Mechanical Engineering Faculty Research


A Fatigue Model for Discontinuous Particulate-Reinforced Aluminum Alloy Composite: Influence of Microstructure

Document Type


Publication Date

Winter 1-2014


In this paper, the use of a microstructure-sensitive fatigue model is put forth for the analysis of discontinuously reinforced aluminum alloy metal matrix composite. The fatigue model was used for a ceramic particle-reinforced aluminum alloy deformed under conditions of fully reversed strain control. Experimental results revealed the aluminum alloy to be strongly influenced by volume fraction of the particulate reinforcement phase under conditions of strain-controlled fatigue. The model safely characterizes the evolution of fatigue damage in this aluminum alloy composite into the distinct stages of crack initiation and crack growth culminating in failure. The model is able to capture the specific influence of particle volume fraction, particle size, and nearest neighbor distance in quantifying fatigue life. The model yields good results for correlation of the predicted results with the experimental test results on the fatigue behavior of the chosen aluminum alloy for two different percentages of the ceramic particle reinforcement. Further, the model illustrates that both particle size and volume fraction are key factors that govern fatigue lifetime. This conclusion is well supported by fractographic observations of the cyclically deformed and failed specimens.

Publication Title

Journal of Materials Engineering and Performance





First Page


Last Page