The fracture behaviors of high-strength 7050 and 7075 aluminum alloys (AA7050 and AA7075) were investigated using small size, V-notched tear specimens. In accordance with ASTM B871-01 standard test method, the thickness and notch angle were selected as 6.35 mm and 60°, respectively. All tear specimens (also called Kahn specimens) were machined in L-T orientation and the mechanical tests were conducted at RT. To evaluate crack propagation route during failure process, interrupted tear tests were also conducted on AA7075. The subsized cylindrical tension test specimens were machined in L direction of the bulk materials to study the elastic-plastic behavior of the alloys in accordance with ASTM B 557M-98 standard test method. The microstructures of T73651 and T6 heat-treated alloys were examined using optical microscopy and SEM. The precipitate characterization of heat-treated specimens was performed using Clemex image analysis software. The rupture mechanisms were also studied by examination of specimen fracture surfaces using SEM. According to the results, the amount, size and distribution of intermetallic particles have been identified as the important factors on failure of the examined alloys. Both examined alloys show the same damage initiation mechanism; however, the failure mechanism is different to some extent. Depending on the stress condition, two major failure micromechanisms, i.e., “internal necking mechanism” and “void sheet mechanism,” are prevailing for both alloys. The results of mechanical tests and determination of tear strength to 0.2% tensile yield strength ratio made it possible to evaluate specimens’ notch toughness. The comparison of specimens’ resistance to stable crack propagation and subsequent fracture in the presence of crack-like stress concentrator was provided using tear test data.
Part of the book: Fracture Mechanics