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Fatigue and corrosion-fatigue in Cr-Mo steel in biaxial tension

Abstract : The clip connectors used to join the riser tubes for offshore oil drilling undergo cyclic loading due to sea waves. 90% of the service life is spent in the “connected mode” with a high mean stress and 10% in the “disconnected mode” with a lower mean stress. Finite element computations revealed in-phase biaxial tension in the critical areas of the clip connector along with high mean stresses. Thus, both the mean stress effect and the biaxiality effect need to be addressed for proper design of these structures. However, most of the multiaxial fatigue criteria are based on tension-torsion fatigue data and do not discriminate the influence of biaxial tension from that of a mean stress. This study investigates separately these two effects.For investigating the mean stress effect, uniaxial fatigue tests were run on Cr-Mo steel with various R ratios (σmin/σmax). The fatigue lives, as well as the slope of the S-N curves were found to decrease with increasing R, and the endurance limit to follow Gerber’s parabola. At low R ratios and thus relatively high stress ranges, fatigue cracks initiated from the surface, while for high R ratios, and thus low stress ranges, cracks initiated from internal or surface-cutting defects. This transition was analyzed based on elastic-plastic computations of stress-strain fields around the defects. The threshold for internal fatigue crack growth from defects was found to be quite low and independent from the R ratio. This was attributed to a nearly closure-free propagation.To investigate the effect of positive stress biaxiality, combined cyclic tension and internal pressure tests with various proportions of each loading were run on tubular specimens, at fixed R ratio (0.25). Moderate stress biaxialities (B= 0.25 and 0.5) had a beneficial effect on fatigue lives, attributed mainly to a retardation of crack initiation, while equibiaxial tension had a slightly detrimental effect, attributed to a “pseudo size effect” (higher probability for an incipient crack to grow along two possible planes, compared to a single one).Intergranular facets associated with temper and H2 embrittlement were observed on the fracture surfaces. The evolutions of their surface fraction with ΔK and load biaxiality suggested a possible reduction in crack growth rate at moderate biaxialities, but the detrimental effect of equibiaxial tension could not be explained in terms of crack growth rate.Several popular fatigue criteria failed to describe all fatigue data. Endurance criteria that include a linear mean stress term or contain a hydrostatic tension term fail to predict the variations of the endurance limit of this material with the R ratio and biaxiality ratio. Thus, a new fatigue criterion based on Gerber’s parabola was proposed. It captured the evolution of the endurance limit under the combined effects of positive mean stress and biaxiality.Similar tests were run to investigate the influence of salt water (3.5% NaCl) on fatigue lives under two types of test conditions: 1) free corrosion and 2) cathodic protection.In free corrosion, salt water strongly reduced the fatigue lives and suppressed the endurance limit. This was due to the formation of corrosion pits that favor early, multiple crack initiations. The detrimental effect of salt water was not enhanced by equibiaxial tension, which did not modify the size and density of corrosion pits. Fatigue lives in uniaxial and biaxial tension were nearly the same, although the crack growth mechanism was different: transgranular brittle decohesion in uniaxial loading and mostly intergranular in biaxial tension.Cathodic protection cancelled the detrimental effect of salt water for all biaxialities, in spite of a clear enhancement of H-induced embrittlement of the grain boundaries. The fracture surfaces were nearly fully intergranular, irrespective of load biaxialities, while in air the proportion of intergranular fracture was less than 45%.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, January 18, 2017 - 11:45:07 AM
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  • HAL Id : tel-01438984, version 1


Vidit Gaur. Fatigue and corrosion-fatigue in Cr-Mo steel in biaxial tension. Mechanics [physics]. Université Paris-Saclay, 2016. English. ⟨NNT : 2016SACLX027⟩. ⟨tel-01438984⟩



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