The interface between metallurgy and mechanics in material performance

M. N. James, M. Newby

Abstract


This paper considers an important topic, and one that is often poorly understood or misinterpreted, but which is a determining factor in many aspects of the service performance of metals (and other materials). Engineering components and structures must, of necessity, provide a bridge between the macroscopic, homogeneous and generally continuum aspects of applied load and displacement, and the microscopic, heterogeneous and often non-continuum reality of material structure and behaviour. This bridge can take the form of a genuine interface between material and environment, e.g. at a surface, or can be a virtual one where the differing philosophies of design have to be merged. The interface has particular importance in circumstances where environmental influences have a key role in determining performance characteristics (e.g. creep, environmentally-assisted cracking, or corrosion), where performance is dominated by fatigue or fracture, where welding is used to join components, or where tribology plays a role. The paper focuses on the problems associated with cracking and uses case study examples drawn from engineering practice to illustrate the role of metallurgical factors in mechanical performance of materials.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3221%2FIGF-ESIS.14.01