Validation of high strain rate, multiaxial loads using an in-plane loader, digital image correlation, and FEA
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Montana State University's In-Plane Loader (IPL) is a machine designed to test for mechanical properties at multi-axial states of stress and strain by in-plane translation and rotation. Historically the machine has been used to characterize composite lay-ups, where applying multi-axial loads can better describe anisotropic materials. The IPL testing machine uses Digital Image Correlation (DIC) software and a stereoscopic camera system to measure strains on the surface of the test coupon by tracking a stochastic pattern applied to the gage section. The focus of this work was to test the capabilities beyond quasi-static composites testing, specifically looking to explore the feasibility of testing plastics and metals at strain rates from 10 0 to 10 3 s -1. This work explored the speed and loading capabilities of the IPL and determined a suitable coupon geometry which balances gage section area with material strength. 304 Stainless Steel was tested both on the IPL and in uniaxial tension. Experimental tensile test data was fit to a Johnson Cook strain rate sensitive constitutive model. This constitutive equation was then used with an implicit dynamic finite element analysis (FEA) model. To study the validity of high rate testing of steel in the IPL, strain from the DIC experimental data was compared with the FEA results. While the strains predicted by the FEA model varied from experimental results, a better understanding of the IPL capabilities has been achieved. Moving forward, a series of recommendations have been made so that high strain rate multi-axial testing of metals can be implemented with more robust constitutive models.