Investigation of the mechanical behaviour and microstructural evolution of titanium alloys under superplastic and hot forming conditions

Abstract : This thesis was developed in the frame of a Brazil-France cooperation agreement between the École des Mines d'Albi-Carmaux and the Polytechnic School of Engineering of the University of Sao Paulo (EPUSP). It aims to contribute to the study of the mechanical behaviour of Ti6Al4V alloys especially in terms of superplastic forming. The general objective of this research is to develop non-conventional forming processes for new titanium alloys applied to aerospace components. Therefore, in accordance of the equipment’s available in the two groups, the work will be conducted either at the Ecole des Mines d'Albi-Carmaux and either at EPUSP. This thesis aims to answer questions such as what are the implications in relation to the microstructural and mechanical behaviour of these alloys during superplastic and hot forming in order to establish a behaviour law for these alloys based on titanium. This requires a good knowledge of the properties of materials used in the superplastic and hot forming domain to control the parameters governing the phenomenon of superplasticity or high temperature plasticity. For this, a testing strategy and characterization methodology of those new titanium alloys was developed. The tests include high temperature uniaxial tensile tests on several Ti6Al4V alloys showing different initial grain sizes. Special focus was made on the microstructural evolution prior to testing (i.e. during specimen temperature increase and stabilization) and during testing. Testing range was chosen to cover the hot forming and superplastic deformation domain. Grain growth is depending on alloy initial microstructures but also on the duration of the test at testing temperature (static growth) and testing strain rate (dynamic growth). After testing microstructural evolutions of the alloys will be observed by optical micrograph or SEM and results are used to increase behaviour model accuracy. Advanced unified behaviour models where introduced in order to cover the whole strain rate and temperature range: kinematic hardening, strain rate sensitive and grain growth features are included in the model. In order to get validation of the behaviour model, it was introduced in ABAQUS numerical simulation code and model predictions (especially macroscopic deformation and local grain growth) were compared, for one of the material investigated, to axisymmetric inflation forming tests of sheet metal parts, also known as bulge test. To obtain a simple control cycle, tests performed at IPT/LEL laboratory in San José Dos Campos in Brazil were operated with a constant strain rate. Results show a very good correlation with predictions and allows to conclude on an accuracy of the behaviour models of the titanium alloys in industrial forming conditions.
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Marcio Wagner Batista dos Santos. Investigation of the mechanical behaviour and microstructural evolution of titanium alloys under superplastic and hot forming conditions. Materials. Ecole des Mines d'Albi-Carmaux; Escola politécnica (São Paulo), 2017. English. ⟨NNT : 2017EMAC0013⟩. ⟨tel-02162256⟩

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