Multimodal 3D characterization of voids in shock-loaded tantalum: Implications for ductile spallation mechanisms

Toby Francis, Paul F. Rottmann, Andrew T. Polonsky, Marie Agathe Charpagne, McLean P. Echlin, Veronica Anghel, David R. Jones, George T. Gray, Marc De Graef, Tresa M. Pollock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Predicting the failure of crystalline materials at high strain rates requires knowledge of the underlying failure mechanisms and their dependence on microstructure. In this study, a 3D-EBSD characterization experiment is performed on high-purity tantalum prior to and after partial spallation by plate impact, which allows for the statistical assessment of the microstructural neighborhoods surrounding incipient voids. In analyzing the resulting dataset containing 5884 grains and 467 voids, it is observed that the voids were roughly spherical and consistent in size throughout the spalled material. The voids are most likely to reside at quadruple points, at triple junctions, at grain boundaries, and within grains, in decreasing order of prevalence. Moreover, voids tend to form at grain boundaries with high degrees of plastic incompatibility, growing into the plastically soft grain but orienting primarily with or perpendicular to the loading direction. The statistics from these analyses of 3D microstructural data support dynamic cavitation models for ductile spallation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number117057
JournalActa Materialia
StatePublished - Aug 15 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors would like to acknowledge the support of the Department of Energy, National Nuclear Security Administration under Award no. DE-NA0003857 and the Office of Naval Research under Award no. N00014-20-1-2788 . MDG acknowledges funding from a Department of Defense Vannevar-Bush Faculty Fellowship (N00014-16-1-2821), as well as the computational facilities of the Materials Characterization Facility at CMU under grant no. MCF-677785. The authors would also like to acknowledge fruitful conversations with Matthew Begley and John Hutchinson as well as the use of codes written by William Lenthe, including the Marching Cubes code.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Acta Materialia Inc.


  • 3D Characterization
  • Dynamic Behavior
  • Microstructure
  • Shock Loading
  • Spallation
  • Tantalum

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Metals and Alloys


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