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Void Growth and Interaction in a Structural Aluminum Alloy: Experiments and Theory

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Document pages: 24 pages

Abstract: The problem of void growth and interaction is of importance to understanding the mechanics of failure in metals exhibiting ductility. In this work, the growth and interaction of voids in 6061-T6 aluminum were studied experimentally. Specifically, holes of varying numbers and relative placement were investigated for their normalized area growth with applied displacement. Flat dog-bone specimens were carefully drilled in their gauge area with no (zero) holes, one hole, and two holes (arranged vertically or horizontally) for experimentation after polishing. The growth of holes, captured by video recordings, exhibited exponential behavior and was influenced greatly by the number and arrangement of holes with the horizontal voids growing the fastest and the vertical ones growing the slowest. Also, the ensuring deformation of the sample was studied using load-displacement curves, pictography and videography, SEM imaging and Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM). The methods revealed that although the major part failure is due to large crack formation, it was preceded by intense dislocation slip activity and the formation of micro cavities. Also, the AFM quantified the three-dimensional nature of crystal or grain deformation and how it is greatly influenced by distance and location from the hole. Lastly, theoretical understanding of hole growth was offered.

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