Isothermal fatigue tests, out-of-phase and in-phase thermo-mechanical fatigue tests were performed on Mar-M247 nickel-based superalloy. The experiments were conducted in the temperature range 500°C to 871°C. Results indicate that the lives differ with strain-temperature phasing and with strain rate. The results of out-of-phase thermo-mechanical tests correspond well with strain-life data of isothermal tests conducted at the peak temperature (871°C). However, the in-phase thermo-mechanical results differed depending on the strain amplitude. Significant surface and crack tip oxidation and gamma prime depletion has been observed based on metallographic and Auger Spectroscopic analyses. These changes were measured as a function of time. The environment induced changes significantly influenced the fatigue lives in isothermal and out-of-phase thermo-mechanical fatigue cases. In these cases transgranular cracking was observed. Grain boundary crack nucleation and grain boundary crack growth dominated the in-phase thermo-mechanical fatigue cases. Based on these observations the requirements for a life prediction model are outlined. The life prediction model and the predictions are given in Part 2 of this paper.

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