This paper describes the development of a high-speed torsional testing machine and results obtained on the strain-rate dependent strength of copper at large shear strains. Test techniques and data obtained are intended to be useful in applications such as ballistics and machining. For copper, the results indicate positive strain hardening behavior to very large strains under low rate, isothermal conditions and the transition to adiabatic thermal softening, shear instability and localization (shear banding) at high rates.

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