Acoustic Measurements of Residual Stresses and Grain Sizes in Aluminum Alloys
The theory of acoustoelasticity relates the velocity of an acoustic wave in a solid to the elastic stress state in that solid. This thesis presents new theories, measurement techniques, and methodologies related to the use of longitudinal wave acoustoelasticity in aluminum alloys. A one-dimensional model has been developed to provide a simple understanding of the acoustoelastic effect. A new acoustic device for accurately measuring relative thickness variations has been designed and built. This device is used--in conjunction with a pulse-echo phase measurement device and a computer controlled scanning system--to measure acoustic velocity variations in plastically deformed and non-flat-and-parallel samples. Acoustic velocity variations from point to point in an unstressed sample can sometimes be on the same order as velocity changes due to applied or residual stresses, and this can make stress measurements difficult. A statistical theory has been developed to relate these unstressed velocity variations to the average grain size in the sample and to the active area of the acoustic transducer used. Large transducers and small grain sizes will minimize these variations. This relationship has been verified by tests on a number of aluminum alloys and a new method for non-destructive grain size determination has been suggested. A systematic methodology has been developed and tested for studying the influence of uniaxial plastic deformation on the acoustoelastic response. Samples have been plastically deformed in four-point bending to produce elastic-plastic and residual stress states. Acoustic measurements of these stresses have then been compared directly to theoretical predictions based on the materials' stress-strain curves and simple beam theory. In the aluminum alloys tested (2024-T351 and 7075-T651), the acoustoelastic constants are shown to be virtually unchanged by uniaxial plastic strains of less than 2.5%. Thus, the acoustoelastic technique can be reliably extended to the measurement of both applied stresses above yield and residual stresses caused by plastic deformation. Finally, a number of preliminary experiments have been performed--using acoustoelasticity in 2024-T351 aluminum samples--to study residual stress relaxation, residual stress redistribution due to machining, and the determination of the residual stresses due to rolling.
- Pub Date:
- THICKNESS MEASUREMENT;
- Applied Mechanics; Physics: Acoustics