S. Blasón et alii, Frattura ed Integrità Strutturale, 35 (2016) 187-195; DOI: 10.3221/IGF-ESIS.35.22 187 Focussed on Crack Paths Fatigue characterization of a crankshaft steel: Use and interaction of new models Sergio Blasón, Cristina Rodríguez, Alfonso Fernández-Canteli Dept. of Construction and Manufacturing Engineering, University of Oviedo, Spain blasonsergio@uniovi.es, cristina@uniovi.es , afc@uniovi.es A BSTRACT . The peculiar geometrical shape and working conditions of crankshafts make fatigue becoming responsible for most of the failure cases in such components. Therefore, improvement of crankshaft performance requires enhancing its fatigue life. In this work, the fatigue behavior of a D38MSV5S steel, used for crankshafts in compact vehicles, is investigated according to two traditional ways of analysis, namely the stress based and the fracture mechanics based approaches, though using advanced design models: On the one side, a probabilistic Weibull regression S-N model is assessed for experimental results obtained from fatigue resonance tests. On the other side, the crack growth rate curve is calculated from crack growth tests, carried out on SENB specimens, using a normalizing procedure. Specific Matlab programs are developed to facilitate the evaluation process. The information gained from both models will contribute to provide a probabilistic interpretation to the Kitagawa-Takahashi diagram. K EYWORDS . Fatigue of crankshafts; Crack growth rate curves; S-N diagram. I NTRODUCTION ue to the service conditions and its peculiar shape design, fatigue appears to be the main failure reason of crankshafts used in aeronautics and automotive engines [1]. Consequently, big effort is devoted to investigate fatigue failures in crankshafts in order to enhance their fatigue life. Generally, lifetime fatigue analysis is performed in two different ways: assuming no initial damage in the component or, alternatively, accepting the unavoidable presence of cracks. In the first case, the total lifetime is identified as initiation phase, at least for working loads. This estimation is usually performed by means of an adequate definition S-N field for the component. On its turn, in cracked components, the fatigue lifetime is only assigned to the propagation phase so that the lifetime is assessed based on fracture mechanics premises by determining the crack propagation law of fatigue cracks. Although both approaches are often applied as being independent each other their interconnection is apparent so that their simultaneous consideration is advantageous from the point of view of reliability due to its complementary character. In former publications [2], the limitations of the Paris law were pointed out in the definition of the crack growth rate curve as a power law sustained by incomplete self-similarity assumption [3]. Its substitution by a crack growth rate law applicable even to ΔK values close to the ΔK th is advisable. In any case, dimensional inconsistencies, similar to those exhibited by the original Paris equation, are a common feature in most of the models being presently applicable even with international acknowledgement, as those of Forman, NASGRO and many others [4]. D

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