A Comparison of Fatigue Properties

By: Kathy L. Hayrynen & John M. Tartaglia
Publication Date: January 04, 2011
Contact: Cindy Duman
Document Type: White Papers

This study was conducted to determine if austempered 4340 steel had different fatigue resistance compared to quench and tempered (Q&T) 4340 steel with an identical hardness of nominally 45 HRC and an identical yield strength of nominally 1340 MPa (194 ksi). Strain-life and stress-life fatigue testing was conducted at room temperature under identical test conditions. The standard array of strain-life and stress-life regression constants was obtained. The two heat treatments produced virtually identical total strain-life curves and fatigue limits at 5 million cycles. However, the two materials exhibited different trends in the elastic and plastic strain regimes. The austempered steel exhibited greater high cycle fatigue (finite) lives than the Q&T samples at comparable elastic strain amplitudes in strain-life fatigue testing and at comparable stress amplitudes in stress-life fatigue testing. However, the Q&T samples exhibited greater low cycle fatigue lives than the austempered samples at comparable plastic strain amplitudes in strain-life testing. Although both materials generally exhibited similar fatigue fracture characteristics, the overload regions of the Q&T samples were composed entirely of dimple rupture, whereas the austempered samples exhibited both dimple rupture and quasicleavage.