Effect of dc on the formability of Ti-6Al-4V

Carl D. Ross, Thomas J. Kronenberger, John T. Roth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

89 Scopus citations


Recent research has demonstrated that the mechanical properties of metals are altered when an electrical current is passed through the material. These studies suggest that titanium alloys, due to their low formability and need for dramatic improvement, should be subjected to additional study. The research presented herein further investigates the use of electricity to aid in the bulk deformation of Ti-6Al-4V under tensile and compressive loads. Extensive testing is presented, which documents the changes that occur in the formability of titanium due to the presence of an electrical current at varying current densities. Using carefully designed experiments, this study also characterizes and isolates the effect of resistive heating from the overall effect due to the electrical flow. This study clearly indicates that electrical flow affects the material beyond that which can be explained through resistive heating. The results demonstrate that an applied electrical current within the material during mechanical loading can greatly decrease the force needed to deform the titanium while also dramatically enhancing the degree to which it can be worked without fracturing. Isothermal testing further demonstrates that the changes are significantly beyond that which can be accounted for due to increases in the titanium's temperature. The results are also supported by data from tests using pulsed and discontinuously applied current. Furthermore, current densities are identified that cause an enhanced formability behavior to occur. Overall, this work fully demonstrates that an electrical current can be used to significantly improve the formability of Ti-6Al-4V and that these improvements far exceed that which can be explained by resistive heating.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)310041-3100411
Number of pages2790371
JournalJournal of Engineering Materials and Technology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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