Beginners Guide: Everything You Need to Know About Metal Fatigue and Aging

Beginners Guide: Everything You Need to Know About Metal Fatigue and Aging
Beginners Guide: Everything You Need to Know About Metal Fatigue and Aging

Metals can grow old, wear and tear as time passes by. Here is a brief overview of metal aging and fatigue.
The most severe type of failure in metal is fatigue. It occurs as a result of holding heavy, shear, and impact loads. The industries that buy 316 stainless steel tube know that metal fatigue fails to show significant signs until the late stages of damage appear and it is already too late.

Defining Metal Fatigue

Metal fatigue is an outcome of delicate metal parts destroyed by repeated stresses. You need to be aware of them when you buy 316 stainless steel tube. These are the key stages:
Stage 1: During this cycle, metal cracks form and become visible after a long period of enduring load cycles. The cracks appear on the edges of metal.  The amount of stress necessary for micro-cracks formation is lower than the amount of the ultimate tensile strength.
Stage 2:  The initial micro-cracks continue experiencing stress through the loading cycle, making them denser.
Stage 3: The final cycle is an increase in crack propagation due to the enlargement resulting in fatigue failure. The factors that determine the surface appearance of the cracks include the type of metal and the strength of metal in tensile processes.

Metal Fatigue Strength

The method of measuring fatigue strength is fatigue testing. It involves group evaluation methods that expose metal specimens of various shapes and sizes to continuous repetitive stress level cycles. After collection of the ultimate result, the information gets plotted on a graph showing the number of periods a specimen can endure without damage. Prior knowledge is essential to be aware of any signs of metal fatigue.

The Applications at Risk of Experiencing Metal Fatigue

They include airplane body sections, bridges, metal stamping devices, suspension equipment for automotive, furniture, and parts that vibrate highly.

Metal Fatigue Preventive Measures

Software Fatigue Analysis

It can get avoided or lessened by the use of engineering. The software inspects the designs and components, holding the structure altogether. The outcome of the analysis process will point out the parts that are likely to experience heavy fatigue loads. If there is a technique of preventing it, then it should lessen the chances of metal fatigue.

Appropriate Material Selection

Fatigue strength depends on the type of material. For example, a steel product can sustain higher levels of stress more than aluminum. It helps to avoid unexpected fatigue failures since the metals have undergone testing to match various industrial applications.

Metal Aging

It affects metal alloy properties. The causes of damage may be quenching or hardening and heating. Some alloys will eventually age because that is their formulation. Aging costs the physical features possessed by a metal alloy.
Natural aging in alloys is a lifetime process. The elements inside the metal that are super-saturated form metal precipitates. These new material seals parts of dislocated metal, hence increasing the rigidity or firmness while its ductility lowers.
Artificial aging involves the acceleration of precipitate formation in a metal alloy solution that has undergone heat treatment at a higher rate than the normal process of aging. The procedure is raising the temperature for crystal formation in a metal alloy solution under heat-treatment. The temperature must be high enough to accelerate the reaction for precipitate formation. After achieving the correct sizes, rapid cooling is necessary to reduce any further changes in the precipitate.

Types of Metals that Age


The aluminum alloy series are ageable and most of their different shapes derive endurance from natural aging. Some of them have precipitated magnesium silicide, which always blocks dislocations and dramatically increases its strength as well as hardness.

Stainless Steel

There are several popular alloys of stainless steel with exceedingly high qualities and durability when accordingly aged due to the precipitation of alloy in their frameworks.

Copper Alloys

There are a couple of frequently used copper-beryllium metals in the industry. Widely known for being smooth and malleable. When using the right additions of metal oxides with a decent aging technique, copper can be quite severe, dependable, and brittle.

Other Metal Alloys

Titanium, Nickel, even Magnesium, among other different elements, may age if they have in the chemical make-up, alloying elements that make them heat-treatable.

Over Aging

It can happen either organically or artificially. It occurs whenever the precipitates increase in scale as a result of an aging cycle that takes place way beyond the point of helping the application. It often leads to a reduction in resilience and durability.
It occurs by welding as well as cold working the metal in two popular ways. Given either of these two procedures, efforts are necessary to determine whether a heat-treatable alloy solution needs to be re-aged artificially to guarantee that the intended tensile strengths are still available.