Effects of heat treatment and strain rate on the microstructure and mechanical properties of 6061 Al alloy

Ling Li, E. A. Flores-Johnson (Corresponding Author), Luming Shen, Gwénaëlle Proust, Z. Chen

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


In the present work, the effects of heat treatment and strain rate on mechanical behaviour and microstructure evolution of aluminium alloy 6061 have been investigated. The micro-crack initiation and crystallographic texture evolution are obtained from scanning electron microscope and electron back-scatter diffraction experiments. Quasi-static and high strain rate compression tests are conducted on AA6061 specimens that underwent two different heat treatments: the as-received material with the original T6 heat treatment and the heat treated and artificially aged specimens. For the high strain rate compression (∼2000 and ∼4000 s-1) tests, the split Hopkinson pressure bar apparatus is used. It is observed that the additional heat treatment has significantly reduced the yield strength of the material. Furthermore, electron back-scatter diffraction results show that the higher the applied strain rate is, the less significant change will happen to the texture. Scanning electron microscope images show that, for both T6 and HT specimens, the number and size of micro-cracks in the dynamic compressed specimens are smaller than in the quasi-static deformed specimen. Therefore, the strain rate is considered to be the dominant factor in forming micro-cracks.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)26-41
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Damage Mechanics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Aluminium alloy 6061
  • electron back-scatter diffraction
  • high strain rate testing
  • microstructure
  • split Hopkinson pressure bar

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computational Mechanics
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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