Issue 35

A. Vshivkov et alii, Frattura ed Integrità Strutturale, 35 (2016) 57-63; DOI: 10.3221/IGF-ESIS.35.07 58 the service life of both traditional and advanced structural materials. One of the most effective approaches to the development of fracture criterion is the energy approach. The energy balance can be calculated based on the analysis of evolution of the temperature field (for instance, measured by infrared thermography) on the sample surface, at least for flat samples. This calculation is usually associated with the need to differentiate strongly oscillating signals and to determine the parameters responsible for the interaction of the sample with environment. One of the options for improving the reliability and accuracy of the results is the development of an independent method for measuring the power of heat sources. Such an idea was originally used for studying the energy dissipation under liquid flow [1] as well as the failure of metals [2]. In our work, this problem was solved by using a contact heat flux sensor, which was developed based on the Seebeck effect. The results of analysis of the energy balance in the fracture zone obtained with the new heat flux sensor during the propagation of fatigue cracks in stainless steel AISE 304 and titanium alloy OT4-0 lend support to the validity of the proposed method. In this study, the thermodynamic characteristics of the process of fatigue crack propagation, such as the dissipation rate and the rate of energy accumulation at the crack tip was investigated Also the possibility of predicting the rate of fatigue crack propagation and the time of fatigue crack transition from the stationary to nonstationary regime were considered. T HE CONTACT HEAT FLUX SENSOR o analyze the energy balance at the crack tip a contact heat flux sensor was designed and constructed. The proposed sensor is based on the Seebeck effect, which is the reverse of the Peltier effect [3]. The Peltier effect is a thermoelectric phenomenon, in which the passage of electric current through conducting medium leads to the generation or absorption of heat at the point of contact (junction) of two dissimilar conductors. The quantity of heat and its sign depend on the type of materials in contact, the direction and the strength of the electric current: AB Q П I t    (1) where Q is the quantity of dissipated or absorbed heat; I is the electric current; t is the time of current flow; ПAB is the Peltier coefficient, which is related with a coefficient of thermal electromotive force. The effect was discovered by J. Peltier in 1834 [3]. This effect is more pronounced in semiconductors, which explains their usage in the Peltier elements. A Peltier element consists of one or more pairs of small semiconductor parallelepipeds – each pair comprises one n-type and one p-type semiconductor (bismuth telluride, Bi2Te3, and silicon germanide), which are connected pairwise by means of metal straps. The Seebeck effect [3] lies in the fact that thermo- electromotive force occurs in a closed circuit consisting of dissimilar conductors provided that the contact zones are kept at different temperatures. A circuit including only two different conductors is called a thermocouple. The quantity of heat absorbed or dissipated by the element is directly proportional to the current intensity and the time of its passage. Fig. 1 presents a schematic diagram of the heat flux sensor. The following notation is used in Fig. 1: sample (1), the heat flux sensor (2). A thermal contact between the sample and the sensor is provided due to the introduction of the thermal paste. Structurally, the sensor comprises two Peltier elements ("measuring" (2) and "cooling" (3)), thermocouples (5), (6) and the radiator (4). The measuring Peltier element is connected to a low-resistance resistor of 1.2 (7). To measure the heat flow through the "measuring" Peltier element during the experiment the temperature on its free surface keeps constant. The cooling peltier element caulked with a radiator was connected with the "measuring" Peltier element. This cooling system has feedback and is controlled based on two temperature sensors located between "measuring" and cooling Peltier elements and far from the studied sample in the zone with constant temperature. The signal from the sensor (voltage at the resistor (7)) is measured by the amplifier and registered in the ADC of the microcontroller. The data are transmitted from the microcontroller to the personal computer for further processing. The "cooling" Peltier element is controlled via pulse width modulation. These sensors were calibrated using a device with a controlled heat flux. The calibration scheme is shown in Fig. 2. A wire resistor with the known resistance is glued on a plastic plate with a size equal to that of test samples. The heat isolating system provides the heat flux from the resistance to the sensor only. The heat flow was calculated using the values of the resistor voltage and the electric current across the resistor. T