Experimental characterization of the compressive mechanical behaviour of Ti6Al4V alloy at constant strain rates over the full elastoplastic range

Full range constant strain rate tests are required for accurately characterizing initial yield point, strength differential effect and direct identification of constitutive laws describing the plastic behavior of materials. These tests require the use of a closed-loop control in order to achieve the constant strain rate, however this feature is not available in many laboratories. A method for full range constant strain rate with testing machines that can be configured for user-defined displacements of the cross head prior to testing is presented here. Tests performed at a constant die speed include a variable strain rate response for the specimen involved. Significant deformation rate variation occurs between the elastic and plastic range with consequences for initial yield point identification. To overcome this drawback, appropriate user-defined displacements can be computed and applied, allowing for both tensile and compression tests to be performed at a constant strain rate. The method is validated using a compression test of Ti6Al4V alloy at room temperature, as well as a 3D digital image correlation (DIC) system exhibiting a constant strain rate value equal to 10(-3) s(-1), for both elastic and plastic ranges. A non-negligible inhomogeneous strain field was measured on the surface of the compression specimen using DIC and was corroborated by numerical modeling. Results identified the source of the non-homogeneous strain field, thereby proposing a quantitative indicator of plastic anisotropy. The initial yield stress and strain hardening rates of the alloy at several temperatures were obtained with both testing method, conventional constant cross-head speed, and the constant strain rate; these were then used to determine the influence of the small strain rate variations on the mechanical response of Ti6Al4V alloy.

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