Fatigue Life Curves of NiTi Alloys – The Z Effect


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Superelasticity is closely related to shape memory effect. It refers to the property presented by some materials submitted to large strains (usually up to about 8%) to restore their original shape immediately after unloading without the need of heating. This phenomenon results directly from a diffusionless transformation of the material from an austenitic to a martensitic phase (martensitic transformation). The recovering mechanism is the reverse transformation, from martensite to austenite. This paper compares fatigue live curves obtained in bending-rotation fatigue tests carried out on wires of NiTi alloys with three different microstructures, stable austenite, unstable austenite (superelastic), and stable martensite. These curves are also compared to data from the literature. The tests were strain controlled and the wires were submitted to strain amplitudes from 0.6% to 12.0%. To minimize changes in material properties, the wire temperature was monitored using a thermocouple and controlled by its rotation speed. For strain amplitudes up to 4%, the εa-Nf curve for superelastic wires was consistent with those reported in the literature, closely approaching the curve of the stable austenite wire. For higher strain amplitudes, fatigue life of superelastic wires increased with strain until it approached the fatigue life curve of stable martensitic wire. This unusual behavior results in a “Z-shaped” curve for high strain values. It is possibly linked to the changes in microstructure and fatigue properties that occur when the superelastic material is deformed.



Edited by:

Rodinei M. Gomes, Silvio de Barros, Sandro M. Torres, Severino Jackson G. de Lima, Tadeu A. A. Melo, Vicente T. Lopes Buono






A. M. G. Figueiredo et al., "Fatigue Life Curves of NiTi Alloys – The Z Effect", Materials Science Forum, Vol. 643, pp. 69-77, 2010

Online since:

March 2010




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