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On the conversion of plastic work into heat

Hodowany, Jon (1997) On the conversion of plastic work into heat. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology.


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The present study investigated heat evolution in metal plasticity. Specifically, experiments were designed to measure the partition of plastic work into heat and stored energy during dynamic deformations. The fraction of plastic work converted into heat has implications in a wide range of thermomechanical phenomena, including shear bands, dynamic fracture, ballistic penetration and high speed machining.

Kolsky bars, in compression and torsion, were used to determine mechanical properties at strain rates between [...] and [...]. For dynamic loading, in-situ temperature changes were measured using a high-speed HgCdTe photoconductive detector. Specially designed infrared optics, configured in tandem with the HgCdTe detector and the Kolsky bar constituted a novel experimental configuration for determining the fraction of plastic work converted into heat, and thus, the amount of energy stored in metals. The temperature detection system was ideally suited for small temperature excursions from ambient conditions, and was sensitive to temperature changes as little as 0.5 °C. The emissivity of metals was found to increase above certain high levels of plastic strain due to changes in surface roughness, which can affect the validity of temperature calibration. A technique of sample recovery, rough surface layer removal, and reloading was employed to obtain large plastic strains in the Kolsky bar. A Materials Testing System (MTS) servo-hydraulic load frame was used to measure mechanical properties at lower strain rates, [...] to [...] When temperature measurement was needed within this range of strain rates, a fast E-type thin wire thermocouple, with a time response of 1 ms, was employed.

The fraction of plastic work converted into heat, [beta], was treated as a constitutive function of strain and strain rate in the heat conduction equation. 2024 aluminum alloy and commercially pure [alpha]-titanium were the metal systems used in the current study to determine the functional dependence of [beta] on strain and strain rate. The T351, T4 and T6 tempers of 2024 aluminum did not exhibit strain rate dependence in flow stress over the entire range of strain rates tested. At low levels of plastic strain, all tempers of 2024 aluminum stored more than 50% of the input plastic work. At some level of plastic strain, depending on temper, 2024 aluminum could no longer store plastic work. After this point, [beta] increased to a value near 1.0 and remained nearly constant during subsequent plastic deformation. When averaged over all strains, [beta] was 0.85-0.95 depending on the particular heat treatment. The fraction of plastic work dissipated as heat was not found to be sensitive to strain rate over a wide range of strain rates. In contrast, the flow stress of [alpha]-titanium was strongly dependent on strain rate. The initial flow stress increased by more than 15% between strain rates of [...] and [...]. In addition, the strain hardening was also observed to be rate dependent. For fixed plastic strain, the tangent modulus increased as strain rate increased. Titanium dissipated a greater proportion of energy as heat at low strains than all tempers of 2024 aluminum. The ability to store energy in titanium decreased with increasing plastic strain. For plastic strains above 0.3, titanium dissipated nearly all input plastic work as heat. The proportion of energy dissipated as heat at fixed strain increased as strain rate increased.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Major Option:Aeronautics
Thesis Committee:
  • Ravichandran, Guruswami (chair)
  • Rosakis, Ares J.
Defense Date:20 May 1997
Record Number:etd-01102008-074409
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:106
Deposited By: Imported from ETD-db
Deposited On:23 Jan 2008
Last Modified:25 Dec 2012 14:57

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