DOI: 10.1002/adem.202300470 ISSN:

Abnormal grain growth: A spontaneous activation of competing grain rotation

Klaus-Dieter Liss, Pingguang Xu, Ayumi Shiro, Shuoyuan Zhang, Eitaro Yukutake, Takahisa Shobu, Koichi Akita
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • General Materials Science

Unconventional white‐beam Laue synchrotron X‐ray diffraction has been used on fine‐grained, rolled magnesium alloy during an in‐situ heating experiment. At high temperatures, reflections of single grains are superimposed on the halo stemming from matrix grains. Some unique grain reflections spontaneously move, indicating grain rotations in response to torque expedited at grain boundaries. When a grain boundary spontaneously activates, it can begin to rotate, allowing diffusive mass transport and activating the boundaries of its other neighbors. Now the given grain can freely rotate towards coalescence; however, the multitude of grain boundaries compete in torque orientation and magnitude, resulting in zigzag rotations. After coalescence, the larger grain is still active and continues this scenario of growth, while the majority of the matrix grains remain inactive. The first‐time experimental observation of such erratic grain behavior supplies the missing puzzle stone leading to anomalous grain growth, long postulated in literature. The method of white‐beam Laue diffraction on fine‐grained polycrystalline materials delivers a novel experimental method to study the erratic behavior of grain reorientation, as requested long ago by the scientific community. Such findings apply to wide ranges of materials undergoing grain growth, creep, and superplasticity, including those in metal engineering, ceramics, and geo‐physical disciplines.

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