Particle cracking damage evolution in 7075 wrought aluminum alloy under monotonic and cyclic loading conditions

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Harris, James Joel
Gokhale, Arun M.
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7xxx series Al-Zn-Mg-Cu-base wrought Al-alloy products are widely used for aerospace structural applications where monotonic and cyclic mechanical properties are of prime concern. Microstructure of these commercial alloys usually contains brittle coarse constituent particles or inclusions of Fe-rich intermetallic compounds and Mg2Si, typically in the size range of 1 to 50 micron. Plastic deformation and fracture of 7xxx series alloys (as well as of numerous other wrought Al-alloys) is associated with gradual microstructural damage accumulation that involves cracking of the coarse constituent particles, growth of voids around the cracked particles, and the void coalescence. To understand and model the microstructural damage evolution processes such particle cracking, quantitative microstructural data associated with the damage nucleation are required under monotonic as well as cyclic loading conditions. In the past quantitative characterization of particle cracking damage in these alloys has been problematic. However, with recent advances in digital image analysis and stereology based techniques, it is now possible to quantitatively characterize the damage nucleation in hot-rolled 7075(T6) Al-alloy (a typical alloy of 7xxx series) due to cracking of the Fe-rich coarse constituent particles. The objectives of this work are: * Quantitative characterization of the cracking of Fe-rich constituent particles as a function of strain under quasi-static loading. This involves measurements of number density of cracked particles, volume fraction of the cracked particles, their size, shape, and orientation distribution, as well as nearest neighbor distribution and two-point correlation functions to quantify spatial dispersion of the cracked particles in a series of interrupted uniaxial tensile test specimens at different strain levels. * Quantitative characterization of the cracking of Fe-rich constituent particles under cyclic loading to study the differences between the particle cracking damage due to monotonic and cyclic loading.
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