Grain Boundary Sliding and Slip Transmission in High Purity Aluminum
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Despite its significance in polycrystalline materials, there have been few experimental investigations of the activity of grain boundary sliding (GBS) and the relationship between GBS and slip transmission at grain boundaries. The present work addresses this knowledge gap by the characterization of full-field strain and microstructural information in an experimental system of high-purity (99.99%) columnar aluminum subjected to uniaxial tension at 190 °C. High-resolution, full-gage strain fields were characterized on an unloaded specimen by distortion-corrected and stitched scanning electron microscope-enabled digital image correlation (SEM-DIC). Alignment between the lower-resolution electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD) and higher-resolution strain fields was significantly improved by clustering of strain data within an EBSD-defined boundary mantle. Grain boundary sliding was investigated at select boundaries, and it was determined that GBS magnitude profiles can have large gradients along a single boundary and vary significantly between boundaries. Using a geometric compatibility factor (m′) to quantify favorability of slip transmission, the two grain boundaries that exhibited the largest average GBS magnitude experienced contiguous slip on moderately well aligned slip systems, although the exact nature of this slip activity, whether transmission or nucleation, remains under investigation.
KeywordsGrain Boundary Sliding Slip Transmission Digital Image Correlation Aluminum Columnar Microstructure
This work was supported by the United States Department of Energy, Office of Basic Energy Sciences, Division of Materials Sciences and Engineering under Awards #DE-SC-0013971 and #DE-SC-0014281. The authors gratefully acknowledge Dr. Zhe Chen for his scientific advice and for sharing codes for image and displacement/strain field stitching; Mr. Chris Torbet for helpful scientific discussions, and for his generous assistance in electrical discharge machining of test specimens; Mr. David Bothman for helpful specimen preparation suggestions; and Mr. Mark Cornish and Mr. Darin Randall for helpful discussions and assistance regarding scanning electron microscopy.
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