Magnesium alloys and metal matrix composites (MMCs) are attractive materials for biomedical application. Magnesium has a module of elasticity that is close to that of human bones and it is biocompatible with the human body. Human body fluids make a corrosive environment to magnesium. In addition, different body parts are subjected to cyclic loading reaching a magnitude of about 80 MPa and an estimated total of 106 cycles per year. Therefore, understanding the fatigue behavior of magnesium alloys and magnesium metal matrix composites (MMCs) is an essential aspect especially when they are used as load bearing components. Magnesium has a hexagonal closed-packed (HCP) lattice structure with a c/a ratio of 1.623, and it does not have enough independent slip systems to sustain large plastic deformation. Therefore, magnesium deforms plastically by two different mechanisms: slipping and twinning. Twinning-detwinning deformation is manifested in the cyclic stress-strain response of wrought magnesium alloys when loaded along the working direction. A significant stress asymmetry is usually observed resulting in the development of high mean stress. Research on magnesium and its alloys is rapidly increasing. This chapter presents different aspects of fatigue, in general, and on magnesium in particular, including experimental method, damage models and fatigue life equation.
Part of the book: Magnesium