Today’s and future parameters of stationary gas turbines and aircraft engines require intensive and highly efficient cooling of hot gas path components. High temperature and thermally induced stress gradients with impact on fatigue life are the consequence. Thermally induced stress gradients differ from geometrically induced stress gradients with respect to stress mechanics by the independence from external loads and material mechanics by the influence of temperature on material properties and strength. Regarding the contribution and evaluation on damage, the latter characteristic feature in turbomachinery is currently not fully understood.
Therefore, a test facility has been designed, set up, and reported in GT2018-76519 for the investigation of the influence of stationary temperature, and thus thermally induced stress gradients, on the damage evolution of cooled high-temperature components. To achieve high temperature and thermally induced stress gradients, large heat fluxes are required. A unique radiation heating has been developed allowing very high heat fluxes of q̇ ≥ 1.5 MW/m2 for testing of hollow cylindrical specimens.
The conventional cast nickel-base alloy Mar-M247 has been chosen to study the influence of thermally induced stress gradients on fatigue life. The low-cycle fatigue testing of the hollow cylindrical specimens has been conducted both with and without superimposed stationary temperature gradients. In addition, Complex Low-Cycle Fatigue (CLCF) tests with symmetric and nonsymmetric loading conditions have been performed to provide the necessary database for the adaptation of a viscoplastic deformation model. To calculate the local stress-strain field and service life of the test specimens, linear elastic and viscoplastic finite element studies have been performed and were assessed by means of a fracture mechanics-based lifetime model.
The test results show the considerable influence of the temperature gradient on the low-cycle fatigue life for the investigated material. Both the radial temperature variation over the specimen wall with a hot outer surface and a cooled inner surface as well as the thermally induced stresses are stated to be the main drivers for the change in low-cycle fatigue life. The test results enhance the understanding of fatigue-damage mechanisms under local unsteady conditions and can be used as a basis for improved service life predictions.