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The conditions which affect twinning in tantalum have been investigated across a range of strain rates and initial dislocation densities. Tantalum samples were subjected to a range of strain rates, from 10−4/s to 103/s under uniaxial stress conditions, and under laser-induced shock-loading conditions. In this study, twinning was observed at 77K at strain rates from 1/s to 103/s, and during laser-induced shock experiments. The effect of the initial dislocation density, which was imparted by deforming the material to different amounts of pre-strain, was also studied, and it was shown that twinning is suppressed after a given amount of pre-strain, even as the global stress continues to increase. These results indicate that the conditions for twinning cannot be represented solely by a critical global stress value, but are also dependent on the evolution of the dislocation density. In addition, the analysis shows that if twinning is initiated, the nucleated twins may continue to grow as a function of strain, even as the dislocation density continues to increase.


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