The results of a recent study aimed at understanding the conjoint influence of load ratio and microstructure on the high cycle fatigue properties and resultant fracture behavior of two high strength alloy steels is presented and discussed. Both the chosen alloy steels, i.e., 300M and Tenax™ 310 have much better strength and ductility properties to offer in comparison with the other competing high strength steels having near similar chemical composition. Test specimens were precision machined from the as-provided stock of each steel. The machined specimens were deformed in both uniaxial tension and cyclic fatigue under conditions of stress control. The test specimens of each alloy steel were cyclically deformed over a range of maximum stress at two different load ratios and the number of cycles to failure recorded. The specific influence of load ratio on cyclic fatigue life is presented and discussed keeping in mind the maximum stress used during cyclic deformation. The fatigue fracture surfaces were examined in a scanning electron microscope to establish the macroscopic mode and to concurrently characterize the intrinsic features on the fracture surface. The conjoint influence of nature of loading, maximum stress, and microstructure on cyclic fatigue life is discussed.
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