Cracking mechanisms in thermally cycled Ti-6AI-4V reinforced with SiC fibers

S. H. Thomin*, P. A. NoËl, D. C. Dunand

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


A titanium alloy (Ti-6A1-4V) reinforced with continuous SiC fibers (SCS-6) was thermally cycled between 200 ‡C and 700 ‡C in air and argon. The composite mechanical properties deteriorate with an increasing number of cycles in air because of matrix cracks emanating from the specimen surface. These cracks also give oxygen access to fibers, further resulting in fiber degradation. The following matrix cracking mechanisms are examined: (1) thermal fatigue by internal stresses resulting from the mismatch of thermal expansion between fibers and matrix, (2) matrix oxygen embrittlement, and (3) ratcheting from oxide accumulating within cracks. Matrix stresses are determined using an analytical model, considering stress relaxation by matrix creep and the temperature dependence of materials properties. Matrix fatigue from these cycli-cally varying stresses (mechanism (1)) cannot solely account for the observed crack depth; oxygen embrittlement of the crack tip (mechanism (2)) is concluded to be another necessary damage mechanism. Furthermore, an approximate solution for the stress intensity resulting from crack wedging by oxide formation (mechanism (3)) is given, which may be an operating mech-anism as well for long cracks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)883-895
Number of pages13
JournalMetallurgical and Materials Transactions A
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Metals and Alloys


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