Paper Type

Master's Thesis


College of Computing, Engineering & Construction

Degree Name

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering (MSME)



NACO controlled Corporate Body

University of North Florida. School of Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. Murat Tiryakioǧlu

Second Advisor

Dr. Alexandra Schönning

Third Advisor

Dr. Paul Eason

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Mark A. Tumeo

Department Chair

Dr. Murat Tiryakioǧlu

College Dean

Dr. Mark A. Tumeo


Cast aluminum alloys are common in automotive and aerospace applications due to their high strength-to-density ratio. Fracture data for cast aluminum alloys, such as fatigue life, tensile strength and elongation, are heavily affected by the structural defects, such as pores and bifilms. There have been numerous studies in which either fatigue performance or tensile deformation were characterized and linked to casting defects. However, a comprehensive study that correlates tensile and fatigue properties has not been reported. The present study is motivated to fill this gap. The main objective of the investigation is to analyze the link between tensile and fatigue performance of commonly used cast aluminum alloys, and determine whether fatigue performance of cast aluminum alloys can be predicted. To accomplish this task, four research questions were developed: (i) how well do equations developed to account for mean stress effects perform in cast aluminum alloys, especially in datasets with various levels of structural quality, (ii) is the strong correlation between fatigue life and structural quality index obtained from tensile data reported for A206 alloy castings applicable to other aerospace and automotive casting alloys, (iii) how do methods to estimate high cycle fatigue from tensile data perform with aluminum castings, and (iv) can the axial fatigue performance of an A356-T6 casting be predicted from rotating beam fatigue data. Among the three mean stress correction models analyzed by using seven datasets from the literature, the one developed by Walker with an adjustable exponent has provided the best fit. It has been hypothesized that the adjustable Walker parameter is related to the structural quality index, QT, estimated from tensile data. Results have shown that there is indeed a strong correlation between QT and the Walker parameter. Moreover the parameters of the xvi Weibull distribution estimated from corrected data have been found to be strongly influenced by the mean stress correction method used. Tensile and fatigue life data for 319, D357 and B201 aluminum alloy castings reported in the literature have been reanalyzed by using a maximum likelihood method to estimate Basquin parameters in datasets with run-outs, Weibull statistics for censored data and mean stress correction. After converting tensile data to QT, a distinct relationship has been observed between the expected fatigue life and mean quality index for all alloys. Moreover, probability of survival in fatigue life has been found to be directly linked to the proportions of the quality index distributions in two different regions, providing further evidence about the strong relationship between elongation, i.e., structural quality, and fatigue performance [1]. Specimen geometry has been found to make the largest difference whereas the two aerospace alloys, B201 and D357, with distinctly different microstructures, have followed the same relationship, reinforcing the findings in the literature that fatigue life in aluminum castings is mainly determined by the size distribution and number density of structural defects. Six methods to predict fatigue life from tensile data have been compared by using data from the literature as well as the experimental A356 data developed in this study. Results have shown that none of the six methods provide reliable results. The consistently poor performance of the methods developed for steels and wrought alloys can be attributed to the major structural defects, namely bifilms, in aluminum castings. A new method to estimate the S-N curve from tensile data have been developed by using data for seventy-one S-N curves have been collected and Basquin parameters have been determined. Analysis showed that there is a strong relationship between QT and the Basquin exponent. xvii The Basquin parameters estimated by using the empirical relationships developed in the present study have provided better fits to the same datasets tested for the six methods. Hence the model developed in this study is proposed as the most reliable method to estimate high cycle fatigue properties. Finally, three methods to convert rotating bending fatigue test results to uniaxial fatigue data have been investigated by using the data developed in this study. Results have indicated that the method developed by Esin, in which both the fatigue life and alternating stress are corrected, provide the best estimate. Analyses of fracture surfaces of broken specimens via scanning electron microscopy have shown that tensile, axial fatigue and rotating beam fatigue properties are all strongly influenced by the same structural defects, confirming the validity of the approach taken in this study.