SYMPOSIA PAPER Published: 01 January 1996

Matrix Fatigue Cracking in α Titanium Matrix Composites for Hypersonic Applications


The objective of this work was to understand matrix cracking mechanisms in a unidirectional α2 titanium matrix composite (TMC) in possible hypersonic applications. A [0]8 SCS-6/Ti-24Al-11Nb (atomic %) TMC was first subjected to a variety of simple isothermal and nonisothermal fatigue cycles to evaluate the damage mechanisms in simple conditions. A modified ascent mission cycle test was then performed to evaluate the combined effects of loading modes. This cycle mixes mechanical cycling at 150 and 483°C, sustained loads, and a slow thermal cycle to 815°C. At low cyclic stresses and strains more common in hypersonic applications, environment-assisted surface cracking limited fatigue resistance. This damage mechanism was most acute for out-of-phase nonisothermal cycles having extended cycle periods and the ascent mission cycle. A simple linear fraction damage model was employed to help understand this damage mechanism. Time-dependent environmental damage was found to strongly influence out-of-phase and mission life, with mechanical cycling damage due to the combination of external loading and CTE mismatch stresses playing a smaller role. The mechanical cycling and sustained loads in the mission cycle also had a smaller role.

Author Information

Gabb, TP
NASA Lewis Research Center, Cleveland, OH
Gayda, J
NASA Lewis Research Center, Cleveland, OH
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Developed by Committee: D30
Pages: 395–411
DOI: 10.1520/STP18233S
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-5320-2
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-2039-6