Investigation of the reduction in tensile strength and fatigue life of pre-corroded 7075-T6 aluminum alloy

B. Obert, K. Ngo, J. Hashemi, S. Ekwaro-Osire, T. P. Sivam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


In aging aircraft, the synergetic interaction between corrosion and fatigue has been shown to reduce the life expectancy of aluminum alloys. The objective of this study was to quantify the effects of corrosion, in terms of mass loss per unit area, on the static strength and fatigue life of 7075-T6 aluminum alloy. This was an experimental study in which test specimens were corroded in a laboratory environment. The corrosion process was accelerated by use of a corrosion cell. Test specimens were cut from flat sheets of aluminum and covered with masking material to restrict corrosion to a confined area. After testing, the fatigue life, ultimate tensile strength (UTS), and hardness of the specimens were observed to drop significantly with small amounts of corrosion. After the initial decrease, the UTS was observed to decrease linearly with increasing corrosion levels. The fatigue life of the specimens decreased in an inverse exponential fashion as mass loss per unit area increased. The hardness values of the corroded surfaces were also observed to drop. The topology of the pits and the related subsurface damage produced areas of high stress concentration resulting in the immediate reduction of UTS and fatigue life of the specimens. Subsurface corrosion damage was responsible for the reduction in hardness.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)441-448
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Materials Engineering and Performance
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2000


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