Direct observation on fatigue crack growth behavior in SiC (SCS-6) fiber-reinforced Ti-15-3 alloy matrix composite subjected to a constant tension-tension loading mode was performed by scanning electron microscope using a single edge-notched specimen in vacuum at room temperature and 550 °C. The fatigue crack growth rate at 550 °C was lower than that at room temperature, and the difference between the fatigue crack growth rates at room temperature and 550 °C increased with increasing fatigue cycles. The crack opening displacement at 550 °C was smaller than that at room temperature when the crack length exceeded a definite value, though the interface friction stress between the fiber and matrix at elevated temperature was much smaller than that at room temperature. The above results were explained qualitatively by a residual stress mechanism at the crack front and the crack closure behavior at crack wake, which could be produced by matrix creep asymmetry in tension and compression at elevated temperature during each fatigue cycle.
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