Evaluation of surface roughness evolution during fatigue damage in metals under multiaxial loading via optical measurements
Fatigue damage accumulation under multiaxial loading conditions is an important practical problem for which there is a need to collect additional experimental data to calibrate and validate models. In this work, a sample with a special geometry capable of producing biaxial stresses while undergoing uniaxial load was fabricated and tested successfully and used, along with standard dogbone samples, to monitor the evolution of surface roughness development under cyclic loading using optical microscopy. In addition, a Michelson interferometer was successfully designed, built and tested that can be used to monitor surface roughness for lower levels of load than those used in this work. Results of testing and characterization in 2024-T3 samples tested at a maximum stress slightly below their yield strength and load ratio ~ 0.1 indicate that most of the surface roughness development under cyclic loads occurs on the second half of the fatigue, with the bulk of it close to failure. However, samples with load axes perpendicular to the rolling direction showed earlier development of roughness, which correlated with shorter fatigue lives and the expected anisotropy of strength in the material.