Estimating fatigue crack initiation of applied loading is challenging due to the large number of individual entities within a microstructure that could affect the accumulation of dislocations. In order to improve the prediction accuracy of fatigue crack initiation models, it is essential to accurately compute the energy dissipated into the microstructure per fatigue loading cycle. The extent of the energy dissipated within the microstructure as a fraction of the overall energy imparted by loading has previously been defined as the ‘energy efficiency coefficient’. This work studied the energy efficiency coefficient as a factor in the measurement of accumulated plastic strain energy stored at the crack initiation site during cyclic loading. In particular, the crystal plasticity constitutive formulation was known as ’length scale independent’ previously. As a result, a semi-empirical approach was presented whereby the potential effect of grain size can be accounted for without the use of a strain gradient plasticity approach. The randomized representative volume elements were created based on the experimental analysis of grain size distribution. The work was aimed at capturing some of the effects of grain size and utilizing them to complete a semi-empirical estimation of crack initiation in polycrystalline materials. The computational methodology ensured the representative of microstructural properties, including the elastic constant and critical resolved shear stress via appreciable fit achieved with the empirical tensile test results. Crystal plasticity finite element modeling was incorporated into a finite element code to estimate the potential for crack initiation. The energy efficiency coefficient was computed for a class of material with grain size to C11000 electrolytic tough pitch (ETP) copper. This methodology can improve fatigue crack initiation life estimation and advance the fundamental study of energy efficiency coefficient during fatigue crack initiation.
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