It is well known that fatigue fracture of welded joints can depend on many factors such as residual stress, stress concentration and an inhomogeneous microstructure in the HAZ (Heat Affected Zone). Some solutions to improve fatigue properties, for example, hammer peening (1), have been developed to mitigate effects related to stress. Improvement from mechanical view point is not only applied, but optimized microstructure design of the base metal and HAZ should be also considered. However, microstructural effects on fatigue crack initiation behavior have not been fully understood because systematic experimental evaluation of them takes much efforts with difficulty. An analytical method is a useful idea to specify the optimum microstructure against fatigue crack initiation before experimental examinations. CP-FEM (Crystal-Plasticity Finite Element Method) is expected to describe fatigue crack initiation behavior, because it can express strain localizations caused by an inhomogeneous microstructure.
In the present study, a simulation model using CP-FEM is developed to describe strain localizations under cyclic loading. Microstructural effects on plastic strain localization and accumulation were investigated by changing microstructural factors.