Role of Impurities and PSBs on Microcracking of Polycrystalline Copper at Very High Numbers of Cycles
Fatigue cracks in polycrystalline copper may originate from PSBs or grain boundaries. They usually form at the specimen surfaces, but also internal small stage I (shear) cracks have been observed with the ECC/SEM technique. They are formed together with a strongly elongated dislocation cell structure, which is reflecting in many cases localized deformation in “slip lamellae” with eventual ladder-like features, being typical of PSBs. Both, PSBs and small non-propagating cracks are initiated at cyclic stress/plastic strain amplitudes below the conventionally reported PSB threshold values, if the number of cycles exceeds a minimum, e.g. approximately 5x108 in the VHCF range. The internal small cracks are formed not only in polycrystalline electrolytic copper of 99.98% purity but also in high purity (99.999%) material.
S. Stanzl-Tschegg et al., "Role of Impurities and PSBs on Microcracking of Polycrystalline Copper at Very High Numbers of Cycles", Key Engineering Materials, Vol. 465, pp. 29-34, 2011