New Technique Used for 3D Microstructural Information and Next Generation Materials


Results show great promise for the additive manufacturing and materials modeling community.

Dr. Chris Hefferan, RJ Lee Group Materials Scientist, will be presenting at Materials Science & Technology (MS&T) 2013 in late October on an up-and-coming characterization technique that has led to a notable scientific result in fundamental research. Dr. Hefferan is one of a very few scientists involved in the building of this method and who have this expertise.

“Annealing Evolution of the Coherent Twin Distribution in Bulk High Purity Nickel,” focuses on an emerging synchrotron-based materials characterization technique (high-energy X-ray diffraction microscopy) that permits high resolution, non-destructive 3D measurement of polycrystalline microstructures. Using this technique, it is possible to determine information such as shapes of grains, crystallographic orientation of grains, and the strain state of grains. Results using this method are relevant to the structural materials community where grain boundaries are important, as well as in grain boundary engineering where materials are processed to have an abundance of a specific type of grain boundary to aid mechanical and electrical properties of a material. This technique, which is Dr. Hefferan’s expertise, shows great promise for the additive manufacturing and materials modeling community, where 3D microstructural information can lead to the next generation of materials.

Shown are reconstructions of the same high purity nickel microstructure as collected with state-of-the-art high energy X-ray diffraction microscopy and reconstructed with the forward modeling method. The same microstructure was subjected to repeated heat treatments and remapped to illustrate the dynamical response of a grain ensemble subjected to thermal stimulation. A single grain, which is embedded in this microstructure, has been extracted to demonstrate sensitivity to changes in grain boundary morphology, in response to the annealing sequence.

Shown are reconstructions of the same high purity nickel microstructure as collected with state-of-the-art high energy X-ray diffraction microscopy and reconstructed with the forward modeling method. The same microstructure was subjected to repeated heat treatments and remapped to illustrate the dynamical response of a grain ensemble subjected to thermal stimulation. A single grain, which is embedded in this microstructure, has been extracted to demonstrate sensitivity to changes in grain boundary morphology, in response to the annealing sequence.

Dr. Hefferan’s presentation will be given on Tuesday, October 29, at 10:20 am during the “Deformation and Transitions at Grain Boundaries III” Symposium at Materials Science & Technology 2013. We invite you to attend this presentation and learn more about this technique that few have mastered and how its application will influence the way we think about next generation materials.

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