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  • Journal article
    Zhou X, Shao Z, Pruncu CI, Hua L, Balint D, Lin J, Jiang Jet al., 2020,

    A study on central crack formation in cross wedge rolling

    , Journal of Materials Processing Technology, Vol: 279, ISSN: 0924-0136

    Cross wedge rolling (CWR) is an innovative roll forming process, used widely in the transportation industry. It has high production efficiency, consistent quality and efficient material usage. However, the continual occurrence of crack formation in the centre of the workpiece is a critical problem excluding the CWR technique from more safety-critical applications, in particular, aerospace components. The mechanisms of central fracture formation are still unclear because of a combination of complicated stress and strain states at various stages of CWR. Thus, the aim of this study is to understand the stress/strain distribution and evolution during the CWR process and identify the key variables which determine central crack formation. A comprehensive investigation was then conducted to simulate 27 experimental cases. The stress and strain distributions in the workpiece were evaluated by finite element analysis. Various damage models from literature were applied and compared. A new fracture criterion was proposed, which was able to successfully determine the central crack formation in all 27 experimental cases. This criterion can be applied in CWR tool and process design, and the enhanced understanding may enable the adoption of CWR by the aerospace industry.

  • Journal article
    Shao Z, Lee J, Wang J, Lin J, Jiang Jet al., 2020,

    A study of various heating effects on the microstructure and mechanical properties of AA6082 using EBSD and CPFE

    , Journal of Alloys and Compounds, Vol: 5 nov 2019, Pages: 1-13, ISSN: 0925-8388

    The solution heat treatment (SHT) process resolving hardening precipitates in high strength aluminium alloys is a critical step for high-efficient forming processes, such as Hot Form Quench (HFQ®). SHT largely determines the overall cycle time of a forming process. However, effects of heating process parameters, such as the heating rate and soaking time, on the microstructure and the associated mechanical properties of aluminium alloy 6082, one of the most commonly used aluminium alloys, for HFQ applications have not been systematically investigated. The aim of this study is to explore and understand the relationships among heat treatment conditions, grain microstructure and associated mechanical properties for AA6082. A series of uniaxial tensile tests conducted under various SHT conditions revealed significant variation on mechanical behaviour characterised by stress-strain curves. To correlate these stress-strain relationship with underlying microstructure, the grain and orientation distribution of each heat-treated sample were characterised by the electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD) technique. Due to the presence of a large number of microscopic variables, such as grain size, morphology, texture, grain boundary and etc., the crystal plasticity finite element (CPFE) modelling was employed to identify the key microscopic factors which determine the differences in the observed strength and ductility for all samples. A new CPFE model integrated with local strain criterion was proposed and validated to correlate the ductility and the strength with the material microstructure. This rigorous investigation provides more insights on how microstructure (grain size and texture) affects the mechanical behaviour for AA6082, which enables to enlarge the capability of HFQ for industrial applications.

  • Journal article
    Luan Q, Lee J, Zheng J, Hopper C, Jiang Jet al., 2020,

    Combining microstructural characterization with crystal plasticity and phase-field modelling for the study of static recrystallisation in pure aluminium

    , Computational Materials Science, Vol: 173, ISSN: 0927-0256

    An in-depth understanding of the recrystallization process in alloys is critical to manufacturing metal parts with superior properties. However, the development of recrystallization model under various processing conditions is still in its early research stage and becoming an urgent demand for both the manufacturing industry and scientific research. In this work, a validated numerical model that is capable of predicting the recrystallized grain structure, incubation time for the grain nucleation and texture evolution, was developed using a Kobayashi, Warren and Carter (KWC) phase-field model coupled with crystal plasticity finite element (CPFE) analysis. Through characterising the microstructural evolution of static recrystallization (SRX) by quasi-in-situ Electron Backscatter Diffraction (EBSD) mapping, insights into dislocation density, grain nucleation position, grain growth rate and recrystallized grain orientation were established and compared with the computational model. This model enables a reliable and accurate prediction of recrystallized grain morphology and texture.

  • Journal article
    Luan Q, Xing H, Zhang J, Jiang Jet al., 2020,

    Experimental and crystal plasticity study on deformation bands in single crystal and multi-crystal pure aluminium

    , Acta Materialia, Vol: 183, Pages: 78-92, ISSN: 1359-6454

    Deformation bands (DBs) formed in metals even in single crystals are known to give rise to the microstructural heterogeneities, thus contributing to some long-standing microstructure formation problems, such as the occurrence of recrystallization on the basis of deformed microstructure. Previous experimental transmission electron microscope (TEM) work has identified two types of DBs in the microscopic scale, i.e. kink bands and bands of secondary slips, showing the importance of understanding the slip activation for DBs. To extend the theory in mesoscale, single crystal and multi-crystal pure aluminium, as well as their corresponding crystal plasticity finite element (CPFE) models, are used in this paper to explore the effect of grain orientation, strain level and neighbouring grains on the formation of DBs. It is demonstrated that slip band intersection of primary and secondary slips is predicted to constrain the lattice sliding but facilitate the lattice rotation for the formation of DBs regarding the wall of DBs and its orientation. It is found that the impact of the above factors on the formation of DBs is caused by the slip field of primary slips. A sufficient amount of primary slips activated inside grains would be the key to the formation of distinct DBs with high area fraction and aspect ratio.

  • Journal article
    Zhang K, Zheng J, Shao Z, Pruncu C, Turski M, Guerini C, Jiang Jet al., 2019,

    Experimental investigation of the viscoplastic behaviours and microstructure evolutions of AZ31B and Elektron 717 Mg-alloys

    , Materials and Design, Vol: 184, Pages: 1-13, ISSN: 0264-1275

    An insight into the thermo-mechanical behaviours of AZ31B and Elektron 717 magnesium alloys under the hot stamping conditions was established. High-temperature tensile tests (i.e. 350–450 °C) at a strain rate of 0.1 to 5/s were conducted to examine the material viscoplastic behaviours. Additionally, microstructure characterizations were performed, using the electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD), on the deformed samples to capture the underlying deformation mechanisms. Dynamic recrystallization (DRX) and texture formation were observed during the deformation at high temperature in both alloys and are the primary factors that affect the viscoplastic behaviours. The yield stress of both alloys reduced with increasing temperatures and reducing strain rates. More importantly, the ductility of the samples increased with both the temperatures and the strain rates. The higher ductility at higher strain rates was primarily attributed to finer grains and the slightly weakened textures, enabling a more uniform deformation. A maximum ductility of ~2 was observed in AZ31B under 450 °C at 1/s while ~0.9 in Elektron 717 under the identical condition. The addition of rare earth elements in Elektron 717 may suppress the active DRX. The recrystallization type was identified as discontinuous DRX. The research findings deliver understandings on the viscoplastic behaviours and the deformation mechanisms of AZ31B and Elektron 717 under the hot stamping conditions and provide scientific guidance for feasibility study on applying hot stamping technique to Mg-alloy for forming complex geometry components.

  • Journal article
    Yasmeen T, Shao Z, Zhao L, Gao P, Lin J, Jiang Jet al., 2019,

    Constitutive modelling for the simulation of the superplastic forming of TA15 titanium alloy

    , International Journal of Mechanical Sciences, Vol: 164, ISSN: 0020-7403

    Titanium alloy, TA15, has a high strength-to-weight ratio, high weldability, and superior creep resistance at high temperatures up to 550°C. TA15 is difficult to deform, especially for forming complex-shaped large-scale web–rib components, due to its low plasticity, large inhomogeneous deformation and narrow processing window. The objective of this research is to model the superplastic mechanisms in TA15 alloy with equiaxed, fine grain structure, and applying the proposed constitutive model to investigate the maximum grid aspect ratio, that can be achieved in superplastic forming (SPF), for a TA15 sheet with an initial thickness of 1.2 mm. Thermo-mechanical tensile tests are conducted first to characterize the superplastic behaviour of the material in the temperature range of 880– 940°C and the strain-rate of 0.0005 – 0.01s−1. A set of mechanism-based unified visco-plastic constitutive equations has been proposed and calibrated based on the results of stress-strain data. A gradient-based optimization method is applied for the calibration of constitutive equations. The constitutive model is incorporated into FEA code through creep subroutine to check the validity of the proposed material model against the experimental SPF test of a multi-box die. Predicted sheet thickness and thinning in a die entry radius region at the end of forming are examined in detail. Preliminary results show a good agreement between the computational and experimental results.

  • Journal article
    Zheng J-H, Dong Y, Zheng K, Dong H, Lin J, Jiang J, Dean TAet al., 2019,

    Experimental investigation of novel fast-ageing treatments for AA6082 in supersaturated solid solution state

    , Journal of Alloys and Compounds, Vol: 810, ISSN: 0925-8388

    Developing a fast-ageing treatment can significantly reduce the current processing time (180 °C × 9 h) of high strength AA6082 automotive components. In this study, a fast ageing treatment in supersaturated solid solution state was developed, such that the mechanical properties can be rapidly achieved after the paint bake (PB) treatment through introducing a pre-ageing (PA) treatment. The determined fast ageing method considered effects of temperature & time, heating rate and subsequent PB on the ageing response. Tensile tests and TEM observations of typical conditions were undertaken to examine evolved strength and precipitate distribution. Results showed that 210 °C was the optimum pre-ageing temperature as uniformly sized and distributed small precipitates were obtained. The final strength of about 280 MPa, that is 95% of the nominal strength for T6 temper, can be obtained within 15 min soaking for fast heating, and nearly this value for slow heating. More prolific nucleation occurred during slow heating, resulting in more finely distributed precipitates and a higher strengthening. It was observed that PB further increased the strength of over-aged alloy pre-aged at a high temperature of 240 °C. The subsequent PB enabled further nucleation of small clusters and growth of the pre-ageing-induced precipitates which were smaller than 20 nm. This resulted in an improvement in the material strength potentially to satisfy the safety requirements in automotive industry.

  • Journal article
    Birosca S, Liu G, Ding R, Jiang J, Simm T, Deen C, Whittaker Met al., 2019,

    The dislocation behaviour and GND development in a nickel based superalloy during creep

    , International Journal of Plasticity, Vol: 118, Pages: 252-268, ISSN: 0749-6419

    In the current study, dislocation activity and storage during creep deformation in a nickel based superalloy (Waspaloy) were investigated, focussing on the storage of geometrically necessary (GND) and statistically stored (SSD) dislocations. Two methods of GND density calculation were used, namely, EBSD Hough Transformation and HR-EBSD Cross Correlation based methods. The storage of dislocations, including SSDs, was investigated by means of TEM imaging. Here, the concept of GND accumulation in soft and hard grains and the effect of neighbouring grain orientation on total dislocation density was examined. Furthermore, the influence of applied stress (below and above the yield stress of Waspaloy) during creep on deformation micro-mechanism and dislocation density was studied. It was demonstrated that soft grains provided pure shear conditions on at least two octahedral (111) slip systems for easy dislocation movement. This allowed dislocations to reach the grain boundary without significant geometrically necessary dislocation accumulation in the centre of the grain. Hence, the majority of the soft grains appeared to have minimum GND density in the centre of the grain with high GND accumulation in the vicinity of the grain boundaries. However, the values and width of accumulated GND depended on the surrounding grain orientations. Furthermore, it was shown that the hard grains were not favourably oriented for octahedral slip system activation leading to a grain rotation in order to activate any of the available slip systems. Eventually, (i) the hard grain resistance to deformation and (ii) neighbouring grain resistance for the hard grain reorientation caused high GND density on a number of octahedral (111) slip systems. The results also showed that during creep below the yield stress of Waspaloy (500 MPa/700 °C), the GND accumulation was relatively low due to the insufficient macroscopic stress level. However, the regions near grain boundaries showed high GND densit

  • Journal article
    Wu M, Murphy J, Jiang J, Wilshaw P, Wilkinson Aet al., 2019,

    Microstructural evolution of mechanically deformed polycrystalline silicon for kerfless photovoltaics

    , physica status solidi (a), Vol: 216, ISSN: 1862-6300

    Silicon wafers for photovoltaics could be produced without kerf loss by rolling, provided sufficient control of defects such as dislocations can be achieved. A study using mainly high resolution electron backscatter diffraction (HR‐EBSD) of the microstructural evolution of Siemens polycrystalline silicon feedstock during a series of processes designed to mimic high temperature rolling is reported here. The starting material is heavily textured and annealing at 1400 °C results in 90% recrystallization and a reduction in average geometrically necessary dislocation (GND) density from >1014 to 1013 m−2. Subsequent compression at 1150 °C – analogous to rolling – produce sub‐grain boundaries seen as continuous curved high GND content linear features spanning grain interiors. Post‐deformation annealing at 1400 °C facilitates a secondary recrystallization process, resulting in large grains typically of 100 μm diameter. HR‐EBSD gives the final average GND density in as 3.2 × 1012 m−2. This value is considerably higher than the dislocation density of 5 × 1010 m−2 from etch pit counting, so the discrepancy is investigated by direct comparison of GND maps and etch pit patterns. The GND map from HR‐EBSD gives erroneously high values at the method's noise floor (≈1012 m−2) in regions with low dislocation densities.

  • Journal article
    Li Y, Shao Z, Rong Q, Shi Z, Balint D, Sun X, Meng L, Lin Jet al., 2019,

    Development of similarity-based scaling criteria for creep age forming of large/extra-large panels

    , The International Journal of Advanced Manufacturing Technology, Vol: 101, Pages: 1537-1551, ISSN: 0268-3768

    A scaling method is developed for the creep age forming (CAF) process to downscale manufacturing of large/extra-large panels to lab-scale experimental trials for industrial application. Similarity theory is applied to identify both the geometrical and physical (non-geometrical) similarities between large-size prototypes and scaled-down models in all process stages of CAF, including loading, stress-relaxation and unloading (springback). A constitutive model is incorporated into the theory in order to identify the similarity in the highly non-linear stress-relaxation behaviour for aluminium alloy plates during CAF, and to obtain the effective scaling criteria for the CAFed plates after springback. The method was demonstrated by scaling down CAF manufacturing of both singly curved and doubly curved large plates under both proportional and non-proportional geometrical scaling conditions. The analytical results of the scaling method and numerical results obtained by CAF FE modelling were found to be in good agreement. Scaling diagrams linking the key deformation (springback) and structural (flexural rigidity) variables to scaling ratios under both proportional and non-proportional conditions were generated, and the developed scaling diagrams have been validated by corresponding CAF experiments. The scaling method developed in this study provides guidance on the design of scaled-down CAF experimental trials and will be used in the practical CAF process of large/extra-large panels.

  • Journal article
    Liang XZ, Dodge MF, Jiang J, Dong HBet al., 2019,

    Using transmission Kikuchi diffraction in a scanning electron microscope to quantify geometrically necessary dislocation density at the nanoscale

    , Ultramicroscopy, Vol: 197, Pages: 39-45, ISSN: 0304-3991

    It is challenging to quantify the geometrically necessary dislocation (GND) density at the nanoscale using conventional electron backscatter diffraction due to its limited spatial resolution. To overcome this problem, in this study, the transmission Kikuchi diffraction (TKD) technique is used to measure lattice orientation and to calculate the corresponding nanoscale GND density. Using the TKD method, a variation of GND density from 6 × 1014 to 1016 m−2 has been measured in a welded super duplex stainless steel sample. The distribution of dislocation density is shown to be in good agreement with transmission electron microscope (TEM) result. Compared with dislocation measurements obtained by TEM, the TKD–GND method is revealed to be a relatively accurate, fast and accessible method.

  • Conference paper
    Zhang R, Shao Z, Jianguo L, 2019,

    Applications of the digital image correlation (DIC) technique for high-temperature strain measurement: a review

    , 4th International Conference on Advanced High Strength Steel and Press Hardening (ICHSU2018)
  • Journal article
    Shao Z, Jiang J, Lin J, 2018,

    Feasibility study on direct flame impingement heating applied for the solution heat treatment, forming and cold die quenching technique

    , Journal of Manufacturing Processes, Vol: 36, Pages: 398-404, ISSN: 1526-6125

    The solution heat treatment, forming and cold die quenching (HFQ) process has been developed and adopted for forming high strength complex-shaped components of light alloys in the automotive industry. In order to exploit and increase the competitiveness of this technology, production cycle time and manufacturing costs need to be reduced to enable high productivity and energy efficiency. This can be realised by reducing the cycle time for heating a metallic sheet to its solution heat treatment temperature during the HFQ process, and by decreasing post ageing time. Rapid heating methods are capable of providing a solution to be integrated into this novel forming technique of HFQ. This paper presents feasibility study on the adoption of the direct flame impingement (DFI) heating method that has a high potential for non-ferrous blanks to achieve higher heating rate in HFQ processes, compared to convection heating in a conventional furnace. The adaptability of DFI heating for HFQ process has been validated, in terms of capability of high heating rate, quality of surface layer examination and lap-shear strength measurement of bonded samples.

  • Journal article
    Zhao C, Stewart D, Jiang J, Dunne FPEet al., 2018,

    A comparative assessment of iron and cobalt-based hard-facing alloy deformation using HR-EBSD and HR-DIC

    , Acta Materialia, Vol: 159, Pages: 173-186, ISSN: 1359-6454

    Three iron-based alloys (Nitronic 60, Tristelle 5183 and RR2450) and a cobalt alloy (Stellite 6) are studied using bend-testing to induce progressive straining and both high resolution DIC and EBSD are utilized to provide quantitative characterization of the deformation mechanisms. The roles of austenite, ferrite and carbide/silicide phases are investigated, together with how each contributes to slip activation and localisation, GND development and hardening through to particle pull-out and fracture. The observed mechanisms are discussed in the context of galling performance.The results suggest that a distribution of fine precipitates, both intra-granular and at grain/phase boundaries, promote more homogeneous and distributed slip, and the development of distributed higher densities of GNDs. The latter promotes hardening which in turn also facilitates homogeneity of deformation and potentially better galling resistance. A uniform size of fine precipitates is also helpful; large silicides lead to particle fracture and pull-out, likely highly damaging under conditions of sliding contact and galling.

  • Conference paper
    Jiang J, qinmeng L, 2018,

    Static recrystallization study on pure aluminium using crystal plasticity finite element and phase-field modelling

    , Metal Forming 2018, Publisher: Elsevier, Pages: 1800-1807, ISSN: 2351-9789

    In-depth understanding of the recrystallization process in alloys is critical for generating desirable small grains and weak textured microstructure, which provides high strength and toughness for metal formed parts. The manufacturing industry has a high demand for a valid computational model to accurately predict the level of recrystallization and recrystallized grain size under different strain paths and temperatures. However, current understanding and numerical calculation have not been linked properly for a reliable, physically based model to simulate the deformation and annealing process. Our phase-field model coupled with crystal plasticity simulations, which is based on the theory of stored energy minimization, enables a reliable prediction on the microstructure evolution under different processing routes. We hope that this modelling work provides a solution for the prediction of some long standing microstructure formation problems.

  • Journal article
    Lane C, Shao Z, Zheng K, Lin Jet al., 2018,

    Effect of thickness reduction on the limit strain measurement for thermomechanical tensile tests

    , Manufacturing Review, Vol: 5, Pages: 1-10, ISSN: 2265-4224

    Sheet metal formability under hot stamping conditions can be evaluated by using a novel planar testing system in the Gleeble. However, the specimen designs with the central recess have not been standardised, and the thickness reduction was not applied to the dog-bone type of specimen for testing at the uniaxial straining state. In this paper, effect of thickness reduction of dog-bone specimens on limit strain measurement under hot stamping conditions is investigated, and two types of dog-bone specimens without and with central recess are presented. Thermomechanical uniaxial tensile tests were performed at various deformation temperatures and strain rates, ranging from 370 – 510°C and 0.01 – 1/s, respectively, by using the developed biaxial testing system in the Gleeble. The distributions of temperature and axial strain along gauge region of the two types of specimen were measured and compared. The specimen with consistent thickness had a better uniformity of temperature and strain distributions compared to that with thickenss reduction. Forming limits for both types of specimen were also determined using the section-based international standard method. It is found that the calculation of forming limits by using specimen with thickness reduction was highly dependent on the selection of the deformation stage.

  • Journal article
    Zhang R, Shao Z, Lin J, 2018,

    A review on modelling techniques for formability prediction of sheet metal forming

    , International Journal of Lightweight Materials and Manufacture, Vol: 1, Pages: 115-125, ISSN: 2588-8404

    With an increasing demand for lightweight design of vehicles in automotive and aircraft industries, sheet metals with low density and high strength have been widely and intensively used in forming lightweight structural panel components. Formability is a critical material property in describing deformation ability of sheet metals, and it is usually evaluated by a forming limit diagram (FLD) determined at various forming conditions. FLDs for metallic material are usually obtained experimentally, which is time-consuming and costly. Numbers of theoretical and numerical models have been developed and used to predict the formability of sheet metals. These modelling techniques are primarily developed based on bifurcation theory, geometrical imperfection theory and continuum damage mechanics. This paper covers a comprehensive review of modelling methods used for the formability prediction of lightweight materials for sheet metal forming applications.

  • Journal article
    Shao Z, Lin J, Ganapathy M, Dean Tet al., 2018,

    Experimental and modelling techniques for hot stamping applications

    , Procedia Manufacturing, Vol: 15, Pages: 6-13, ISSN: 2351-9789

    Hot stamping techniques have been developed for the production of complex-shaped components since the 1970s, increasingly used for the automotive industry. The application of these techniques includes hot stamping of boron steel for critical automobile safety components, and solution heat treatment, forming and cold die quenching (HFQ®) for forming complex-shaped high strength aluminium panels of automobile bodies and chassis structures. The developed forming techniques need dedicated experimental testing methods to be improved for characterising the thermomechanical behaviour of materials at the hot stamping conditions, and advanced materials modelling techniques to be developed for hot stamping applications. In this paper, requirements for thermomechanical tests and difficulties for hot stamping applications are introduced and analysed. The viscoplastic modelling techniques have been developed for hot stamping applications. Improved experimental methods have been proposed and used in order to obtain accurate thermomechanical uniaxial tensile test data and determine forming limits of metallic materials under hot stamping conditions.

  • Journal article
    Ahn J, He E, Chen L, Dear JP, Shao Z, Davies Cet al., 2018,

    In-situ micro-tensile testing of AA2024-T3 fibre laser welds with digital image correlation as a function of welding speed

    , International Journal of Lightweight Materials and Manufacture, Vol: 1, Pages: 179-188, ISSN: 2588-8404

    In this paper, the influence of welding speed on tensile properties of AA2024-T3 fibre laser welds was investigated by monitoring the deformation behaviour during tensile loading. In-situ micro-tensile testing combined with a high-resolution optical microscope and DIC was used to measure strain distribution in narrow weld regions showing characteristics of fibre laser beam welding with limited metallurgical modifications. A chemical etching technique was used to generate a micro-scale random speckle pattern by revealing the weld microstructure. Such pattern enabled a sufficient spatial resolution of strain while keeping the weld seam visible during deformation. The results of microstructural and mechanical properties determined under numerous welding speeds indicated that increasing the welding speed led to the transition of weld pool shape from circular to elliptical to teardrop with a greater fraction of equiaxed dendrites. The weaker strength of the weld, as measured by local lower micro-hardness values, constrained significant plasticity development locally within the weld. Tensile tests revealed that increasing the welding speed resulted in greater yield strength and ultimate tensile strength, whereas, total elongation to failure dropped. The tensile properties improved with increasing welding speed as the fraction of equiaxed dendrites increased.

  • Journal article
    Zhao L, Zhang X, Deng T, Jiang Jet al., 2018,

    Develop an effective oxygen removal method for copper powder

    , Advanced Powder Technology, Vol: 29, Pages: 1904-1912, ISSN: 0921-8831

    At present, one of crucial limitations for the hot isostatically pressed (HIPed) Cu-3Ag-0.5Zr alloy, which is used on the combustion chamber liner of aerospace engine, is the high oxygen content, which easily results in the intergranular fracture under high temperature, pressure, liquid hydrogen and oxygen environment during operation. In this study, a novel effective oxygen control method is developed, for which vacuum degassing process is integrated with a flowing hydrogen reduction reaction at an elevated temperature before HIP. For this technique, a container is designed with two gas pipes for hydrogen inflow and outflow, so the hydrogen circulation can be established. Allowing hydrogen to react effectively with oxygen, the oxygen content of HIPed alloy is found to drop significantly from 140 ppm (raw powder) to 28 ppm, which is equivalent to the oxygen-free copper and copper alloys. As a result of the reduction, no prior particle boundaries could be observed in the low oxygen content material. Although the tensile strength of the materials with and without employing this technique does not vary significantly, the ductility of low oxygen content material has improved by about 70% at 500°C. This significant improvement of ductility is critical to ensure the safety critical PM components.

  • Journal article
    Shao Z, Li N, Lin J, Dean TAet al., 2018,

    Strain measurement and error analysis in thermo-mechanical tensile tests of sheet metals for hot stamping applications

    , Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part C: Journal of Mechanical Engineering Science, Vol: 232, Pages: 1944-2008, ISSN: 0954-4062

    In order to conduct uniaxial tensile tests for hot stamping applications, tests are normally performed by using a Gleeble thermo-mechanical materials simulator so that rapid heating and cooling processes can be obtained. However, temperature gradients in a specimen tested on Gleeble are inevitable due to resistance heating principles and heat loss to grips and water-cooled jaws. In this research, a pair of purpose-built grips made of stainless steel with low thermal conductivity and significantly reduced contacting area for clamping, as well as a flat dog-bone specimen with maximised parallel length (80 mm) were designed, for the purpose of improving the temperature uniformity within the concerned gauge section area of the specimen. Uniaxial tensile tests on AA6082 were performed, after controlled heating and cooling processes, at constant deformation temperatures in the range of 400 ℃–500 ℃ and at constant strain rate in the range of 0.1–4/s, to simulate its hot stamping conditions. The digital image correlation system was adopted to enable strain distributions in specimens to be measured. The temperature distributions in specimens were investigated and an effective gauge length of 14 mm was specified accordingly to ensure temperature gradients less than 10 ℃ within it at all tested temperatures. True stress–true strain curves of AA6082 were obtained based on results of strain measurements along the defined effective gauge length and used to calibrate a set of advanced material model. Error analysis was carried out by using thermo-electrical and thermo-mechanical FE models on ABAQUS, in which the calibrated material constitutive equations were implemented via subroutines. The error of stress–strain curves of AA6082 measured based on the specified gauge length was investigated and quantified by analysing the distribution of axial strain and axial stress.

  • Journal article
    Chen B, Jiang J, Dunne FPE, 2018,

    Is stored energy density the primary meso-scale mechanistic driver for fatigue crack nucleation?

    , International Journal of Plasticity, Vol: 101, Pages: 213-229, ISSN: 0749-6419

    Fatigue crack nucleation in a powder metallurgy produced nickel alloy containing a non-metallic inclusion has been investigated through integrated small-scale bend testing, quantitative characterisation (HR-DIC and HR-EBSD) and computational crystal plasticity which replicated the polycrystal morphology, texture and loading. Multiple crack nucleations occurred at the nickel matrix-inclusion interface and both nucleation and growth were found to be crystallographic with highest slip system activation driving crack direction. Local slip accumulation was found to be a necessary condition for crack nucleation, and that in addition, local stress and density of geometrically necessary dislocations are involved. Fatemi-Socie and dissipated energy were also assessed against the experimental data, showing generally good, but not complete agreement. However, the local stored energy density (of a Griffith-Stroh kind) identified all the crack nucleation sites as those giving the highest magnitudes of stored energy.

  • Journal article
    Galindo-Nava EI, Jing YJ, Jiang J, 2018,

    Predicting the hardness and solute distribution during brazing of Ti-6Al-4V with TiZrCuNi filler metals

    , Materials Science and Engineering A: Structural Materials: Properties, Microstructure and Processing, Vol: 712, Pages: 122-126, ISSN: 0921-5093

    A modelling approach for the hardness and solute distribution during brazing of Ti-6Al-4V with Ti-Zr-Cu-Ni amorphous fillers is presented. The model for hardness incorporates main strengthening mechanisms in α + β alloys and a solid–state diffusion model is employed to describe redistribution of Zr, Cu and Ni in the joints.

  • Journal article
    Jing Y, Gao X, Su D, Zhao C, Jiang Jet al., 2018,

    The effects of Zr level in Ti-Zr-Cu-Ni brazing fillers for brazing Ti-6Al-4V

    , Journal of Manufacturing Processes, Vol: 31, Pages: 124-130, ISSN: 1526-6125

    Microstructure and macro-micro mechanical properties of the joints of Ti-xZr-15Cu-10Ni brazing fillers (mass fraction x = 10, 18, 37.5) were studied by in-situ tensile test, SEM, EBSD and EDX. It was found that although the increase in the Zr level lowers the melting point of the brazing materials, which is beneficial to reduce the time of manufacturing and the wear of the equipment, the brazing joints became harder due to solid solution hardening and transformed from a ductile to brittle fracture mode. The microstructural analysis revealed that the increase of Zr level increases the grain size, which leads to high strain gradient across the brazing joints. Thus, high Zr in the brazing joints reduces the ductility of the joints. In this study 10% Zr is found to be the most compatible one with the Ti-6Al-4V matrix. However, in practice, 18Zr is the optimal brazing material for engineering applications due to the balance of the mechanical performance, cost, reliability and applicability.

  • Conference paper
    Jiang J, Hooper P, Li N, Luan Q, Hopper C, Ganapathy M, Lin Jet al., 2017,

    An integrated method for net-shape manufacturing components combining 3D additive manufacturing and compressive forming processes

    , International Conference on the Technology of Plasticity (ICTP 2017), Publisher: Elsevier, Pages: 1182-1187, ISSN: 1877-7058

    Additive manufactured (AM) or 3D printed metallic components suffer poor and inconsistent mechanical properties due to the presence of a large number of micro-voids, residual stress and microstructure inhomogeneity. To overcome these problems, a new forming process has been proposed, which effectively combines AM and compressive forming. The aim of this study is to prove the feasibility of this newly proposed method by providing preliminary results. Thus, we compared the tensile performance of hot-forged additive manufactured stainless steel 316L samples to none-hot-forged additive manufactured ones. Significant improvement in mechanical properties has been found in the tensile tests as well hardness test. In addition, our EBSD characterized grain orientation maps at each stage of the process revealed the corresponding microstructure revolution which provides insights into underlying mechanistic.

  • Journal article
    Shao Z, Li N, Lin J, 2017,

    The optimisation of cruciform specimen for the formability evaluation of AA6082 under hot stamping conditions

    , Procedia Engineering, Vol: 207, Pages: 735-740, ISSN: 1877-7058

    The hot stamping and cold die quenching process is increasingly adopted to form complex-shaped structures of sheet metals in the automotive industry. However, it is difficult to obtain formability data of sheet metals under hot stamping conditions by using conventional experimental testing methods. In this study, a novel in-plane biaxial testing system, which is attached to a Gleeble materials thermo-mechanical simulator, had been developed for determining forming limit diagrams (FLDs) under hot stamping conditions. However, there is no standard of cruciform specimen geometries available for this type of biaxial tests. In this paper, the features of thickness reduction in the central region and slots in the arms of a type of cruciform specimen of aluminium alloy 6082 were verified first to increase strain uniformity of the biaxial loading zone on a cruciform specimen, based on the selective heating and cooling method. Finite Element (FE) thermo-electrical and thermo-mechanical models with UAMP and VUMAT subroutines were then implemented in ABAQUS 6.12 to optimise specimen dimensions so that fracture occurs in the concerned central region of the specimen during testing. By the use of the optimised specimen for AA6082 in the biaxial testing system, formability tests under the designated strain paths were conducted at specified hot stamping conditions. Strain fields in the gauge region of the cruciform specimens were measured using the digital image correlation (DIC) system and the experimental results were presented and analysed in order to verify the cruciform specimen design.

  • Conference paper
    Shao Z, Li N, Lin J, 2017,

    The comparison of two continuum damage mechanics-based material models for formability prediction of AA6082 under hot stamping conditions

    , 36th IDDRG Conference – Materials Modelling and Testing for Sheet Metal Forming, Publisher: IOP Publishing, ISSN: 1742-6588

    The hot stamping and cold die quenching process has experienced tremendous development in order to obtain shapes of structural components with great complexity in automotive applications. Prediction of the formability of a metal sheet is significant for practical applications of forming components in the automotive industry. Since microstructural evolution in an alloy at elevated temperature has a large effect on formability, continuum damage mechanics (CDM)-based material models can be used to characterise the behaviour of metals when a forming process is conducted at elevated temperatures. In this paper, two sets of unified multi-axial constitutive equations based on material's stress states and strain states, respectively, were calibrated and used to effectively predict the thermo-mechanical response and forming limits of alloys under complex hot stamping conditions. In order to determine and calibrate the two material models, formability tests of AA6082 using a developed novel biaxial testing system were conducted at various temperatures and strain rates under hot stamping conditions. The determined unified constitutive equations from experimental data are presented in this paper. It is found that both of the stress-state based and strain-state based material models can predict the formability of AA6082 under hot stamping conditions.

  • Journal article
    Jing Y, Su D, Yue X, Britton T, Jiang Jet al., 2017,

    The development of high strength brazing technique for Ti-6Al-4V using TiZrCuNi amorphous filler

    , Materials Characterization, Vol: 131, Pages: 526-531, ISSN: 1044-5803

    The brazing joint of the Ti-6Al-4V alloy was produced with a designed brazing filler alloy and the optimized brazing temperature which is lower than the β-phase transformation of the matrix. The strength and the ductility of brazing joined Ti-6Al-4V samples were evaluated by conventional tensile tests with a DIC 2D–strain field measurement. The Widmanstätten microstructure with no voids or cracks or intermetallic compounds was found throughout the joint with a width of β-lamellar as ~ 1 μm. Due to the fine acicular α-Widmanstätten and β-lamellar, and the uniformly diffused filler elements throughout the entire joint, the strength of the joint was as much as the matrix. In addition, the hardness test results agreed well with the tensile strength tests. All fractures occurred in the matrix rather than the brazing joints. Furthermore, the maximum local tensile strain was measured as 20% in the matrix, while under the same stress, the brazing joint only reached 6.3% tensile plastic strain. Thus, the mechanical properties of the joint with the associated microstructure demonstrated that a successful brazing filler alloy has been developed for the Ti-6Al-4V alloy.

  • Journal article
    Chen B, Jiang J, Dunne F, 2017,

    Microstructurally-sensitive fatigue crack nucleation in Ni-based single and oligo crystals

    , Journal of the Mechanics and Physics of Solids, Vol: 106, Pages: 15-33, ISSN: 1873-4782

    An integrated experimental, characterisation and computational crystal plasticity study of cyclic plastic beam loading has been carried out for nickel single crystal (CMSX4) and oligocrystal (MAR002) alloys in order to assess quantitatively the mechanistic drivers for fatigue crack nucleation.The experimentally validated modelling provides knowledge of key microstructural quantities (accumulated slip, stress and GND density) at experimentally observed fatigue crack nucleation sites and it is shown that while each of these quantities is potentially important in crack nucleation, none of them in its own right is sufficient to be predictive. However, the local (elastic) stored energy density, measured over a length scale determined by the density of SSDs and GNDs, has been shown to predict crack nucleation sites in the single and oligocrystals tests. In addition, once primary nucleated cracks develop and are represented in the crystal model using XFEM, the stored energy correctly identifies where secondary fatigue cracks are observed to nucleate in experiments. This (Griffith-Stroh type) quantity also correctly differentiates and explains intergranular and transgranular fatigue crack nucleation.

  • Conference paper
    Shao Z, Li N, Lin J, 2017,

    The comparison of two continuum damage mechanics-basedmaterial models for formability prediction of AA6082 underhot stamping conditions

    , Materials Modelling and Testing for Sheet Metal Forming IDDRG 2017

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