Fatigue damage in metals manifests itself as irreversible dislocation motion followed by crack initiation and propagation. Characterizing the transition from a crack-free to a cracked metal remains one of the most challenging problems in fatigue. Persistent slip bands (PSBs) form in metals during cyclic loading and are one of the most important aspects of this transition. We used in situ microfatigue experiments to investigate PSB formation and evolution mechanisms, and we discovered that PSBs are prevalent at the micrometer scale. Dislocation accumulation rates at this scale are smaller than those in bulk samples, which delays PSB nucleation. Our results suggest the need to refine PSB and crack-initiation models in metals to account for gradual and heterogeneous evolution. These findings also connect micrometer-scale deformation mechanisms with fatigue failure at the bulk scale in metals.
Articular cartilage heals poorly but experiences mechanically induced damage across a broad range of loading rates and matrix integrity. Because loading rates and matrix integrity affect cartilage mechanical responses due to poroviscoelastic relaxation mechanisms, their effects on cartilage failure are important for assessing and preventing failure. This paper investigated rate- and integrity-dependent crack nucleation in cartilage from pre- to post-relaxation timescales. Rate-dependent crack nucleation and relaxation responses were obtained as a function of matrix integrity through microindentation. Total work for crack nucleation increased with decreased matrix integrity, and with decreased loading rates. Critical energy release rate of intact cartilage was estimated as 2.39 ± 1.39 to 2.48 ± 1.26 kJ m−2in a pre-relaxation timescale. These findings showed that crack nucleation is delayed when cartilage can accommodate localized loading through poroviscoelastic relaxation mechanisms before fracture at a given loading rate and integrity state.
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The heterogeneity of persistent slip band nucleation and evolution in metals at the micrometer scale
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