Purdue University Graduate School
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High-Strain Rate Spall Strength Measurement of a CoCrFeMnNi High-Entropy Alloy

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posted on 2022-11-03, 17:50 authored by Andrew J EhlerAndrew J Ehler


This work explored the dynamic behavior and failure mechanisms of an additively manufactured high-entropy alloy (HEA) when subjected to high-strain rate shock impacts. A laser-induced projectile impact testing (LIPIT) setup was used to study the dynamic behavior of the Cantor alloy CoCrFeMnNi samples manufactured using a directed-energy deposition technique. HEA flyers were accelerated by a pulse laser to velocities up to 1 km/s prior to impact with lithium fluoride glass windows. A photon Doppler velocimetry (PDV) system recorded the velocity of the flyer during the acceleration and subsequent impact. From this velocity profile, the Hugoniot coefficient and sound speed of the HEA samples were determined.

Upon determination of key shock parameters, spallation occurring due to shock was analyzed. Using the same LIPIT and PDV systems as the earlier testing, aluminum flyers of various thicknesses were accelerated into HEA samples. The back-surface velocity profiles of the HEA samples showed a characteristic “pullback” caused by the interaction of the tensile stress waves indicative of spall occurrence in the material. The magnitude of this pullback and the material properties determined in the first experiments allow for the measurement of spall strength at various strain-rates. This data is compared to previous data looking at similar HEAs manufactured using traditional methods. A comparison of this data showed that the spall strength of the HEA samples was equivalent to that of similar alloys but at significantly higher strain rates. As an increased strain-rate tends to result in increased spall strengths, further examination was needed to determine the reasons for this decreased spall strength in the AM samples.

Post-shock specimen recovery allowed for the failure mechanisms behind the spallation to be observed. Scanning electron microscope (SEM) images of the cross-section of the samples showed ductile fracture and void growth outside of the predicted spall region. Further imaging using energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS) showed the presence of potentially chromium-oxide deposits in regions outside of the predicted spall plane. It is hypothesized that these regions created nucleation points about which spallation occurred. Thus, to achieve spall strength in AM HEAs equivalent to strengths in traditionally-casted alloys, the AM sample must be refined to reduce the occurrence of these deposits and voids.  


Degree Type

  • Master of Science in Aeronautics and Astronautics


  • Aeronautics and Astronautics

Campus location

  • West Lafayette

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Vikas Tomar

Additional Committee Member 2

Tyler Tallman

Additional Committee Member 3

Dianyun Zhang

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