhÞ

rfat ðhÞ ¼ þ þ

r2L;fat ðNÞ r2T;fat ðNÞ s2LT;fat ðNÞ

Fig. 5 shows the effect of fiber orientation on fatigue behavior of ð4Þ

PA6 at 23 °C under R = 0.1 condition. Specimens in 3 mm and

3.8 mm thicknesses were machined in the longitudinal and trans- where rL,fat (N), rT,fat (N), and sLT,fat (N) are the experimental fati-

verse directions of mold flow. For samples in the longitudinal gue strengths for a specimen life of N cycles. S-N curves generated

direction, a comparison was also made between the fatigue in 0°, 45°, and 90° directions were used to determine the directional

properties of Tsai-Hill equation to estimate the S-N curves for the

176 S. Mortazavian, A. Fatemi / International Journal of Fatigue 102 (2017) 171–183

effect of mold flow direction on fatigue behavior. Comparison of

the experimental fatigue strength and Tsai-Hill criterion correla-

tions as a function of fiber orientation angle with respect to the load

direction for different fatigue lives can be observed in Fig. 6(b).

Dried specimens for PBT (at 120 °C for 6 h) and PA6 (at 80 °C for

6 h) in the longitudinal direction of injection mold flow were

immersed in room temperature water. The percentage of water

absorption was periodically measured by weighting the specimen.

Water absorption variation with square root of exposure time (t1/2)

is shown in Fig. 7(a) for longitudinal samples of PA6. As seen, per-

centage of water absorption by weight linearly increases until it

reaches a plateau with a maximum percentage of water absorption

of 5.2 wt%. This behavior follows the Fick’s law commonly used for

modeling the kinetics of moisture absorption process, expressed as

[23]:

Mt 8 Dt

¼ 1 2 exp 2 p2 ð5Þ

Mm p h

where D is diffusion coefficient, h is specimen thickness, t is expo-

sure time, Mt is absorbed water, and Mm is the maximum capacity

of water absorption. The diffusion coefficient was estimated by fit-

ting Eq. (5) to absorption data at short times, shown in Fig. 7(a). Dif-

fusion coefficient was estimated at 5.5 1013 m2/s. Using the

calculated diffusion coefficient and thickness of specimen, along

with the maximum water absorption capacity, Eq. (5) can be used

to compute the absorbed water with exposed time.

Fig. 6. (a) Effect of the mold flow direction on fatigue behavior and, (b) Fatigue

Stress-strain curves in the longitudinal direction of PA6 with a

strength data as a function of specimen angle and Tsai-Hill criterion for PBT at 23 °C range of absorbed water between 0.0 and 5.2 wt% are shown in

under R = 1 loading condition [14]. Test frequency is between 0.25 and 6 Hz. Fig. 7(b). The time of exposure at room temperature water for each

Fig. 7. (a) Kinetics of water absorption at room temperature water (the dashed line corresponds to Fick’s law), (b) tensile stress-strain curves obtained at room temperature at

displacement rate of 1 mm/min showing the effect of water absorption, (c) variations of tensile strength and elastic modulus with water absorption, and (d) variations of

strain at tensile strength and tensile toughness with water absorption for the longitudinal samples of PA6 [26].

S. Mortazavian, A. Fatemi / International Journal of Fatigue 102 (2017) 171–183 177

of these tests can be calculated from Fig. 7(a), and is also shown in

the brackets in Fig. 7(b). From this figure, it can be seen that

strength, elastic modulus and ductility of PA6 are highly influenced

by the amount of absorbed water. Tensile strength and elastic

modulus decrease with water content, while ductility indicates

the maximum value after 20 days of immersion and then reduces

to a smaller value.

Fig. 7(c) indicates variations of tensile strength and elastic mod-

ulus with percentage of absorbed water for longitudinal samples of

PA6. Exponentially decaying fits are observed for these properties.

The degraded properties of samples with maximum water absorp-

tion (5.2 wt%) recovered by only 50% after 30 h of hot drying, while

it was fully-recovered by 12 h vacuum drying at 80 °C. It should

also be mentioned that the rate of water absorption for PBT was

significantly lower than for PA6, such that after four days of

immersion less than 0.1 wt% water absorption and no degradation

of tensile properties were observed. PBT is considered as a

hydrophobic material, due to presence of four methylene repeat

units. Methylene groups reduce the polarity of PBT molecules

and reduce their tendency to bond with hydrogen molecules. A

high degree of crystallinity in PBT can be another aspect decreasing

the degree of water absorption [24]. The ability of the PA6 to water

absorption can be due to amide polar groups, low degree of crys-

tallinity, and the presence of 10% rubber modifier [25].

Strain at tensile strength exponentially increases up to strain of

about 11% and then reaches a plateau, as can be seen in Fig. 7(d). This

effect can result from combined effects of plasticity and decrease of

crack initiation resistant region due to absorption of water. Variation Fig. 8. (a) S-N curves at room temperature under R = 0.1 condition showing the

of tensile toughness defined as the area under the stress-strain cure effect of water, and (b) bar chart comparing the ratio of fatigue strength to tensile

is also shown in Fig. 7(d). Tensile toughness increases up to 3 wt% strength in both longitudinal and transverse directions of PA6 for dry and wet

water absorption and then decreases. PA6 material is commonly conditions [26]. Test frequency is between 0.25 and 6 Hz.

used in applications where high toughness is required and water

Nf

absorption shows beneficial effect on tensile toughness of PA6. aT 0 ðTÞ ¼ ð6Þ

Fatigue behavior was studied in dry condition as well as wet N0f

condition with four days of immersion at room temperature water.

where N0 f is the reduced cycles to failure due to the effect of temper-

Fig. 8(a) shows the R = 0.1 S-N curves of PA6 in both longitudinal

ature. The 23 °C data were selected as references and the 125 °C and

and transverse directions. Fatigue life reduced by more than an

40 °C data were shifted to the right and left sides of 23 °C data,

order of magnitude in both LCF and HCF life regimes and in both

respectively, until sufficiently high data correlations were obtained

the longitudinal and transverse directions. At the same stress

for all the data at various temperatures. Master curves in the two

amplitude levels, significantly larger stress-displacement loops at

mold flow directions of PA6 under R = 1 condition are shown in

midlife were observed in wet samples, as compared with the dried

Fig. 9(b).

samples. Stress-life data in dry and wet conditions became closer

The log shift factor obtained from experimental data is plotted

when plotted in terms of the area inside the stress-displacement

as a function of the reciprocal of test temperature in Fig. 9(c).

loops at midlife.

The equation of line fits follows the Arrhenius equation form,

The ratios of R = 0.1 fatigue strength at 106 cycles to tensile

expressed as:

strength for both dry and wet conditions are shown in Fig. 8(b)

for longitudinal and transverse direction samples of PA6. In the Ea 1 1

transverse direction, nearly the same ratio of Sf /Su was obtained LogaT 0 ¼ ð7Þ

8:314 T T 0

in both dry and wet conditions, confirming similar effect of water

on both tensile and fatigue strengths. However, in the longitudinal where T0 is reference temperature and Ea is the activation energy

direction a higher ratio is observed for the wet condition, as com- which is different for the temperature ranges above and below

pared with the dry condition. This results from a higher effect of the glass transition temperature (Tg).

water in the tensile strength compared with the fatigue strength, Knowing Ea and T0 in the Arrhenius equation for a particular

in the longitudinal direction of PA6. The ratio of fatigue strength material, the shift factor at any temperature can be calculated from

to tensile strength is about 0.25 in both dry and wet conditions Eq. (7). Using the master curve, the fatigue life at that temperature

and in both longitudinal and transverse directions. for a particular stress level can then be estimated. Since the Arrhe-

nius equation form is identical for each material at both stress

3.5. Test temperature effect and modeling ratios (R = 1 and R = 0.1) and in both mold flow directions (L

and T), only one mold flow direction, one stress ratio, and two tem-

A significant effect of temperature was observed in both longi- peratures above and two temperatures below Tg are needed to

tudinal and transverse directions. Fatigue strength at 125 °C signif- obtain this equation.

icantly decreased compared to the 23 °C, and increased at 40 °C,

as seen in Fig. 9(a). S-N fatigue data were correlated by shifting the 3.6. Fatigue crack initiation failure mechanisms

fatigue life at various temperatures to a reference temperature (T0).

A shift factor (aTo) is defined in order to generate a master curve for Fatigue fracture surfaces of mold flow oriented PA6 samples

a particular material, direction, and stress ratio as: were analyzed under the SEM. Specimens tested at R = 0.1 high

178 S. Mortazavian, A. Fatemi / International Journal of Fatigue 102 (2017) 171–183

Fig. 9. (a) Effect of temperature on fatigue behavior, (b) construction of master curves of stress amplitude for fully-reversed data of PA6 in both longitudinal and transverse

directions and, (c) variation of log shift factor with the reciprocal of temperature for PBT and PA6 under various test conditions [14]. Test frequency is between 0.125 and 7 Hz.

cycle fatigue at room temperature for both dry and wet conditions, increases, a larger area of fracture surface exhibits micro-ductile

as well as at 120 and 40 °C were studied. For all samples, a lighter fracture. A higher ductility is observed in fibril structure of matrix

area which comprises a small fraction of specimen cross section is compared with the test at room temperature and a higher length of

attributed to crack initiation life and a darker area which occupies fiber stubs was visible. For the 40 °C sample, matrix indicated

most of the fracture surface results from a fast crack growth mech- extensive brittleness throughout the fracture surface. Matrix areas

anism. SEM of the fracture surfaces for the crack initiation areas are were almost flat and featureless with significant fiber pull out.

illustrated in Fig. 10. Part (a) of Fig. 10 corresponds to the crack ini-

tiation region of dry sample tested at room temperature and indi- 3.7. Estimation of strain-life curves and properties

cates a micro-ductile deformation and stretch of matrix. In this

area the stretched matrix has covered the fibers and no fiber Strain-life behavior is often used in the low-cycle fatigue appli-

pull-out is observed. cations, as well as at critical locations of components such as stress

Fatigue fracture surface of a PA6 specimen with 1.6 wt% concentrations where significant plastic deformations exist. Since

absorbed water is shown in Fig. 10(b). As seen, a higher degree of performing strain-controlled testing is more complicated than

matrix micro-ductility is observed, as compared with the dried stress-controlled testing, estimating strain-controlled fatigue

sample, which is attributed to plasticizing effect of water. As mole- properties and curves from stress-controlled tests is desirable.

cules of water diffuse in the composite, they form hydrogen bonds Therefore, the cyclic stress-strain relationship expressed earlier

between polymer chains and increase their mobility. The fibers in Eq. (1) was used to develop strain-life curves from fully-

were covered with a thin layer of matrix and only a short length reversed (R = 1) load-controlled fatigue tests.

of fiber ends was not covered. A cohesive deformation of matrix The total strain amplitude value for each load-controlled test

around the debonded fiber indicates good interfacial bonding was obtained using the cyclic Ramberg-Osgood relation. Total

between the glass fibers and the coupling agent. In the crack initi- strain amplitude was then resolved into elastic and plastic compo-

ation site of the wet specimen, a larger section in shell area intro- nents, and both elastic and plastic strain amplitudes versus rever-

duced earlier, showed micro-ductile structure, as compared with sals to failure were approximated as straight lines in log-log scale.

the dried sample. The straight-line elastic behavior is represented by:

Fracture surfaces of PA6 samples tested at 125 °C and 40 °C

are shown in Fig. 10(c) and (d), respectively. As temperature ra ¼ r0f ð2Nf Þb ð8Þ

S. Mortazavian, A. Fatemi / International Journal of Fatigue 102 (2017) 171–183 179

Fig. 10. SEM of the HCF crack initiation surface of PA6 specimens at (a) dry, (b) wet conditions tested at room temperature, and dried specimens tested at (c) 125 °C and (d)

40 °C [14].

strength exponent which were obtained by a power fit of the data.

These values are related to fatigue strength intercept (A) and slope

(B) of S-N line in Eq. (1) by r0 f = (2)b A and b = B.

A power fit of plastic strain amplitude values versus reversals to

failure can also be obtained, represented by the following

equation:

Dep

¼ e0f ð2Nf Þc ð9Þ

2

tility exponent. Knowing the elastic strain-life and plastic strain-life

fits, the total strain-life fit can then be expressed as:

r0f

ea ¼ ð2Nf Þb þ e0f ð2Nf Þc ð10Þ

E0

Fig. 11 shows the fully-reversed (R = 1) superimposed strain-

life curves at 40 °C, 23 °C, and 125 °C for both PBT and PA6 in

the longitudinal direction. For each material, the differences

between strain-life curves at different testing temperatures are

much smaller than the corresponding S-N curves.

The transition fatigue life which is derived from the intersection

of elastic and plastic strain-life curves is expressed as:

!1

e0f E0 bc

2Nt ¼ ð11Þ

r0f

For fatigue lives longer than the transition fatigue life, the

behavior is mainly elastic and for the fatigue lives shorter than

the transition fatigue life the behavior is mainly plastic. For nearly

all testing conditions, the obtained fatigue lives were greater than Fig. 11. Superimposed fully-reversed (R = 1) strain amplitude versus reversals to

the transition fatigue life, therefore, elastic deformation was dom- failure curves at 40 °C, 23 °C, and 125 °C for (a) PBT and (b) PA6 in the longitudinal

inant for all testing conditions. direction.

180 S. Mortazavian, A. Fatemi / International Journal of Fatigue 102 (2017) 171–183

3.8. Mean stress or R ratio effect and modeling ent R-ratios was not corrected by this parameter. The k values for

different testing conditions varied between 0.86 and 1.44.

Fig. 12(a) shows the effect of mean stress on fatigue behavior of The Walker equation can be expressed as [28]:

PA6 in the transverse direction at 23 °C, 40 °C, and 125 °C. A sig-

nificant decrease of fatigue strength is observed under R = 0.1 load- SNf ¼ ðSa þ Sm Þ1c ðSa Þc ð13Þ

ing condition, as compared to R = 1, at all test temperatures. The where Sa, Sm, and SNf are stress amplitude, mean stress, and fully-

effect of tensile mean stress was more pronounced in the LCF reversed stress amplitude, respectively, and c is the mean stress

regime, as compared to the HCF regime. Smaller or no difference parameter. The value of c was determined by the best fits obtained

in fatigue lives is observed between R = 0.1 and R = 0.3 conditions for R = 0.1 and 0.3 data to the fully-reversed data, for each material,

in the HCF regime, as compared with in the LCF regime. mold flow direction, and temperature. A low c value indicates a

Many mean stress parameters have been applied to assess the higher mean stress sensitivity and a value of c = 1 indicates no

effect of mean stress. The Walker equation and a general fatigue mean stress sensitivity.

life estimation model showed more accurate correlations of mean The fits of experimental data for PA6 in the transverse direction

stress data for different test conditions considered in this study. based on the Walker equation are shown in Fig. 12(c), indicating

Modified Goodman is a common mean stress parameter used to reasonable mean stress correction for all the temperatures consid-

estimate the fatigue strength under the effect of mean stress. This ered. For both materials at 23 °C and 40 °C, the c value is nearly

parameter is expressed as [27]: constant at about 0.47, with a range between 0.4 and 0.55, while

at 125 °C, c values indicated the following relationship with the

tensile strength (MPa) in the corresponding direction and

Sa Sm Sa Su temperature:

þ ¼ 1 or SNf ¼ ð12Þ

SN f Su Su Sm c ¼ 0:0043Su þ 0:364 ð14Þ

In this equation the tensile strength for each testing condition A general fatigue life estimation model based on a strength

was obtained from the average of duplicate tension tests at the dis- degradation concept under constant amplitude loading was also

placement rate of 1 mm/min. The fits of experimental data for PA6 applied to the experimental data. This model was applied to con-

in the transverse direction are shown in Fig. 12. In some cases, this tinuous fiber composites and is expressed as [29]:

equation correlated the fully-reversed and mean stress data well. Su Smax ¼ aS1n n n b

u Smax ð1 RÞ ðN f 1Þ ð15Þ

In other cases, more than an order of magnitude difference

between the fully-reversed and equivalent mean stress fatigue where a and b are material constants and n is a function of stress

lives are observed. ratio and mold flow direction, expressed as:

An improvement to the modified Goodman parameter may be

n ¼ 1:6 R sin h ð16Þ

obtained by adding a correction factor exponent (k) to the mean

stress term. For k = 2, this equation is known as Gerber parabola In this equation, h is the angle between the mold flow direction

[15]. Although this correction factor provided a better correlation and the loading direction and R is the stress ratio. The simplified

of data compared to the modified Goodman, the inaccuracy of form of the equation arranged in an equivalent stress form is

modified Goodman with regards to the slope of S-N lines for differ- expressed as [29]:

Fig. 12. (a) Effect of R-ratio or mean stress on fatigue behavior for PA6 in the transverse direction, and correlation of mean stress data using (b) Modified Goodman equation,

(c) the Walker equation and, (d) the general fatigue life estimation model [30]. Test frequency is between 0.125 and 7 Hz.

S. Mortazavian, A. Fatemi / International Journal of Fatigue 102 (2017) 171–183 181

!B=b

DS

Su 1R

Seq ¼ A þ1 ð17Þ

aSRu sin h0:6 ðDSÞ 1:6R sin h

where A and B are the intercept and slope of the fully-reversed S-N

line, respectively, DS is the stress range, R is the stress ratio, h is

fiber orientation angle, and a and b are the model parameters. Good

correlations of equivalent stress values versus fatigue life for differ-

ent stress ratios of PA6 in the transverse direction and at different

temperatures are shown in Fig. 12(d).

The value of a was nearly independent of stress ratio, but varied

with temperature and mold flow direction. In the longitudinal

direction of both PBT and PA6 and at all test temperatures,

a = 0.135 was suggested. In the transverse direction of both PBT

and PA6, a = 0.074 was suggested for both 23 °C and 40 °C tests

and a = 0.1 was suggested for 125 °C tests. It should be mentioned

that although the data and mean stress correlations are shown for

PA6 in the transverse direction, similar behaviors and correlations

were obtained for the longitudinal direction, as well as for PBT.

and 106 cycles linearly correlated well with the corresponding ten-

sile strength at different temperatures and in different mold flow

directions. These correlations between these fatigue strengths

and tensile strength were observed to be relatively independent

of material, temperature, and mold flow direction. Therefore,

fully-reversed S-N fatigue line was estimated based on the extrap-

olation of fatigue strengths at 103 and 106 cycles, as:

Sa

¼ 1:08ðNf Þ0:085 ð18Þ

Su

Correlation of fatigue strength data normalized by tensile Fig. 13. (a) Normalized fatigue strength with tensile strength and, (b) equivalent

strength is shown in Fig. 13(a). Therefore, in the absence of fatigue stress amplitude versus fatigue life using the general fatigue life model for fully-

data, this relation may be used to roughly estimate fatigue life at a reversed fatigue data of PBT and PA6 at 40 °C, 23 °C, and 125 °C and in 0°, 18°, 45°,

given stress amplitude for a particular material, temperature, and and 90° mold flow directions [14].

mold flow direction, based on the tensile strength for the material

and conditions.

Fatigue strength sensitivity of a material to a notch can be char-

The general fatigue life estimation model introduced in Eq. (17)

acterized by the notch sensitivity factor, expressed as:

can be also be used in a simpler form to correlate the fully-reversed

fatigue data at of the two materials at different temperatures and Kf 1

in different mold flow directions, expressed as: q¼ ð20Þ

Kt 1

!0:36

Su D2S where Kt is the elastic stress concentration factor and Kf is the fati-

Seq ¼ 96:3 þ1 ð19Þ

a 0:6

Su ðDSÞ1:6 gue notch factor (defined as unnotched fatigue strength divided by

notched fatigue strength at 106 cycles). Notch sensitivity factor

This equation has only one material parameter a, which is takes values between zero for no notch sensitivity and one for full

dependent on fiber orientation and can be approximated as notch sensitivity.

a = 0.0005 h + 0.118, where h is the specimen angle with respect This factor was obtained from experimental results for fully-

to the mold flow direction in degrees. A better correlation of data reversed fatigue strength to be about 0.5 in both longitudinal and

was obtained using Eq. (19), as compared to Eq. (18), as can be seen transverse directions. In LCF regime, a lower notch sensitivity

in Fig. 13(b). was observed in both mold flow directions, such that smooth and

notch specimen S-N lines nearly converged at one cycle. This is

3.10. Stress concentration effect and analysis due to notch plastic deformation in the LCF regime reducing notch

sensitivity and is similar to the behavior typically observed for

As mentioned earlier, the specimen geometry used for notched ductile metallic materials [15].

fatigue tests was the same as the geometry shown in Fig. 1, except The local strain or stress approach can be utilized for notch

a 2 mm diameter circular notch was drilled in the center of gage behavior predictions by using finite element analysis (FEA) results,

section (Kt = 2.5). A significant decrease of fatigue life was observed or by using a notch deformation rule such as the commonly used

in notched specimens, as compared with smooth (i.e. unnotched) Neuber’s rule for metallic materials. To consider the effect of stress

specimens, as seen in Fig. 14(a) for PBT in the transverse direction gradient, Kf rather than Kt is often used in Neuber’s rule for life pre-

under R = 1 loading condition. Nominal stress amplitude for dictions, and an approach such as the theory of critical distance

notched specimens plotted in this figure was obtained by dividing (TCD) can be used in conjunction with the FEA results. These

the applied load amplitude by the net cross section area of the approaches were used for the notched fatigue data in this study,

specimen. as detailed in [30].

182 S. Mortazavian, A. Fatemi / International Journal of Fatigue 102 (2017) 171–183

softening and a significant detrimental effect on fatigue behav-

ior. Energy-based models were used to characterize the temper-

ature rise as a function of loading and frequency. Such models

can be used to estimate the amount of temperature rise when

conducting fatigue tests.

An effect of thickness on fatigue behavior was observed in the

transverse specimens, resulting from a core–shell morphology

produced during the injection molding process. The effect of

fiber orientation with respect to the loading on fatigue strength

was significant. Tsai–Hill criterion could represent the effect of

mold flow direction on fatigue strength reasonably well.

A significant detrimental effect of moisture was found on tensile

and fatigue strengths of PA6, while the effect was negligible for

PBT. Water absorption by weight linearly increased with square

root of time, until it reached a plateau of 5.2 wt% for PA6. The

effect of moisture on fatigue strength reduction in both LCF

and HCF and in both longitudinal and transverse directions of

PA6 was nearly identical. The degraded properties can be recov-

ered, at least partially, by drying.

A significant effect of temperature on fatigue behavior was

observed in both longitudinal and transverse directions of both

materials. Cold temperature had a beneficial effect and elevated

temperature had a detrimental effect on fatigue life, as com-

pared to at room temperature. Fatigue data at different temper-

atures were correlated by a shift factor represented by

Arrhenius equation, the form of which was independent of

stress ratio and mold flow direction.

A method was presented to obtain strain-life curves from load-

Fig. 14. (a) Effect of notch (Kt = 2.5) on fully-reversed fatigue behavior of PBT in the controlled fatigue data at various temperatures. Strain-life

transverse direction under R = 1 condition and, (b) smooth and notched fatigue curves at different temperatures become closer to each other,

data correlations based on local stress approach and FEA, Neuber’s rule, and TCD

as compared with the stress-life curves.

methods [30]. Test frequency is between 0.25 and 6 Hz.

A significant decrease of fatigue strength was observed under

tensile mean stress for both materials, all mold flow directions,

and at all test temperatures. The effect of tensile mean stress

Notched fatigue life data correlations based on the local stress was more pronounced in the LCF regime, as compared to the

approach using FEA, Neuber’s rule, and TCD method for PBT are HCF regime. The Walker equation and a more general fatigue

shown in Fig. 14(b). As can be observed from this figure, FEA notch life estimation model correlated the mean stress data at all tem-

stress results in overly conservative life estimations by several peratures and in both mold flow directions reasonably well.

orders of magnitude. This is because the effect of stress gradient Two methods were evaluated for estimating fatigue strength of

at the notch is also an important factor in controlling notched fati- SFTCs for different conditions (i.e. material, fiber orientation

gue behavior. Better correlations are obtained by using Neuber’s direction, temperature) as a function of cycles to failure based

rule or TCD. on ultimate tensile strength for the corresponding condition.

These methods may be used as a reasonable first estimate of

4. Summary and conclusions fatigue strength, in the absence of fatigue data.

A significant decrease of fatigue life was observed in notched

Application of short fiber thermoplastic composites (SFTCs) has specimens, as compared with smooth (i.e. unnotched) speci-

seen significant growth in recent years. A wide range of aspects mens. Lower notch sensitivity was observed in LCF regime, as

related to microstructure, environment and load conditions affect compared to HCF regime, due to significant notch plastic defor-

fatigue behavior of these materials. A number of these effects were mation in LCF. Notched fatigue life assessments based on the

experimentally investigated by conducting uniaxial constant local stress approach using FEA results were overly conserva-

amplitude load-controlled tests for two short fiber thermoplastic tive, while the use of Neuber’s rule or TCD provided relatively

composites in this study. The considered effects included cyclic accurate predictions.

deformation, load frequency and self-heating, anisotropy or fiber

orientation, moisture, temperature, mean stress or R ratio, and

stress concentration. Fatigue analysis models for representing or

Acknowledgements

estimating each effect were also presented. Based on the experi-

mental observations and the analyses conducted, the following

Financial support of this study was provided by General Motors.

conclusions can be made:

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