A modification of the torsional split Hopkinson bar is described which superimposes a high rate of shear strain on a slower “static” rate. The static rate of 5 × 10−5 sec−1 is increased to 850 sec−1 at a predetermined value of plastic strain by the detonation of small explosive charges; the rise time of the strain-rate increment is about 10 microsec. During deformation at the dynamic rate, direct measurement is made of the excess stress above the maximum static stress attained. Results for 1100-O aluminum show that the initial response to the strain rate increment is elastic, followed by yielding behavior reminiscent in appearance to an upper yield point. The incremental stress-strain curve always lies beneath the stress-strain curve obtained entirely at the higher strain rate but approaches it asymptotically with increasing strain. It is concluded that the material behavior is a function of strain, strain rate, and strain rate history.

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