Title: Thermal fatigue behaviour of hot-work tool steels: heat check nucleation and growth

Authors: R. Ebner, S. Marsoner, I. Siller, W. Ecker

Addresses: Materials Center Leoben Forschung GmbH, Roseggerstrasse 12, 8700 Leoben, Austria. ' Materials Center Leoben Forschung GmbH, Roseggerstrasse 12, 8700 Leoben, Austria. ' Boehler Edelstahl GmbH & Co KG, Mariazeller Strasse 25, 8605 Kapfenberg, Austria. ' Materials Center Leoben Forschung GmbH, Roseggerstrasse 12, 8700 Leoben, Austria

Abstract: Cyclic thermal loading causes thermal gradients near the loaded surfaces, which are responsible for the development of cyclic strains and mechanical stresses in the sample that subsequently cause accumulated damage. The stress state changes during thermal fatigue loading if plastic strains occur. Most relevant are the formation of tensile stresses, which favour crack nucleation and crack growth, but thermal softening and cyclic softening also play an important role. The combined effect of microstructure, mechanical and physical properties on the thermal fatigue behaviour was studied by testing hot-work tool steels using a testing facility based on a pulsed laser beam. The results indicate that purely martensitic microstructures have a better thermal fatigue resistance than mixed martenitic/bainitic microstructures. High strength seems to be especially beneficial in cases with lower fatigue loads owing to thermal cycling. Higher thermal conductivity plays a beneficial role regarding the thermal fatigue resistance.

Keywords: hot-work tool steels; thermal fatigue resistance; heat check formation; cyclic thermal loading; microstructure; thermal conductivity; high strength; tensile stress; crack nucleation; crack growth; cyclic strains; mechanical stresses.

DOI: 10.1504/IJMMP.2008.018726

International Journal of Microstructure and Materials Properties, 2008 Vol.3 No.2/3, pp.182 - 194

Available online: 16 Jun 2008 *

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