3D microstructural and strain evolution during the early stages of tensile deformation

A. Zelenika*, C. Yildirim, C. Detlefs, R. Rodriguez-Lamas, F.B. Grumsen, H.F. Poulsen, G. Winther

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Dislocation patterning and self-organization during plastic deformation are associated with work hardening, but the exact mechanisms remain elusive. This is partly because studies of the structure and local strain during the initial stages of plastic deformation are a challenge. For this reason, literature data typically cover strains from 0.05-0.1 and higher. Here we use Dark Field X-ray Microscopy to generate 3D maps of embedded 350 x 900 x 72 µm3 volumes within three pure Al single crystals. Tensile deformation was applied to true strains of 0.6%, 1.7%, and 3.5% along the [10 13 −10] direction. Orientation maps revealed the existence of two distinct types of planar dislocation boundaries both at 0.6% and 1.7% but no systematic patterning. At 3.5%, these boundaries have evolved into a well-defined checkerboard pattern, characteristic of Geometrically Necessary Boundaries, GNBs. The crystallographic alignment of the GNBs match that in polycrystals for grains of similar orientation. The GNB spacing measured perpendicular to the planesis≈6 µm and the misorientation ≈ 0.2° in fair agreement with literature data for higher strains. By contrast to the sharp boundaries observed at higher strains, the boundaries are associated with a sinusoidal orientation gradient, showing that they are not yet fully formed. Maps of the elastic strain along the (111) direction exhibit strain variations ±0.0002 of with an average domain size of 3 µm
Original languageEnglish
JournalActa Materialia
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2024


  • Crystallographic orientation
  • Dark field X-ray microscopy
  • Dislocation structures
  • Plastic deformation
  • X-ray imaging


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