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Large Strain and Small-Scale Biaxial Testing of Sheet Metals

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Small-scale and multi-axial testing of sheet metals, particularly of lightweight alloys and advanced steels are becoming important as these materials exhibit forming behavior sensitive to their unique microstructural features and strain paths. As an alternative to large-scale standard tests, in this paper we introduce a novel biaxial tensile test apparatus utilizing miniature cruciform samples. The compact and portable apparatus includes a custom-built optical microscope and high-resolution digital image correlation (DIC) equipment for in-plane and in-situ strain measurements at the microstructure scale. The small strain and premature fracture problems common to the cruciform tests are solved by optimizing the sample design and by meticulously controlling the manufacturing steps and surface finish. Strain analyses reveal a key mechanism responsible for large strains and fracture at the center. This mechanism suppresses the local neck formation and allows uniform deformation under equibiaxial conditions until fracture. When normalized with the strain hardening exponent of the sample material (Al 6061-T6), the effective strain value before fracture, \( \overline{\varepsilon}/n \sim 3 \), surpass the reported values for similar materials tested by cruciform and standard methods.

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This work was supported both by TÜBİTAK—2232 fellowship program for returning scientists to Turkey under the grant agreement #114C039 and by European Commission’s Research Executive Agency’s Marie Curie Actions—Career Integration Grant (FP7-PEOPLE-2013-CIG) with grant agreement #631774. We would like to thank Kıvanç Alkan for his help in surface preparation and testing.

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Correspondence to M. Efe.

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Seymen, Y., Güler, B. & Efe, M. Large Strain and Small-Scale Biaxial Testing of Sheet Metals. Exp Mech 56, 1519–1530 (2016).

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  • Biaxial tension
  • In-situ testing
  • Cruciform
  • Forming
  • DIC
  • Aluminum