Laser-induced spall in metals: Experiment and simulation

Shalom Eliezer*, Irith Gilath, Tuvia Bar-Noy

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Spall at ultra high strain rate (107 s-1) was investigated using short pulsed laser-induced shock waves in copper and aluminum foils. The intensities of the 3.9-ns Nd:Glass laser were in the range of 1010-1012 W/cm2, and the foil thickness was in the 100-600 μm range. The laser-generated shock wave pressure was in the range of a few hundred kilobars (kb). The shock wave traversed the foils in a few tens of nanoseconds. The controlled stepwise increase in laser energies allowed the stages of damage evolution from incipient to complete perforation of the target foils to be found. The energy threshold for spall and the spall width at that energy was measured as a function of the foil thickness for both materials. At threshold energy conditions, spall width of 25-65 μm for Al and 15-45 μm for Cu were obtained for foil thicknesses of 100-600 μm. Computer simulations of the laser-induced spall were performed, including the laser absorption, shock wave travel through the foil, and the spall phenomena. The simulations were based on the one-dimensional medusa code, which was expanded to include the spall phenomena, using simple spall criteria. An estimate of the strain rate was derived from the simulations and it was shown that the strain rates in the present experiments are about an order of magnitude larger than those obtained in spall experiments using other methods. The experimental results of energy threshold for spall and spall width at this energy were compared with the numerical simulations. The experimental results are in good agreement with the simulation results, indicating that spall strength for both materials, Al and Cu, are in the -50 to -60 kb regime.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)715-724
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Applied Physics
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1990
Externally publishedYes


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