Recent Developments on the Microstructural Effects Caused by Small-Charge Explosions in FCC Alloys
Metals exposed to small charge explosions, even in absence of overall deformation, show characteristic and permanent microstructural features, that can be related to blast wave properties, e.g. to the charge mass and the charge-to-target distance. In particular, Face Centered Cubic (FCC) alloys with low stacking fault energy may exhibit mechanical twinning due to the high strain rate caused by an explosion, even if in slower processes they mainly deform by slip. In some forensic science investigations, these crystallographic modifications, and particularly the occurrence of twinning, may be among the few remaining clues of a small charge explosion, and may be useful to hypothesize the nature and location of the charge. A wide experimental campaign was performed to correlate the blast wave properties with the ensuing modifications of FCC metal targets, and to investigate the microscopic deformation mechanisms leading to these modifications. In particular, it was attempted to identify the threshold conditions (charge-to-target distance, charge mass, and hence applied stress) that yield barely detectable microstructural modifications, and to study the transition from slip to twinning. FCC metal alloys, with low (α-brass, stainless steel), intermediate (copper, gold alloy), or high (aluminum alloy) stacking fault energy, were exposed to blast waves (caused by 50 or 100 g plastic explosive charges located at increasing charge-to-target distances) and then analyzed by X-ray diffraction, optical microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, and electron backscattered diffraction imaging. A comprehensive review of the most significant findings of the whole research, together with theoretical considerations on the slip and twinning deformation mechanisms, is here presented.
T. Chandra, N. Wanderka, W. Reimers , M. Ionescu
D. Firrao et al., "Recent Developments on the Microstructural Effects Caused by Small-Charge Explosions in FCC Alloys", Materials Science Forum, Vols. 638-642, pp. 1029-1034, 2010