In conventional creep testing (CCT) a specimen is subject to constant load and temperature for a long-duration until creep rupture occurs. Conventional testing can be costly when considering the number of experiments needed to characterize the creep response of a material over a range of stress and temperature. To predict long-term creep-rupture properties, the time-temperature-stress superposition principle (TTSSP) approach has been employed where stress and/or temperature is applied at an elevated level; the result of which are extrapolated down to low stress and/or temperature conditions. These methods have been successful in predicting minimum-creep-strain-rate (MCSR) and stress-rupture (SR) but suffer from an inability to predict the creep deformation curve or account for changes in deformation mechanisms or aging that occurs at long-duration. An accelerated technique, termed the Stepped isostress method (SSM) allows the accelerated testing of materials to determine their creep deformation response. Unlike TTSSP tests, the SSM test employs a single specimen where the stress is periodically step increased until rupture. The SSM creep deformation curve is processed (time and strain shifted) to produce an accelerated creep deformation curve that represent the creep deformation curve at the initial stress level in SSM. A processing procedure for metals has yet to be developed.

The research objective of this study is to develop a processing procedure for SSM test data using a creep-damage constitutive model. Triplicate SSM tests were conducted on Ni-based superalloy Inconel 718 at 650°C with stress being periodically increased until rupture. Triplicate CCT tests were conducted at the initial stress level of the SSM tests. The Sine-hyperbolic (Sinh) creep-damage model was employed in this study. The Sinh creep-damage constitutive model is based on coupled creep strain rate and damage evolution equations; where both rates are dependent on the current state of damage. Calibration is two-step: analytical and numerical optimization. Each stepped creep deformation curve is tackled quasi-analytically to determine MCSR and SR related material constants and accumulated damage. The damage accumulated at the end of each step was then passed onto subsequent steps to calibrate the MCSR, rupture prediction, and damage evolution. Numerical optimization was applied to optimize model constants involved in the creep strain constitutive equations in order to generate best-fitted Sinh creep deformation curves. The Sinh model predictions were compared to the SSM and CCT data. The Sinh model satisfactorily predicts the SSM data and thus the calibrated material constants provides a good estimate of rupture found in the CCT data. Calibration using SSM data reduces the number of tests needed to calibrate a model; significantly reducing costs. A single SSM test replaces numerous creep tests at different stresses.

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