, Volume 86, Issue 1, pp 55-61
Date: 02 Nov 2006

Femtosecond laser-based fabrication of a new model material to study fracture

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The ductile fracture process consists of the nucleation, growth and coalescence of voids in a material. Predictive models of ductility require a complete understanding of the coalescence event. However, coalescence occurs over very small strains and is therefore difficult to observe experimentally. We have addressed this by developing a new class of model material. It consists of femtosecond laser drilled holes and diffusion bonded metallic sheets, which can be mechanically tested in situ either by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) or by X-raycomputed tomography (XRCT). The fabrication steps are presented and the model material is characterized by optical and electron microscopy, nanoindentation and tomography. The heat affected zone around the laser holes is found to be harder than the unaffected material and consists of nano-scale grains. Finally we show that the coalescence event is well captured using both SEM and XRCT. The fabrication method is adaptable to a wide range of materials and enables one to produce 2D and 3D arrays of holes or cracks with controlled size, volume fraction and distribution.


62.20.Mk; 62.25.+g; 79.20.Ds