Construction and validation of a hot torsion testing instrument
MetadataShow full item record
The need to increase vehicle performance, particularly fuel efficiency, has led to an increased interest in using lightweight metals for vehicle structural components. Lightweight aluminum alloys offer the potential to significantly reduce vehicle mass when structural components that use steel are replaced. Mass reduction is a very efficient route to increase vehicle performance. In vehicles with traditional powertrains, mass reduction can increase fuel efficiency. In vehicles with electrical powertrains, mass reduction can increase driving range. Regardless of the specific structural application, the best performance of any aluminum alloy is only obtained by achieving a microstructure that produces the best material properties. For wrought aluminum alloys, hot and cold deformation steps are critical to obtaining a desirable microstructure prior to the forming of a final component. For sheet material, the first step in controlling the final microstructure is microstructure evolution during hot rolling the cast ingot material. Hot rolling precedes cold rolling of the sheet to final thickness in most commercial sheet manufacturing operations. Microstructure during hot rolling is difficult to study because it requires a combination of high temperatures, fast strain rates and large strains to do so. Furthermore, specimens for microstructural examination must be extracted from these conditions while retaining the characteristics of the specific conditions that are to be studied. Hot torsion testing is the traditional approach to meeting these experimental requirements. In this investigation, a new hot torsion testing instrument is designed, fabricated and validated to enable future experiments that will elucidate microstructure evolution under conditions pertinent to hot rolling. This new instrument is integrated with computerized control and data acquisition systems. Validation experiments were conducted to characterize its capabilities. It is concluded that the completed instrument meets the requirements necessary to study plastic deformation and microstructure evolution in aluminum alloys under conditions relevant to hot rolling.