The influence of alloying on slip intermittency and the implications for dwell fatigue in titanium

Felicity F. Worsnop, Rachel E. Lim, Joel V. Bernier, Darren C. Pagan, Yilun Xu, Thomas P. McAuliffe, David Rugg, David Dye

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Dwell fatigue, the reduction in fatigue life experienced by titanium alloys due to holds at stresses as low as 60% of yield, has been implicated in several uncontained jet engine failures. Dislocation slip has long been observed to be an intermittent, scale-bridging phenomenon, similar to that seen in earthquakes but at the nanoscale, leading to the speculation that large stress bursts might promote the initial opening of a crack. Here we observe such stress bursts at the scale of individual grains in situ, using high energy X-ray diffraction microscopy in Ti–7Al–O alloys. This shows that the detrimental effect of precipitation of ordered Ti3Al is to increase the magnitude of rare pri〈a〉 and bas〈a〉 slip bursts associated with slip localisation. By contrast, the addition of trace O interstitials is beneficial, reducing the magnitude of slip bursts and promoting a higher frequency of smaller events. This is further evidence that the formation of long paths for easy basal plane slip localisation should be avoided when engineering titanium alloys against dwell fatigue.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number5949
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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