Couple of papers from Acta

September 10, 2010

[1] Evolution of structure and free volume in symmetric tilt grain boundaries during dislocation nucleation

G J Tucker et al

Grain boundary evolution in copper bicrystals is investigated during uniaxial tension at 10 K. Grain boundary structures are generated using molecular statics employing an embedded atom method potential, followed by molecular dynamics simulation at a constant 1 × 109 s−1 strain rate. Interfacial free volume is continuously measured during boundary deformation, and its evolution is investigated both prior to and during grain boundary dislocation nucleation. Free volume provides valuable insight into atomic-scale processes associated with stress-induced grain boundary deformation. Different boundary structures are investigated in this work to analyze the role of interface structure, stress state and initial free volume on dislocation nucleation. The results indicate that the free volume influences interfacial deformation through modified atomic-scale processes, and grain boundaries containing particular free volume distributions show a greater propensity for collective atomic migration during inelastic deformation.

[2] Segregation-induced grain boundary electrical potential in ionic oxide materials: A first principles model

D Gomez-Garcia et al

A first principles continuum analytical model for cationic segregation to the grain boundaries in complex ceramic oxides is presented. The model permits one to determine the electric charge density and the segregation-induced electric potential profiles through the grain and can be extrapolated to the range of nanostructured grain sizes. The theoretical predictions are compared with existing data for yttria-stabilized tetragonal zirconia polycrystals. The implications for physical properties (mainly high temperature plasticity and hardening behaviour) are then discussed.

[1] Dislocation dynamics simulations of dislocation interactions and stresses in thin films

R S Fertig III and S P Baker

The dislocation interactions that stop threading dislocations (threads) during relaxation at increasing applied strains in single-crystal thin films are investigated using large-scale three-dimensional dislocation dynamics simulations. Threads were observed to stop via interactions with both threads and misfit dislocations (misfits). Both types of interactions were shown to depend on stress inhomogeneity. Low-stress regions enabled threads to stop in weak thread–misfit interactions even at high average film stresses. Threads were also concentrated in low-stress regions, which facilitated their interaction with other threads. Threads accumulated in thread–thread interactions, and stopped only temporarily in thread–misfit interactions. The mean free path for dislocation motion is shown to be accurately predicted from details of the inhomogeneous stress state arising from the applied strain and the misfit structure. These behaviors are analyzed to present a more complete picture of film strength, strain hardening and relaxation.

[2] Comparing grain boundary energies in face centered cubic metals: Al, Au, Cu and Ni

E A Holm et al

The energy of 388 grain boundaries in Al, Au, Cu and Ni were calculated using atomistic simulations. Grain boundary energies in different elements are strongly correlated. Consistent with a dislocation model for grain boundary structure, the boundary energy scales with the shear modulus. Boundaries with substantial stacking fault character scale with the stacking fault energy. There is more scatter in the data for Al, which has a high stacking fault energy, than for the low stacking fault energy elements.

[1] Influence of interface energies on solute partitioning mechanisms in doped aluminas

S J Dillon et al

The experiments described in this paper have been designed to understand how particular dopants in alumina (Ca, Mg, Si, and Y) affect microstructural development through the energetics of their associated precipitates. Specifically, the role of the interphase boundary energy and precThe experiments described in this paper have been designed to understand how particular dopants in alumina (Ca, Mg, Si, and Y) affect microstructural development through the energetics of their associated precipitates. Specifically, the role of the interphase boundary energy and precipitation activation energy are considered to be in competition with grain boundary complexion (disorder) transitions for partitioning excess solute. The results reveal a relationship between the relative precipitation activation energy and the temperature at which grain boundary complexion transitions occur. The large differences in activation energy primarily derive from the interphase boundary energy. Precipitates that form lower interphase boundary energies tend to suppress complexion transitions, while systems that contain precipitates with high interphase boundary energies are more susceptible. Based on the findings, a new criterion for additive selection to control complexion transitions and abnormal grain growth is proposed that is based on interfacial energies between the host and precipitate.ipitation activation energy are considered to be in competition with grain boundary complexion (disorder) transitions for partitioning excess solute. The results reveal a relationship between the relative precipitation activation energy and the temperature at which grain boundary complexion transitions occur. The large differences in activation energy primarily derive from the interphase boundary energy. Precipitates that form lower interphase boundary energies tend to suppress complexion transitions, while systems that contain precipitates with high interphase boundary energies are more susceptible. Based on the findings, a new criterion for additive selection to control complexion transitions and abnormal grain growth is proposed that is based on interfacial energies between the host and precipitate.

[2] Effect of particles in promoting twin nucleation in a Mg–5 wt% Zn alloy

J D Robson et al

The number of 10View the MathML source2 twins formed in a compressed Mg–5wt% Zn alloy increased when precipitate particles were present, reaching a maximum in the peak aged condition. Particles were observed to promote twin nucleation, but inhibit twin growth. A simple model has been developed to show that in peak and over–aged condition the increase in twin number is well predicted by assuming the additional stress driving twin nucleation equates to the Orowan stress inhibiting twin growth.

[3] Nucleation of paired twins at grain boundaries in titanium

L Wang et al

An experimental study of deformation twins in a polycrystalline α-Ti bend specimen was performed. In some grain pairs, mechanical twins in adjacent grains were coincident at a grain boundary (T+T). Based on the identified T+T pairs, factors including twin system alignment, twinning Schmid factor, disorientation of the parent grains, and parent grain size were assessed. An indicative combination of geometric conditions was identified that can account for the formation of most of the observed T+T pairs.

[1] Dislocation–grain boundary interaction in left angle bracket1 1 1right-pointing angle bracket textured thin metal films

D V Bachurin et al

The interaction of lattice dislocations with symmetrical and asymmetrical tilt grain boundaries in left angle bracket1 1 1right-pointing angle bracket textured thin nickel films was investigated using atomistic simulation methods. It was found that the misorientation angle of the grain boundary, the sign of the Burgers vector of the incoming dislocation and the exact site where the dislocation meets the grain boundary are all important parameters determining the ability of the dislocation to penetrate the boundary. Inclination angle, however, does not make an important difference on the transmission scenario of full dislocations. Only limited partial dislocation nucleation was observed for the investigated high-angle grain boundary. The peculiarities of nucleation of embryonic dislocations and their emission from tilt grain boundaries are discussed.

[2] Comparing calculated and measured grain boundary energies in nickel

G S Rohrer et al

Recent experimental and computational studies have produced two large grain boundary energy data sets for Ni. Using these results, we perform the first large-scale comparison between measured and computed grain boundary energies. While the overall correlation between experimental and computed energies is minimal, there is excellent agreement for the data in which we have the most confidence, particularly the experimentally prevalent Σ3 and Σ9 boundary types. Other CSL boundaries are infrequently observed in the experimental system and show little correlation with computed boundary energies. Because they do not depend on observation frequency, computed grain boundary energies are more reliable than the experimental energies for low population boundary types. Conversely, experiments can characterize high population boundaries that are not included in the computational study. Together the experimental and computational data provide a comprehensive catalog of grain boundary energies in Ni that can be used with confidence by microstructural scientists.

[3] Thermodynamic model of hydride formation and dissolution in spherical particles

Y Mishin and W J Boettinger

A model of hydride formation and dissolution has been proposed for a single spherical particle and for a collection of such particles with a given size distribution. The phase transformation strain gives rise to an elastic barrier to the transformation, which scales with the volume of the particle and produces a hysteresis effect known experimentally. Experimentally observed finite slopes of hydrogen pressure vs. chemical composition plots (instead of expected plateaus) are explained by the model for both the hydrogenization and dehydrogenization processes. These finite slopes and the amount of the pressure hysteresis depend on elastic properties of the hydride and metal phases, the transformation strain, and on the particle-size distribution in the powder.

[4] Application of classical nucleation theory to phase selection and composition of nucleated nanocrystals during crystallization of Co-rich (Co,Fe)-based amorphous precursors

P R Ohodnicki Jr. et al

Classical steady-state nucleation theory is applied to Co-rich Fe,Co-based alloys to provide a rationale for experimental observations during the nanocrystallization of Co-rich (Co,Fe)89Zr7B4 and (Co,Fe)88Zr7B4Cu1 amorphous precursors. The amorphous precursor free energy is estimated using density functional theory. This simple theory suggests: (i) strain or interface energy effects could explain a tendency for a body-centered cubic (bcc) phase to form during crystallization. Dissolved glass formers (Zr,B) in crystalline phases may also contribute; (ii) similar face-centered cubic (fcc) and hexagonal close-packed (hcp) free energies could explain the presence of some hcp phase after crystallization even though fcc is stable at the crystallization temperature; (iii) nanocrystal compositions vary monotonically with the Co:Fe ratio of the amorphous precursor even when multiple phases are nucleating because nucleation is not dictated by the common tangency condition governing bulk phase equilibria; and (iv) Fe-enrichment of the bcc phase can be attributed to a relatively small free energy difference between the amorphous and bcc phases for high Co-containing alloys.

[5] Transmission electron microscopy study of the microstructure and crystallographic orientation relationships in V/Ag multilayers

Q Wei and A Misra

Microstructures and orientation relationships in sputter-deposited, polycrystalline V/Ag multilayers with different individual thicknesses ranging from 1 to 50 nm were investigated. It was found that the wavy morphology of layers resulting from competitive kinetic limitations of deposited atoms gives rise to a variety of orientation relationships between two adjacent layers. At the top or bottom of curved layers Kurdjumov–Sachs and Nishiyama–Wasserman orientations were dominant, while on the slopes of the wavy interfaces close-packed face-centered cubic and body-centered cubic planes joined each other. As a consequence, Bain, Pitsch and many intermediate orientation relationships were generated. In most cases intermediate orientations with 1–3° deviations from the parallel planes or directions in standard orientations were observed. The tilted interfaces, followed by the introduction of disconnections to relieve misfit stress, had a tendency to form an invariant habit plane in which the strain was completely relieved. A model describing disconnections and invariant planes can explain the observed deviations and orientation of the habit plane. Calculations of the evolution of the surface morphology on the basis of the kinetic behavior of deposits were performed to facilitate interpretation of the formation of the wavy structure.

[6] A model for interphase precipitation based on finite interface solute drag theory

R Okamoto and J Agren

A model for interphase precipitation with the ledge mechanism, based on a eutectoid reaction, has been developed and combined with the finite interface solute drag model and a numerical solution of the diffusion equations inside the migrating phase interface. In the model, niobium flows in two directions, i.e. perpendicular to the direction of the ledge migration by eutectoid-like reaction and simultaneously parallel to the direction of the ledge migration inside the ledge interface. The difference between ledge transformation and typical phase transformation is compared using this model and the effects of row spacing, temperature and segregation energy are discussed. The calculation results using the model are compared with experimental results and the critical driving force for interphase precipitation is evaluated. The estimations of the niobium carbide precipitation using this model are in good agreement with experimental results.

[7] Role of discrete intragranular slip on lattice rotations in polycrystalline Ni: Experimental and micromechanical studies

C Perrin et al

In this paper, a new micromechanical approach accounting for the discreteness of intragranular slip is used to derive the local misorientations in the case of plastically deformed polycrystalline nickel in uniaxial tension. This intragranular microstructure is characterized in particular single slip grains by atomic force microscopy measurements in the early stage of plastic deformation. The micromechanical modelling accounts for the individual grain size, the spatial distances between active slip bands and the magnitude of slip in bands. The slip bands are modelled using discrete distributions of circular super glide dislocation loops constrained at grain boundaries for a spherical grain boundary embedded in an infinite matrix. In contrast with classic mean field approaches based on Eshelby’s plastic inclusion concept, the present model is able to capture different intragranular behaviours between near grain boundary regions and grain interiors. These theoretical results are quantitatively confirmed by local electron backscatter diffraction measurements regarding intragranular misorientation mapping with respect to a reference point in the centre of the grain.

[8] Quantitative three-dimensional characterization of pearlite spheroidization

Y-T Wang et al

We investigated the pearlite spheroidization of a 0.8 mass% C–Fe steel under 700 °C static annealing conditions using a combination of computer-aided three-dimensional (3-D) tomography and electron back-scattered diffraction. The holes present in naturally grown cementite lamellae cause shape instability and induce shape evolution of the lamellar structure during spheroidization. 3-D visualization demonstrated that the intrinsic holes play an important role in the initiation and development of pearlite spheroidization. The hole coalescence and expansion causes the break-up up of large cementite lamellae into several long narrow ribbons. Furthermore, the growth mechanism of inter-hole coalescence is related to the ratio of half the inter-hole distance on a cementite lamella to the thickness of that lamella. The driving force for hole growth is either the difference in surface energy or the curvature between the hole edges and the adjacent flat surface of the lamella. The morphologies of cementite ribbons depend on the hole expansion position on cementite lamella, and can change their shape to cylinders or small spheres by Rayleigh’s perturbation process after prolonged spheroidization.

[9] Interphase precipitation in niobium-microalloyed steels

R Okamoto et al

The interphase precipitation in niobium steel has been investigated. In the present work, the austenite/ferrite transformation speed should be fast due to hot deformations, and interphase precipitation can be observed after 10 s isothermal holding in the temperature range 923–1023 K. The dominant interphase precipitation is planar and is not oriented on the {1 1 0}α plane suggested by the ledge mechanism but on other planes.

[10] Constraint-dependent twin variant distribution in Ni2MnGa single crystal, polycrystals and thin film: An EBSD study

N Scheerbaum et al

The capability of showing large magnetically induced strains (MFIS) up to not, vert, similar10% has attracted considerable research interest to magnetic shape memory (MSM) alloys. The prototype MSM alloy is the ternary Ni2MnGa. In this work, a comprehensive study of the local unit cell orientation distribution on single crystalline, polycrystalline and epitaxial thin film of martensitic Ni2MnGa is conducted by electron backscattering diffraction (EBSD). By EBSD, the constraint-dependent twin variant distribution, the corresponding stresses and the three-dimensional orientation of twin planes will be investigated. In polycrystals, the differentiation between twin and grain boundaries as well as proof of twin boundary motion is shown. From the knowledge of the local unit cell orientation at surfaces, it is possible to explain the magnetic domain configuration imaged by magnetic force microscopy.

[11] Domain models for ferromagnetic shape-memory materials

A T Onisan et al

A domain model for the twin variant and magnetic domain distribution in bulk systems of ferromagnetic shape-memory materials has been developed. The approach combines crystal elasticity, compatibility of a twinned microstructure with a tetragonal lattice structure, and micromagnetic domain theory. The model is applied to calculate phase diagrams under external magnetic fields and stresses for Ni–Mn–Ga as a magnetic system with easy-axis anisotropy and for Fe–Pd with easy-plane 4-fold anisotropies.

Aluminum Σ3 grain boundary sliding enhanced by vacancy diffusion

N Du et al

Grain boundary sliding is an important deformation mechanism for elevated temperature forming processes. Molecular dynamics simulations are used to investigate the effect of vacancies in the grain boundary vicinity on the sliding of Al bi-crystals at 750 K. The threshold stress for grain boundary sliding was computed for a variety of grain boundaries with different structures and energies. These structures included one symmetrical tilt grain boundary and five asymmetrical tilt grain boundaries. Without vacancies, low energy Σ3 grain boundaries exhibited significantly less sliding than other high energy grain boundaries. The addition of vacancies to Σ3 grain boundaries decreased the threshold stress for grain boundary sliding by increasing the grain boundary diffusivity. A higher concentration of vacancies enhanced this effect. The influence of vacancies on grain boundary diffusivity and grain boundary sliding was negligible for high energy grain boundaries, due to the already high atom mobility in these boundaries.

Critical grain size for dislocation storage and consequences for strain-hardening of nanocrystalline materials

O Bouaziz et al

We consider strain-hardening of nanostructured materials and propose a physically based interpretation of their low strain-hardening capability in terms of a reduced storage rate of dislocations. The model suggested provides a modification of the Kocks-Mecking-Estrin (KME) evolution law for dislocation storage for nanostructured materials and predicts a critical grain size below which the strain-hardening rate drops off.

Magnetically driven migration of specific planar grain boundaries in Zn bicrystals

C Guenster et al

Magnetically driven migration of planar View the MathML source tilt grain boundaries with various misorientations in high purity zinc bicrystals was measured in-situ by means of a specially designed polarization microscopy probe. The absolute grain boundary mobility and its temperature dependence were measured in the regime between 330°C and 415°C. The results revealed that there is a pronounced misorientation dependence of grain boundary mobility in the investigated angular range. The migration activation enthalpy was found to vary between 1.18 eV and 2.15 eV.

[1] A new ultrahigh-strength stainless steel strengthened by various coexisting nanoprecipitates

W Xu et al

A general computational alloy design approach based on thermodynamic and physical metallurgical principles and coupled with a genetic optimization scheme is presented. The model is applied to develop a new ultrahigh-strength maraging stainless steel. The alloy composition and heat treatment parameters are integrally optimized so as to achieve microstructures of fully lath martensite matrix strengthened by multiple precipitates of MC carbides, Cu particles and Ni3Ti intermetallics. The combined mechanical properties, corrosion resistance and identification of actual strengthening precipitates in the experimental prototype produced on the basic of the model predictions provide a strong justification for the alloy design approach.

[2] An investigation of the effect of structural order on magnetostriction and magnetic behavior of Fe–Ga alloy thin films

A Javed et al

This paper reports results from a comprehensive study of Fe–Ga films fabricated over a wide range of growth conditions. Polycrystalline Fe100−xGax films (14 less-than-or-equals, slant x less-than-or-equals, slant 32) were deposited (using three different combinations of growth parameters) on Si(1 0 0) using a co-sputtering and evaporation technique. The growth parameters (sputter power, Ga evaporation rate and chamber pressure) were used primarily to control the Fe:Ga ratio in the films. X-ray diffraction showed that all films had left angle bracket1 1 0right-pointing angle bracket crystallographic texture normal to the film plane. The lattice parameter increased with % Ga up to x = 22 and was independent of growth parameters. Conversion electron Mössbauer spectroscopy studies showed a predominance of the disordered A2 phase in all films. It appears that the use of vacuum deposition with appropriate parameters can effectively suppress the D03 ordered phase. Systematic studies of the effective magnetostriction constant as a function of composition support this conclusion. It was found that films of high effective saturation magnetostriction constant and low stress could be fabricated using low Ar pressure, irrespective of sputter power or evaporation rate, giving properties useful for application in microelectromechanical systems.

[3] Coarsening of a multimodal nickel-base superalloy

K Coakley et al

The coarsening of γ′-Ni3Al precipitates in the nickel superalloy Ni115 has been examined and compared to the results of a numerical model based on LSW coarsening theory. Ni115 has a γ′ fraction of around 60%, and at the coarsening temperatures of interest the γ′ distribution is bimodal, with two populations not, vert, similar5 nm and not, vert, similar90 nm in radius. It is found that during the initial transient (around 2000 h at 800 °C), the fine γ′ dissolve, leading to a rapid increase in the mean radius followed by a plateau. At long times, the expected steady-state unimodal t1/3 coarsening is observed. The model reproduces these features in form and approximately in magnitude, a first for LSW model-experiment comparisons in nickel superalloys.

[4] Growth morphologies in peritectic solidification of Fe–C: A phase-field study

A Choudhury et al

We use a thermodynamically consistent multi-phase, multi-component phase-field model, where the evolution equations for the different fields are derived from an entropy functional, for simulating peritectic growth structures in two and three dimensions. Different solidification morphologies are obtained in the computations and the characteristic properties of the growth forms are discussed. The phase-field method allows for a prediction of the surface energies in the three-phase system δ-ferrite, γ-austenite and liquid based on comparison between experimentally observed and simulated structures. Additionally an investigation of possible nucleation sites in evolving domains is presented and its dependence on the solid–solid surface energy is examined.

[5] Topological characteristics of plane sections of polycrystals

G S Rohrer and H M Miller

Homology metrics have been used to assess the connectivity of grain boundary networks in plane sections of polycrystals. The analysis is based on orientation maps, and four characteristic microstructure types were examined: SrTiO3 microstructures with normal and bimodal grain size distributions and two Ni microstructures with different concentrations of Σ3 grain boundaries. The inverse connectivity, defined as the ratio of the number of independent pieces of the network to the number of closed loops, is proposed as a metric for the extent to which certain types of grain boundaries are connected. The variation in inverse connectivity with disorientation threshold, below which boundaries are excluded from the network, produces distinct signatures for the different microstructures.

[6] Controlling Ag whisker growth by using very-thin metallic films

H Tohmyoh et al

The selective growth of Ag nano-whiskers on polycrystalline films has been realized by introducing an additional artificial layer onto the films. Ag nano-whiskers with diameters of about 200 nm and lengths of around 3 μm have been successfully generated from Ag films covered with a 1 nm-thick SiO2 layer. On the other hand, the formation of Ag whiskers/hillocks on the top surface of the film could be suppressed by using thick SiO2 layers or ductile Au layers.