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Published December 2020 | public
Journal Article

Pressure-Shear Plate Impact Experiments at High Pressures


The pressure shear plate impact (PSPI) experiment, developed over 40 years ago by R. J. Clifton at Brown University enables the study of the dynamic strength of materials at high pressures and strain rates. Traditional PSPI experiments were typically conducted at velocities and corresponding pressures, limiting the experimental conditions not to exceed the Hugoniot Elastic Limit (HEL) of the anvil materials, with typical values of 3–7 GPa. In this work, PSPI experiments are extended to higher pressures, significantly beyond the HEL, approaching 50 GPa, using a powder gun facility at Caltech. The high-pressure and high-velocity impact regimes introduce several experimental challenges which must be overcome: (1) the inelastic behavior of the anvils at high pressures precludes traditional elastic analysis to extract the material's strength; (2) the potential for slip between impact faces as a result of elevated temperatures and shear forces on the impact surfaces due to higher velocities and pressures; and (3) accurate measurement of the transverse velocity at large normal displacements, resulting from the higher impact velocities. New experimental capabilities have been developed to overcome each of these technical challenges, which include a new all fiber-optic heterodyne transverse velocity interferometer system. New analysis methods that account for the inelastic response of the flyer and anvil plates have also been developed for the accurate extraction of material strength properties from PSPI experiments. Friction and slip were examined, pushing to the limits of their knowledge under these extreme conditions. The new PSPI capabilities have been demonstrated using tungsten carbide and D2 tool steel anvils for measuring the strength of soda–lime glass and magnesium.

Additional Information

© 2020 Springer. Received 14 October 2019; Accepted 03 June 2020; Published 17 June 2020. The authors are grateful for support from the Office of Naval Research (Award No. N00014-16-1-2839) for the development of the PSPI capability at high pressures and the Air Force Office of Scientific Research and the Air Force Research Laboratory (Award No. FA955012-1-0091) for development of the PDV-HTV interferometer system. The PSPI work on magnesium was supported by the Army Research Laboratory and was accomplished under Cooperative Agreement No. W911NF-12-2-0022. The authors thank Professor R. J. Clifton and Dr. T. Jiao of Brown University for many helpful discussions and assistance in developing the high-pressure PSPI experimental capability by generously sharing their vast experience. They also thank Mr. Petros Arakelian for his help at various stages in developing the high pressure PSPI experimental facility.

Additional details

August 22, 2023
October 20, 2023