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Instrumented Ball impact Testing

Engineering materials are typically tested in a straightforward manner, measuring the uniaxial state of stress. However, many materials exhibit different behavior when loaded under more complicated states of stress. It is therefore important to perform tests beyond the standard uniaxial tension or compression tests to capture fully a material’s dynamic response.

Veryst designed and uses an instrumented ball impact test to create an inhomogeneous stress state including shear and biaxial compression. In addition to the complex stress state, the material experiences extremely high strain rates—over 10,000/s.

The instrumented ball impact test, shown below, is designed to measure the viscoplastic response of a material. In the test, a hard sphere such as a ball bearing of known mass and diameter is dropped from a known height onto a material sample. Force is measured underneath the sample, and the experiment is simulated in Finite Element software. The results are used to validate a material model calibrated with uniaxial data and can be used to determine the amount of energy absorbed.  

Finite element simulation showing the strain rate during the experiment.

Results from a finite element simulation of a ball drop test showing the strain rate during the experiment.

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