A method to map the microstructure in deformed aluminum in three dimensions is presented. The method employs serial sectioning by mechanical polishing, and electropolishing to obtain a good surface quality, and orientation mapping of individual grains in each section by electron backscattered diffraction. Techniques to carefully align the sample and to accurately measure the thickness of the material removed in each serial section are described. A new method for stacking the two dimensional maps together to produce a three dimensional visualization of the microstructure is presented. The data are analyzed in terms of the deformation-induced orientation spread within each grain. In particular the advantage of using three dimensional data, as opposed to two dimensional data, is illustrated, by inclusion of information about the three dimensional morphology of a grain and its neighbors.
- Materials characterization and modelling
- Materials and energy storage