CAVS Publication Abstract

Cyclic Behavior and Modeling of Small Fatigue Cracks of a Polycarbonate Polymer

Hughes, J. M., Lugo, M., Bouvard, J.-L., Mclntyre, T., & Horstemeyer, M. (2017). Cyclic Behavior and Modeling of Small Fatigue Cracks of a Polycarbonate Polymer. International Journal of Fatigue. Elsevier. 99, 78-86. DOI:10.1016/j.ijfatigue.2016.12.012.


The fatigue behavior of a polycarbonate (PC) thermoplastic material was experimentally investigated and modeled using a MultiStage Fatigue (MSF) model that evaluates fatigue crack incubation, Microstructurally Small Crack (MSC) growth, and Long Crack (LC) growth. A set of fully reversed strain controlled tests were conducted, and an analysis of the fracture surfaces was performed using Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) in order to quantify the structure-property relationships for the MSF model. Fractography of the microstructure revealed that incompletely melted PC pellets were present in the polymer material that nucleated the cracks along with crazes generated on the surface. Crack lengths and fatigue crack growth rates for the MSC regime were measured from striation observations on the fracture surfaces. Discontinuous crack growth (DCG) cycles between fatigue striations, for the current iteration of the model, are accounted for by the MSF crack incubation regime. Finally, the microstructure sensitive MSF model was implemented using the observed fatigue crack growth measurements. In addition, a Monte Carlo (MC) Simple Random Sampling (SRS) routine was implemented to quantify the model uncertainty for crack growth.