PREDICTING MICROSTRUCTURALLY SENSITIVE FATIGUE-CRACK PATH IN WE43 MAGNESIUM USING HIGH-FIDELITY NUMERICAL MODELING AND THREE-DIMENSIONAL EXPERIMENTAL CHARACTERIZATION
Microstructurally small fatigue-crack growth in polycrystalline materials is highly three-dimensional due to sensitivity to local microstructural features (e.g., grains). One requirement for modeling microstructurally sensitive crack propagation is establishing the criteria that govern crack evolution, including crack deflection. Here, a high-fidelity finite-element modeling framework is used to assess the performance and validity of various crack-growth criteria, including slip-based metrics (e.g., fatigue-indicator parameters), as potential criteria for predicting three-dimensional crack paths in polycrystalline materials. The modeling framework represents cracks as geometrically explicit discontinuities and involves voxel-based remeshing, mesh-gradation control, and a crystal-plasticity constitutive model. The predictions are compared to experimental measurements of WE43 magnesium samples subject to fatigue loading, for which three-dimensional grain structures and fatigue-crack surfaces were measured post-mortem using near-field high-energy X-ray diffraction microscopy and X-ray computed tomography. Findings from this work are expected to improve the predictive capabilities of numerical simulations involving microstructurally small fatigue-crack growth in polycrystalline materials.