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Surface Mechanical Attrition Treatment (SMAT) of 7075 Aluminum Alloy to Induce a Protective Corrosion Resistant Layer

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This paper investigates Surface Mechanical Attrition Treatment (SMAT) and the influence of treatment temperature and initial sample surface finish on the corrosion resistance of 7075-T651 aluminum alloy. Ambient SMAT was performed on AA7075 samples polished to 80-grit initial surface roughness.

This paper investigates Surface Mechanical Attrition Treatment (SMAT) and the influence of treatment temperature and initial sample surface finish on the corrosion resistance of 7075-T651 aluminum alloy. Ambient SMAT was performed on AA7075 samples polished to 80-grit initial surface roughness. Potentiodynamic polarization and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) tests were used to characterize the corrosion behavior of samples before and after SMAT. Electrochemical tests indicated an improved corrosion resistance after application of SMAT process. The observed improvements in corrosion properties are potentially due to microstructural changes in the material surface induced by SMAT which encouraged the formation of a passive oxide layer. Further testing and research are required to understand the corrosion related effects of cryogenic SMAT and initial-surface finish as the COVID-19 pandemic inhibited experimentation plans.

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2020-05

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Local Mechanical Behavior of Hastelloy-X at High Temperatures and Its Relationship to Failure

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The following is a report that will evaluate the microstructure of the nickel-based superalloy Hastelloy X and its relationship to mechanical properties in different load conditions. Hastelloy X is of interest to the company AORA because its strength and oxidation

The following is a report that will evaluate the microstructure of the nickel-based superalloy Hastelloy X and its relationship to mechanical properties in different load conditions. Hastelloy X is of interest to the company AORA because its strength and oxidation resistance at high temperatures is directly applicable to their needs in a hybrid concentrated solar module. The literature review shows that the microstructure will produce different carbides at various temperatures, which can be beneficial to the strength of the alloy. These precipitates are found along the grain boundaries and act as pins that limit dislocation flow, as well as grain boundary sliding, and improve the rupture strength of the material. Over time, harmful precipitates form which counteract the strengthening effect of the carbides and reduce rupture strength, leading to failure. A combination of indentation and microstructure mapping was used in an effort to link local mechanical behavior to microstructure variability. Electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD) and energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS) were initially used as a means to characterize the microstructure prior to testing. Then, a series of room temperature Vickers hardness tests at 50 and 500 gram-force were used to evaluate the variation in the local response as a function of indentation size. The room temperature study concluded that both the hardness and standard deviation increased at lower loads, which is consistent with the grain size distribution seen in the microstructure scan. The material was then subjected to high temperature spherical indentation. Load-displacement curves were essential in evaluating the decrease in strength of the material with increasing temperature. Through linear regression of the unloading portion of the curve, the plastic deformation was determined and compared at different temperatures as a qualitative method to evaluate local strength.

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2015-05

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Quantifying Microstructural Effects on the Strain Localization During Fatigue

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The goal of this research is to compare the mechanical properties of CP-Ti and Ti-O and to understand the relationship between a material's microstructure and its response to fatigue. Titanium has been selected due to its desirable properties and applicability

The goal of this research is to compare the mechanical properties of CP-Ti and Ti-O and to understand the relationship between a material's microstructure and its response to fatigue. Titanium has been selected due to its desirable properties and applicability in several engineering fields. Both samples are polished and etched in order to visualize and characterize the microstructure and its features. The samples then undergo strain-controlled fatigue tests for several thousand cycles. Throughout testing, images of the samples are taken at zero and maximum load for DIC analysis. The DIC results can be used to study the local strains of the samples. The DIC analysis performed on the CP-Ti sample and presented in this study will be used to understand how the addition of oxygen in the Ti-O impacts fatigue response. The outcome of this research can be used to develop long-lasting, high strength materials.

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2016-05

A Study of the Mechanical Behavior Of Nanocrystalline Metals Using Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS)

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The study of the mechanical behavior of nanocrystalline metals using microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) devices lies at the intersection of nanotechnology, mechanical engineering and material science. The extremely small grains that make up nanocrystalline metals lead to higher strength but lower

The study of the mechanical behavior of nanocrystalline metals using microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) devices lies at the intersection of nanotechnology, mechanical engineering and material science. The extremely small grains that make up nanocrystalline metals lead to higher strength but lower ductility as compared to bulk metals. Effects of strain-rate dependence on the mechanical behavior of nanocrystalline metals are explored. Knowing the strain rate dependence of mechanical properties would enable optimization of material selection for different applications and lead to lighter structural components and enhanced sustainability.

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2014-05

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Understanding plasticity and fracture in aluminum alloys and their composites by 3D X-ray synchrotron tomography and microdiffraction

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Aluminum alloys and their composites are attractive materials for applications requiring high strength-to-weight ratios and reasonable cost. Many of these applications, such as those in the aerospace industry, undergo fatigue loading. An understanding of the microstructural damage that occurs in

Aluminum alloys and their composites are attractive materials for applications requiring high strength-to-weight ratios and reasonable cost. Many of these applications, such as those in the aerospace industry, undergo fatigue loading. An understanding of the microstructural damage that occurs in these materials is critical in assessing their fatigue resistance. Two distinct experimental studies were performed to further the understanding of fatigue damage mechanisms in aluminum alloys and their composites, specifically fracture and plasticity. Fatigue resistance of metal matrix composites (MMCs) depends on many aspects of composite microstructure. Fatigue crack growth behavior is particularly dependent on the reinforcement characteristics and matrix microstructure. The goal of this work was to obtain a fundamental understanding of fatigue crack growth behavior in SiC particle-reinforced 2080 Al alloy composites. In situ X-ray synchrotron tomography was performed on two samples at low (R=0.1) and at high (R=0.6) R-ratios. The resulting reconstructed images were used to obtain three-dimensional (3D) rendering of the particles and fatigue crack. Behaviors of the particles and crack, as well as their interaction, were analyzed and quantified. Four-dimensional (4D) visual representations were constructed to aid in the overall understanding of damage evolution. During fatigue crack growth in ductile materials, a plastic zone is created in the region surrounding the crack tip. Knowledge of the plastic zone is important for the understanding of fatigue crack formation as well as subsequent growth behavior. The goal of this work was to quantify the 3D size and shape of the plastic zone in 7075 Al alloys. X-ray synchrotron tomography and Laue microdiffraction were used to non-destructively characterize the volume surrounding a fatigue crack tip. The precise 3D crack profile was segmented from the reconstructed tomography data. Depth-resolved Laue patterns were obtained using differential-aperture X-ray structural microscopy (DAXM), from which peak-broadening characteristics were quantified. Plasticity, as determined by the broadening of diffracted peaks, was mapped in 3D. Two-dimensional (2D) maps of plasticity were directly compared to the corresponding tomography slices. A 3D representation of the plastic zone surrounding the fatigue crack was generated by superimposing the mapped plasticity on the 3D crack profile.

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2014

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Role of defects interactions with embrittlement species in iron: a multiscale perspective

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Hydrogen embrittlement (HE) is a phenomenon that affects both the physical and chemical properties of several intrinsically ductile metals. Consequently, understanding the mechanisms behind HE has been of particular interest in both experimental and modeling research. Discrepancies between experimental observations

Hydrogen embrittlement (HE) is a phenomenon that affects both the physical and chemical properties of several intrinsically ductile metals. Consequently, understanding the mechanisms behind HE has been of particular interest in both experimental and modeling research. Discrepancies between experimental observations and modeling results have led to various proposals for HE mechanisms. Therefore, to gain insights into HE mechanisms in iron, this dissertation aims to investigate several key issues involving HE such as: a) the incipient crack tip events; b) the cohesive strength of grain boundaries (GBs); c) the dislocation-GB interactions and d) the dislocation mobility.

The crack tip, which presents a preferential trap site for hydrogen segregation, was examined using atomistic methods and the continuum based Rice-Thompson criterion as sufficient concentration of hydrogen can alter the crack tip deformation mechanism. Results suggest that there is a plausible co-existence of the adsorption induced dislocation emission and hydrogen enhanced decohesion mechanisms. In the case of GB-hydrogen interaction, we observed that the segregation of hydrogen along the interface leads to a reduction in cohesive strength resulting in intergranular failure. A methodology was further developed to quantify the role of the GB structure on this behavior.

GBs play a fundamental role in determining the strengthening mechanisms acting as an impediment to the dislocation motion; however, the presence of an unsurmountable barrier for a dislocation can generate slip localization that could further lead to intergranular crack initiation. It was found that the presence of hydrogen increases the strain energy stored within the GB which could lead to a transition in failure mode. Finally, in the case of body centered cubic metals, understanding the complex screw dislocation motion is critical to the development of an accurate continuum description of the plastic behavior. Further, the presence of hydrogen has been shown to drastically alter the plastic deformation, but the precise role of hydrogen is still unclear. Thus, the role of hydrogen on the dislocation mobility was examined using density functional theory and atomistic simulations. Overall, this dissertation provides a novel atomic-scale understanding of the HE mechanism and development of multiscale tools for future endeavors.

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2015

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An evaluation of the mechanical properties and microstructure in uranium dioxide doped with oxide additives

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The United States Department of Energy (DOE) has always held the safety and reliability of the nation's nuclear reactor fleet as a top priority. Continual improvements and advancements in nuclear fuels have been instrumental in maximizing energy generation from nuclear

The United States Department of Energy (DOE) has always held the safety and reliability of the nation's nuclear reactor fleet as a top priority. Continual improvements and advancements in nuclear fuels have been instrumental in maximizing energy generation from nuclear power plants and minimizing waste. One aspect of the DOE Fuel Cycle Research and Development Advanced Fuels Campaign is to improve the mechanical properties of uranium dioxide (UO2) for nuclear fuel applications.

In an effort to improve the performance of UO2, by increasing the fracture toughness and ductility, small quantities of oxide materials have been added to samples to act as dopants. The different dopants used in this study are: titanium dioxide, yttrium oxide, aluminum oxide, silicon dioxide, and chromium oxide. The effects of the individual dopants and some dopant combinations on the microstructure and mechanical properties are determined using indentation fracture experiments in tandem with scanning electron microscopy. Indentation fracture experiments are carried out at room temperature and at temperatures between 450 °C and 1160 °C.

The results of this work find that doping with aluminosilicate produces the largest favorable change in the mechanical properties of UO2. This sample exhibits an increase in fracture toughness at room temperature without showing a change in yield strength at elevated temperatures. The results also show that doping with Al2O3 and TiO2 produce stronger samples and it is hypothesized that this is a result of the sample containing dopant-rich secondary phase particles.

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2014

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Three dimensional characterization of microstructural effects on spall damage in shocked polycrystalline copper

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Shock loading is a complex phenomenon that can lead to failure mechanisms such as strain localization, void nucleation and growth, and eventually spall fracture. The length scale of damage with respect to that of the surrounding microstructure has proven to

Shock loading is a complex phenomenon that can lead to failure mechanisms such as strain localization, void nucleation and growth, and eventually spall fracture. The length scale of damage with respect to that of the surrounding microstructure has proven to be a key aspect in determining sites of failure initiation. Studying incipient stages of spall damage is of paramount importance to accurately determine initiation sites in the material microstructure where damage will nucleate and grow and to formulate continuum models that account for the variability of the damage process due to microstructural heterogeneity, which is the focus of this research. Shock loading experiments were conducted via flyer-plate impact tests for pressures of 2-6 GPa and strain rates of 105/s on copper polycrystals of varying thermomechanical processing conditions. Serial cross sectioning of recovered target disks was performed along with electron microscopy, electron backscattering diffraction (EBSD), focused ion beam (FIB) milling, and 3-D X-ray tomogrpahy (XRT) to gain 2-D and 3-D information on the spall plane and surrounding microstructure. Statistics on grain boundaries (GB) containing damage were obtained from 2-D data and GBs of misorientations 25° and 50° were found to have the highest probability to contain damage in as-received (AR), heat treated (HT), and fully recrystallized (FR) microstructures, while {111} Σ3 GBs were globally strong. The AR microstructure’s probability peak was the most pronounced indicating GB strength is the dominant factor for damage nucleation. 3-D XRT data was used to digitally render the spall planes of the AR, HT, and FR microstructures. From shape fitting the voids to ellipsoids, it was found that the AR microstructure contained greater than 55% intergranular damage, whereas the HT and FR microstructures contained predominantly transgranular and coalesced damage modes, respectively. 3-D reconstructions of large volume damage sites in shocked Cu multicrystals showed preference for damage nucleation at GBs between adjacent grains of a high Taylor factor mismatches as well as an angle between the shock direction and the GB physical normal of ~30°-45°. 3-D FIB sectioning of individual voids led to the discovery of uniform plastic zones ~25-50% the size of the void diameter and plastic deformation directions were characterized via local average misorientation maps. Incipient transgranular voids revealed from the sectioning process were present in grains of high Taylor factors along the shock direction, which is expected as materials with a low Taylor factor along the shock direction are susceptible to growth due their accomodation of plastic deformation. Fabrication of square waves using photolithography and chemical etching was developed to study the nature of plasticity at GBs away from the spall plane. Grains oriented close to <0 1 1> had half the residual amplitudes than grains oriented close to <0 0 1>.

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2015

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Properties of cerium containing lead free solder

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With increasing concerns of the intrinsic toxicity of lead (Pb) in electronics, a series of tin (Sn) based alloys involving silver (Ag) and copper (Cu) have been proposed as replacements for Pb-Sn solder and widely accepted by industry. However, they

With increasing concerns of the intrinsic toxicity of lead (Pb) in electronics, a series of tin (Sn) based alloys involving silver (Ag) and copper (Cu) have been proposed as replacements for Pb-Sn solder and widely accepted by industry. However, they have a higher melting point and often exhibit poorer damage tolerance than Pb-Sn alloys. Recently, a new class of alloys with trace amount of rare-earth (RE) elements has been discovered and investigated. In previous work from Prof. Chawla's group, it has been shown that cerium (Ce)-based Pb-free solder are less prone to oxidation and Sn whiskering, and exhibit desirable attributes of microstructural refinement and enhanced ductility relative to lanthanum (La)-based Sn-3.9Ag-0.7Cu (SAC) alloy. Although the formation of RESn3 was believed to be directly responsible for the enhanced ductility in RE-containing SAC solder by allowing microscopic voids to nucleate throughout the solder volume, this cavitation-based mechanism needs to be validated experimentally and numerically. Additionally, since the previous study has exhibited the realistic feasibility of Ce-based SAC lead-free solder alloy as a replacement to conventional SAC alloys, in this study, the proposed objective focuses on the in in-depth understanding of mechanism of enhanced ductility in Ce-based SAC alloy and possible issues associated with integration of this new class of solder into electronic industry, including: (a) study of long-term thermal and mechanical stability on industrial metallization, (b) examine the role of solder volume and wetting behavior of the new solder, relative to Sn-3.9Ag-0.7Cu alloys, (c) conduct experiments of new solder alloys in the form of mechanical shock and electromigration. The research of this new class alloys will be conducted in industrially relevant conditions, and the results would serve as the first step toward integration of these new, next generation solders into the industry.

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2012

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Microstructurally explicit simulation of the transport behavior in uranium dioxide

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Fission products in nuclear fuel pellets can affect fuel performance as they change the fuel chemistry and structure. The behavior of the fission products and their release mechanisms are important to the operation of a power reactor. Research has shown

Fission products in nuclear fuel pellets can affect fuel performance as they change the fuel chemistry and structure. The behavior of the fission products and their release mechanisms are important to the operation of a power reactor. Research has shown that fission product release can occur through grain boundary (GB) at low burnups. Early fission gas release models, which assumed spherical grains with no effect of GB diffusion, did not capture the early stage of the release behavior well. In order to understand the phenomenon at low burnup and how it leads to the later release mechanism, a microstructurally explicit model is needed. This dissertation conducted finite element simulations of the transport behavior using 3-D microstructurally explicit models. It looks into the effects of GB character, with emphases on conditions that can lead to enhanced effective diffusion. Moreover, the relationship between temperature and fission product transport is coupled to reflect the high temperature environment.

The modeling work began with 3-D microstructure reconstruction for three uranium oxide samples with different oxygen stoichiometry: UO2.00 UO2.06 and UO2.14. The 3-D models were created based on the real microstructure of depleted UO2 samples characterized by Electron Backscattering Diffraction (EBSD) combined with serial sectioning. Mathematical equations on fission gas diffusion and heat conduction were studied and derived to simulate the fission gas transport under GB effect. Verification models showed that 2-D elements can be used to model GBs to reduce the number of elements. The effect of each variable, including fuel stoichiometry, temperature, GB diffusion, triple junction diffusion and GB thermal resistance, is verified, and they are coupled in multi-physics simulations to study the transport of fission gas at different radial location of a fuel pellet. It was demonstrated that the microstructural model can be used to incorporate the effect of different physics to study fission gas transport. The results suggested that the GB effect is the most significant at the edge of fuel pellet where the temperature is the lowest. In the high temperature region, the increase in bulk diffusivity due to excess oxygen diminished the effect of GB diffusion.

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2014