Evaluation of the fretting fatigue behaviour of commercially pure titanium
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Fretting fatigue occurs when the contact surfaces of two components undergo small oscillatory movement while they are subjected to a clamping force. A cyclic external load gives rise to the early initiation of fatigue cracks, thus reducing their service life. In this paper, the fretting fatigue behaviour of commercially pure titanium flat samples (1.5 mm thick) is evaluated. A fretting device composed of a frame, load cell, and two screw-mounted cylindrical fretting pads with convex extremities was built and set to a servo-hydraulic testing machine. The fatigue tests were conducted under load control at a frequency of 10 Hz and stress ratio R = 0.1, with various contact load values applied to the fretting pads. Additional tests under inert environment allowed assessing the role of oxidation on the wear debris formation. The fracture surfaces and fretting scars were analysed via scanning electron microscopy in order to evaluate the surface damage evolution and its effect on the fatigue crack features. The effect of the fretting condition on the S-N curve of the material in the range of 10(4)-10(6) cycles is described. Fatigue crack growth calculations allowed estimating the crack initiation and propagation lives under fretting conditions. The effect of the fretting condition in fatigue life is stronger for the lower values of cyclic stress and does not seem to depend on the contact loading value.