A 2–3 mm thick electroformed nickel mold showed early cracking under thermal load cycles. To determine the root cause, investigators obtained monotonic and cyclic properties of electroformed nickel at various temperatures and identified possible fatigue mechanisms. With the help of finite element modeling, they analyzed the material as well as the design and in-service application of the mold. They discovered that overconstraining the mold, while it was in service, caused excessive thermal stresses which accelerated crack initiation and propagation. Investigators also proposed remedies to prevent additional failures.
H. Jahed, M. Noban, Fatigue of Electroformed Nickel, Handbook of Case Histories in Failure Analysis, Vol 3, Edited By Larry Berardinis, ASM International, 2019, p 705–714, https://doi.org/10.31399/asm.fach.v03.c9001852
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