Influence of non-metallic second phases on fatigue behaviour of high strength steel components
Keywords:Fatigue. Non-metallic inclusions. MnS. Bearing steel. 100Cr6
To assess the real effect of the inclusion type on fatigue life of ultra clean high strength steels mechanical components made of l00Cr6 steel were fatigue tested and fracture surfaces analysed to determine the origin of fatigue cracks. Two heats proceeding from different steelmaking routes were taken for the tests. The material were forged into ring shape components which were fatigue tested under compression-compression loads. Failures were analysed by SFEM (Scanning Field Emission Microscopy), proving that most of failures at high loads were originated by manganese sulphides of small size (10-70 microns), while less than 40% of all fatigue cracks due to inclusions were caused by titanium carbonitrides and hard oxides. It has been demonstrated that once number and size of hard inclusions have been reduced, the hazardous effect of oxides and carbonitrides on the fatigue life decreases also. However, softer inclusions as manganese sulphides, currently considered as less hazardous, play a more relevant role as direct cause of fatigue failure and they should be taken into account in a deeper way in order to balance both machinability and fatigue life requirements in high strength steel components. Keywords Fatigue. Non-metallic inclusions. MnS. Bearing steel. 100Cr6
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