Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Stress-corrosion fatigue-crack growth in a Zr-based bulk amorphous metal
- Author(s): Schroeder, V.
- Ritchie, R.O.
- et al.
Electrochemical and mechanical experiments were conducted to analyze the environmentally-influenced cracking behavior of a bulk amorphous metal, Zr41.2Ti13.8Cu12.5Ni10Be22.5. This study was motivated by a scientific interest in mechanisms of fatigue-crack propagation in an amorphous metal, and by a practical interest in the use of this amorphous metal in applications that take advantage of its unique properties, including high specific strength, large elastic strains and low damping. The objective of the work was to determine the rate and mechanisms of subcritical crack growth in this metallic glass in an aggressive environment. Specifically, fatigue-crack propagation behavior was investigated at a range of stress intensities in air and aqueous salt solutions by examining the effects of loading cycle, stress-intensity range, solution concentration, anion identity, solution de-aeration, and bulk electrochemical potential. Results indicate that crack growth in aqueous solution in this alloy is driven by a stress-assisted anodic reaction at the crack tip. Rate-determining steps for such behavior are reasoned to be electrochemical, stress-dependent reaction at near-threshold levels, and mass transport at higher (steady-state) growth rates.