Materials & Advanced Manufacturing (MAM)

Rigorous Accelerated Approach to Thermomechanical Processing Optimization for New Ballistic Protection Alloys

by Thomas Lillo; Henry Chu; Jeffrey Anderson; Jason Walleser; Victor Burguess


The armor research and development community needs a more cost-effective, science-based approach to accelerate development of new alloys (and alloys never intended for ballistic protection) for armor applications, especially lightweight armor applications. Currently, the development and deployment of new armor alloys is based on an expert-based, trial-and-error process, which is both time-consuming and costly. This work demonstrates a systematic research approach to accelerate optimization of the thermomechanical processing (TMP) pathway, yielding optimal microstructure and maximum ballistic performance. Proof-of-principle is being performed on titanium alloy, Ti-10V-2Fe-3Al, and utilizes the Hydrawedge® unit of the Gleeble 3800 System (a servo-hydraulic thermomechanical testing device) to quickly evaluate mechanical properties and simulate rolling schedules on small samples. Resulting mechanical property and microstructure data are utilized in an artificial intelligence (AI) based response surface methodology (RSM) to identify processing-microstructure-property relationships and develop thermomechanical schedules which are applied to a few larger plates for ballistic testing. This systematic process may reduce the number of TMP schedule permutations by more than 90%. Results to date on Ti-10V-2Fe-3Al and AF9628 will be presented to demonstrate the approach.