The Mechanical and Ballistic Properties of an Electron Beam Single Melt of Ti-6A1-4V Plate

Report No. ARL-MR-515
Authors: Mathew Burkins, Martin Wells, John Fanning, and Brijmohan Roopchand
Date/Pages: May 2001; 55 pages
Abstract: Titanium alloys are beginning to be used in Army ground systems as a result of their unique combination of ballistic and mechanical properties. However, more widespread use has been limited by cost of both the initial plate product and fabrication. Ti-6A1-4V is the current alloy of choice for structural and applique armor for Army applications. Until now, virtually all of the production of this alloy has been for aircraft/aerospace applications. These products all require at least two vacuum arc melts, and for flight critical parts and all rotating components in gas turbine engines, a third melt is required. During the past several years, cold hearth melting has been used for one of the melts because this process can remove inclusions. However, while single melts of commercially pure (unalloyed) titanium for industrial uses are now being routinely produced by electron beam, cold hearth melting, there is little production of titanium alloys. The object of this study was to evaluate an electron beam, cold hearth, single melt of Ti-6A1-4V plate for application to Army ground vehicles. Single-hearth melting would considerably reduce the cost of titanium alloy plate (and other mill products) through the use of lower cost raw materials and reduced energy consumption. The plates produced by the electron beam, cold hearth, single-melt process were ballistically equivalent to standard production Ti-6A1-4V material.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: May 1, 2001