Thermomechanical transformation fatigue of TiNiCu SMA actuators under a corrosive environment – Part I: Experimental results Academic Article uri icon


  • In this two-part paper, the thermomechanical fatigue of TiNiCu shape memory alloy (SMA) wire actuators undergoing thermally induced martensitic phase transformation in a corrosive environment is investigated. The main objective of this work is to evaluate the cyclic response and fatigue behavior of TiNiCu SMA wire under corrosive conditions and to compare it to results obtained for fatigue testing in a corrosion-free environment. Part I focuses on the various experimental aspects of this work, including the presentation of fatigue results as a function of various testing parameters. The variable test parameters are five applied stress levels from about 50 MPa to about 250 MPa, and two different actuation strains, one corresponding to full actuation or complete transformation and the other to partial transformation. The results from fatigue testing in a corrosive environment show a consistent reduction of the fatigue life compared to corrosion-free fatigue results, in both complete and partial transformation conditions. It is also observed that corrosion-assisted fatigue leads to more scattered fatigue data and this spread is mostly attributed to enhanced and accelerated damage mechanisms due to corrosion. From these conclusions, a microstructure evaluation is performed to understand the damage that contributes to lower fatigue limits under corrosion and is presented in Part II of this work. Fracture surfaces, development of fatigue cracks and effect of corrosion are presented and discussed. The conclusion from the microstructure analysis has led to the formulation of a damage accumulation model accounting for a cyclic corrosion mechanism. This modeling approach allows for determining the fatigue life reduction of SMA wire actuators in a corrosive environment. All results of the microstructure analysis and fatigue life modeling are presented in Part II. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

published proceedings

  • International Journal of Fatigue

altmetric score

  • 3

author list (cited authors)

  • Bertacchini, O. W., Lagoudas, D. C., & Patoor, E

citation count

  • 40

complete list of authors

  • Bertacchini, Olivier W||Lagoudas, Dimitris C||Patoor, Etienne

publication date

  • October 2009