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As a result of the stress-induced martensitic transformation of certain austenitic stainless steels their fatigue behavior is modified. A number of experimental techniques have been applied in order to understand why this occurs. The methods used include metallography of various types, electron diffraction, magnetic permeability, and local mechanical property determination. The advantages and disadvantages of the various techniques are discussed, and by a combination of techniques various hypotheses to explain the fatigue phenomena are examined and reinforced or rejected. It is concluded that the volume expansion resulting from the phase transformation causes a favorable residual stress state at the crack tip.
stainless steel, fatigue crack propagation, residual stress, fatigue life, fractography, metallography, martenistic transformation
Owens Corning Fiberglas Technical Center, Granville, Ohio
Professor of Physical Metallurgy, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Ill.