Titanium alloy (Ti-6Al-4V) having a bimodal “harmonic structure”, which consists of coarsegrained
structure surrounded by a network structure of fine grains, was fabricated by mechanical milling (MM)
and spark plasma sintering (SPS) to achieve high strength and good plasticity. The aim of this study is to
investigate the near-threshold fatigue crack propagation in Ti-6Al-4V alloy with harmonic structure. Ti-6Al-4V
alloy powders were mechanically milled in a planetary ball mill to create fine grains at powder’s surface and the
MM-processed powders were consolidated by SPS. K-decreasing fatigue crack propagation tests were conducted using the DC(T) specimen (ASTM standard) with harmonic structure under the stress ratios, R, from 0.1 to 0.8 in ambient laboratory atmosphere. After testing, fracture surfaces were observed using scanning electron microscope (SEM), and crack profiles were analyzed using electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD) to discuss the mechanism of fatigue crack propagation. Threshold stress intensity range, ?Kth, of the material with
harmonic structure decreased with stress ratio, R, whereas the effective stress intensity range, ?Keff, showed
constant value for R lower than 0.5. This result indicates that the influence of the stress ratio, R, on ?Kth of Ti-
6Al-4V with harmonic structure can be concluded to be that on crack closure. Compared to the compact
prepared from as-received powders with coarse acicular microstructure, ?Kth value of the material with
harmonic structure was low. This was because the closure stress intensity, Kcl, in the material with harmonic
structure was lower than that of the coarse-grained material due to the existence of fine grains. In addition, the
effects of the grain size on the fatigue crack propagation behaviors of Ti-6Al-4V alloy were investigated for the
bulk homogeneous material. The effects of the stress ratio and the grain size on the fatigue crack propagation of the material with harmonic structure were quantified.
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