In this paper, we present the dynamic response of commercially pure copper subjected to combined tension-torsion loads representative of real case impact scenarios. Experiments were conducted both quasi statically, at a strain rate equal to 10−3 s−1, and dynamically at strain rates in the region between 500 s−1 and 1000 s−1. All high rate experiments were conducted using a novel Split Hopkinson Tension-Torsion Bar instrumented with high-speed photographic equipment. The dynamic combined loading experiments demonstrate the capability of the apparatus to generate longitudinal and torsional stress waves which are synchronised upon loading of the specimen. The presented data show that dynamic equilibrium conditions and nearly steady strain rates were achieved during the experiments. Additionally, the analyses of the loading paths show that nearly proportional strain loading was attained during testing.The measured experimental results illustrate, for the first time, the failure stress locus of the material over a wide range of stress states including pure torsion, shear-dominated combined tension-shear, tension-dominated combined tension-shear and plain tension. The quasi-static and dynamic failure envelopes are herein presented in the normal stress vs shear stress space to motivate the development of accurate and effective constitutive models. To conclude, the Drucker-Prager criterion was employed to approximate the failure loci and to assess the rate sensitivity of the material. A moderate asymmetry of the uniaxial ultimate stresses in tension and compression is predicted both at quasi-static and dynamic strain rates.

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