Purdue University Graduate School

Waiting for all research in thesis to be published

Reason: Waiting for research present in the thesis to be published in a peer reviewed journal. Some of the research is currently in preparation for publication.





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High temperature process to structure to performance material modeling

posted on 2024-02-05, 15:46 authored by Brandon T MackeyBrandon T Mackey

In structural metallic components, a material’s lifecycle begins with the processing route, to produce a desired structure, which dictates the in-service performance. The variability of microstructural features as a consequence of the processing route has a direct influence on the properties and performance of a material. In order to correlate the influence processing conditions have on material performance, large test matrices are required which tend to be time consuming and expensive. An alternative route to avoid such large test matrices is to incorporate physics-based process modeling and lifing paradigms to better understand the performance of structural materials. By linking microstructural information to the material’s lifecycle, the processing path can be modified without the need to repeat large-scale testing requirements. Additionally, when a materials system is accurately modeled throughout its lifecycle, the performance predictions can be leveraged to improve the design of materials and components.

Ni-based superalloys are a material class widely used in many critical aerospace components exposed to coupling thermal and mechanical loads due to their increased resistance to creep, corrosion, oxidation, and strength characteristics at elevated temperatures. Many Ni-based superalloys undergo high-temperature forging to produce a desired microstructure, targeting specific strength and fatigue properties in order to perform under thermo-mechanical loads. When in-service, these alloys tend to fail as a consequence of thermo-mechanical fatigue (TMF) from either inclusion- or matrix- driven failure. In order to produce safer, cheaper and more efficient critical aerospace components, the micromechanical deformation and damage mechanisms throughout a Ni-based superalloy’s lifecycle must be understood. This research utilizes process modeling as a tool to understand the damage and deformation of inclusions in a Ni-200 matrix throughout radial forging as a means to optimize the processing conditions for improved fatigue performance. In addition, microstructural sensitive performance modeling for a Ni-based superalloy is leveraged to understand the influence TMF has on damage mechanisms.

The radial forging processing route requires both high temperatures and large plastic deformation. During this process, non-metallic inclusions (NMIs) can debond from the metallic matrix and break apart, resulting in a linear array of smaller inclusions, known as stringers. The evolution of NMIs into stringers can result in matrix load shedding, localized plasticity, and stress concentrations near the matrix-NMI interface. Due to these factors, stringers can be detrimental to the fatigue life of the final forged component. By performing a finite element model of the forging process with cohesive zones to simulate material debonding, this research contributes to the understanding of processing induced deformation and damage sequences on the onset of stringer formation for Alumina NMIs in a Ni-200 matrix. Through a parametric study, the interactions of forging temperature, strain rate, strain per pass, and interfacial decohesion on the NMI damage evolution metrics are studied, specifically NMI particle separation, rotation, and cavity formation. The parametric study provides a linkage between the various processing conditions parameters influence on detrimental NMI morphology related to material performance.

The microstructural characteristics of Ni-based superalloys, as a consequence of a particular processing route, creates a variability in TMF performance. The micromechanical failure mechanisms associated with TMF are dependent on various loading parameters, such as temperature, strain range, and strain-temperature phasing. Insights on the complexities of micromechanical TMF damage are studied via a temperature-dependent, dislocation density-based crystal plasticity finite element (CPFE) model with uncertainty quantification. The capabilities of the model’s temperature dependency are examined via direct instantiation and comparison to a high-energy X-ray diffraction microscopy (HEDM) experiment under coupled thermal and mechanical loads. Unique loading states throughout the experiment are investigated with both CPFE predictions and HEDM results to study early indicators of TMF damage mechanisms at the grain scale. The mesoscale validation of the CPFE model to HEDM experimental data provides capabilities for a well-informed TMF performance paradigm under various strain-temperature phase profiles.

A material’s TMF performance is highly dependent on the temperature-load phase profile as a consequence of path-dependent thermo-mechanical plasticity. To investigate the relationship between microstructural damage and TMF phasing effects, the aforementioned CPFE model investigates in-phase (IP) TMF, out-of-phase (OP) TMF, and iso-thermal (ISO) loading profiles. A microstructural sensitive performance modeling framework with capabilities to isolate phasing (IP, OP, and ISO) effects is presented to locate fatigue damage in a set of statistically equivalent microstructures (SEMs). Location specific plasticity, and grain interactions are studied under the various phasing profiles providing a connection between microstructural material damage and TMF performance.



National Aeronautics and Space Administration

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Directorate for Mathematical & Physical Sciences

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Indiana Consortium for Simulation-Based Engineering of Materials and Structure (ICSEMS)


Degree Type

  • Doctor of Philosophy


  • Aeronautics and Astronautics

Campus location

  • West Lafayette

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Michael D. Sangid

Additional Committee Member 2

Anter El-Azab

Additional Committee Member 3

Thomas Siegmund

Additional Committee Member 4

Tyler N. Tallman