Coarsening kinetics of fine-scale microstructures in deformed materials

Tianbo Yu, Niels Hansen

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In this work we consider three representative continuous coarsening processes, namely subgrain growth in deformed subgrain structures, triple junction motion in deformed lamellar structures, and grain growth in deformed nanocrystalline structures, spanning a large range in structural scale and driving force. We propose a unified coarsening model, which is based on recovery kinetics and allows the apparent activation energy to change during coarsening. The model is successfully applied to the three coarsening processes in different materials of different structural morphology and scale, showing that the apparent activation energy increases during coarsening, which is verified by direct calculation. The increase in the apparent activation energy dominates the coarsening kinetics and leads to a significant decrease in the coarsening rate as coarsening proceeds. This suggests that a conventional grain growth model is not applicable in an analysis of coarsening of nanostructured materials. Our analysis also shows that an initial low thermal stability of nanostructured materials is inherently related to their large boundary area per unit volume and their high content of stored energy, providing a large driving force and, it appears, a low activation energy for structural coarsening. (C) 2016 Acta Materialia Inc. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
JournalActa Materialia
Pages (from-to)40-45
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Coarsening kinetics
  • Deformation structure
  • Activation energy
  • Annealing
  • Nanocrystalline materials

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