Design and fabrication of a bending rotation fatigue test rig for in situ electrochemical analysis during fatigue testing of NiTi shape memory alloy wires

Neelakantan, Lakshman; Zglinski, Jenni Kristin; Frotscher, Matthias; Eggeler, Gunther
March 2013
Review of Scientific Instruments;Mar2013, Vol. 84 Issue 3, p035102
Academic Journal
The current investigation proposes a novel method for simultaneous assessment of the electrochemical and structural fatigue properties of nickel-titanium shape memory alloy (NiTi SMA) wires. The design and layout of an in situ electrochemical cell in a custom-made bending rotation fatigue (BRF) test rig is presented. This newly designed test rig allows performing a wide spectrum of experiments for studying the influence of fatigue on corrosion and vice versa. This can be achieved by performing ex situ and/or in situ measurements. The versatility of the combined electrochemical/mechanical test rig is demonstrated by studying the electrochemical behavior of NiTi SMA wires in 0.9% NaCl electrolyte under load. The ex situ measurements allow addressing various issues, for example, the influence of pre-fatigue on the localized corrosion resistance, or the influence of hydrogen on fatigue life. Ex situ experiments showed that a pre-fatigued wire is more susceptible to localized corrosion. The synergetic effect can be concluded from the polarization studies and specifically from an in situ study of the open circuit potential (OCP) transients, which sensitively react to the elementary repassivation events related to the local failure of the oxide layer. It can also be used as an indicator for identifying the onset of the fatigue failure.


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