Due to the peculiar graphite elements shape, obtained by means of a chemical composition control (mainly small addition of elements like Mg, Ca or Ce), Ductile Cast Irons (DCIs) are able to offer the good castability of gray irons with the high mechanical properties of irons (first of all, toughness). This interesting properties combination can be improved both by means of the chemical composition control and by means of different heat treatments(e.g. annealing, normalizing, quenching, austempering etc). In this work, fatigue crack tip damaging micromechanisms in a ferritic-pearlitic DCI were investigated by means of scanning electron microscope observations performed on a lateral surface of Compact Type (CT) specimens during the fatigue crack propagation test (step by step procedure), performed according to the “load shedding procedure”. On the basis of the experimental results, different fatigue damaging micromechanisms were identified, both in the graphite nodules and in the ferritic – pearlitic matrix.
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