Anomalous high strain rate compressive behavior of additively manufactured copper micropillars

Ramachandramoorthy, Rajaprakash; Kalácska, Szilvia; Poras, Gabriel; Schwiedrzik, Jakob; Edwards, Thomas E.J.; Maeder, Xavier; Merle, Thibaut; Ercolano, Giorgio; Koelmans, Wabe W.; Michler, Johann

Applied Materials Today 27 (2022)

Microscale dynamic testing is vital to the understanding of material behavior at application relevant strain rates. However, despite two decades of intense micromechanics research, the testing of microscale metals has been largely limited to quasi-static strain rates. Here we report the dynamic compression testing of pristine 3D printed copper micropillars at strain rates from ∼0.001 s−1 to ∼500 s−1. It was identified that microcrystalline copper micropillars deform in a single-shear like manner exhibiting a weak strain rate dependence at all strain rates. Ultrafine grained (UFG) copper micropillars, however, deform homogenously via barreling and show strong rate-dependence and small activation volumes at strain rates up to ∼0.1 s−1, suggesting dislocation nucleation as the deformation mechanism. At higher strain rates, yield stress saturates remarkably, resulting in a decrease of strain rate sensitivity by two orders of magnitude and a four-fold increase in activation volume, implying a transition in deformation mechanism to collective dislocation nucleation.