Crack initiation and growth behavior of an austempered ductile iron (ADI) austenitized at 800 °C and austempered at 260 °C have been assessed under three-point bend fatigue conditions. Initiation sites have been identified as carbides remaining from the as-cast ductile iron due to insufficient austenization. The number of carbides cracking on loading to stresses greater than 275 MPa is critical in determining the failure mechanism. <br/>In general, high carbide area fractions promote coalescence-dominated fatigue crack failure, while low area fractions promote propagation-dominated fatigue crack failure. Individual carbides have been characterized using finite body tessellation (FBT) and adaptive numerical modeling (SUpport vector Parsimonious ANalysis Of VAriance (SUPANOVA)) techniques in an attempt to quantify the factors promoting carbide fracture. This indicated that large or long and thin carbides on the whole appear to be susceptible to fracture, and carbides that are locally clustered and aligned perpendicular to the tensile axis are particularly susceptible to fracture
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