Realistic microstructure-based modelling of cyclic deformation and crack growth using crystal plasticity

Using crystal plasticity, finite element analyses were carried out to model cyclic deformation for a low solvus high refractory (LSHR) nickel superalloy at elevated temperature. The analyses were implemented using a representative volume element (RVE), consisting of realistic microstructure obtained from SEM images of the material. Monotonic, stress-relaxation and cyclic test data at 725 C were used to determine the model parameters from a fitting process and their sensitivity to RVE size and random grain orientation. In combination with extended finite element method (XFEM), the crystal plasticity model was further applied to predict surface crack growth, for which accumulated plastic strain was used as a fracture criterion. Again, realistic microstructure, taken from the cracking site on the surface of a plain fatigue specimen, was used to create the finite element model for crack growth analyses. The prediction was conducted for a pseudo-3D geometrical model, resembling the plane stress condition at specimen surface. The loading level at the cracking site was determined from a viscoplasticity finite element analysis of the fatigue specimen. The proposed model is capable of predicting the variation in growth rate in grains with different orientations.