The low-cycle fatigue life and fatigue crack propagation behavior of sintered silver nanoparticles were investigated using miniature specimens sintered at two different temperatures. The fatigue crack initiation life and fatigue crack propagation rate of sintered Ag nanoparticles were extremely sensitive to changes in the range of inelastic energy density and the cyclic J integral, exhibiting brittle characteristics, in contrast to tin-based lead-free solder alloys. With increasing sintering temperature, the fatigue crack propagation rate decreased. On the other hand, the effect of sintering temperature on the fatigue crack initiation life differed depending on the use of either a smooth specimen (low-cycle fatigue test) or notched specimen (fatigue crack propagation test). For the notched specimens, the probability of grain boundaries around the notch decreased due to increased sintering temperature. Therefore, the fatigue crack initiation life was increased with an increase in sintering temperature in the fatigue crack propagation test. In the smooth specimen, however, the fatigue life decreased with an increase in sintering temperature, as the elastic modulus of the specimen increased with increasing sintering temperature. In the low-cycle fatigue test, the specimen sintered with high internal stress started to develop crack initiation early, causing a decrease in the crack initiation life.
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