The effect of crack tip blunting on the initial stages of creep crack growth is investigated by means of a planar microstructural model in which grains are represented discretely. The actual linking-up process of discrete microcracks with the macroscopic crack is simulated, with full account of the underlying physical mechanisms such as the nucleation, growth and coalescence of grain boundary cavities accompanied by grain boundary sliding. Results are presented for C*-controlled mode I crack growth under small-scale damage conditions. Particular attention is focused on creep constrained vs. unconstrained growth. Also the effect of grain boundary shear stresses on linking-up is investigated through shear-modified nucleation and growth models. The computations show a general trend that while an initially sharp crack tends to propagate away from the original crack plane, crack tip blunting reduces the crack growth direction. Under unconstrained conditions this can be partly rationalized by the strain rate and facet stress distribution corresponding to steady-state creep.
|Tijdschrift||International Journal of Fracture|
|Status||Published - 1998|