Direct observation of grain rotations during coarsening of a semisolid Al-Cu alloy

Jules M. Dake, Jette Oddershede, Henning O. Sørensen, Thomas Werz, J. Cole Shatto, Kentaro Uesugi, Søren Schmidt, Carl E. Krill III

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articleResearchpeer-review


Sintering is a key technology for processing ceramic and metallic powders into solid objects of complex geometry, particularly in the burgeoning field of energy storage materials. The modeling of sintering processes, however, has not kept pace with applications. Conventional models, which assume ideal arrangements of constituent powders while ignoring their underlying crystallinity, achieve at best a qualitative description of the rearrangement, densification, and coarsening of powder compacts during thermal processing. Treating a semisolid Al-Cu alloy as a model system for late-stage sintering-during which densification plays a subordinate role to coarsening-we have used 3D X-ray diffraction microscopy to track the changes in sample microstructure induced by annealing. The results establish the occurrence of significant particle rotations, driven in part by the dependence of boundary energy on crystallographic misorientation. Evidently, a comprehensive model for sintering must incorporate crystallographic parameters into the thermodynamic driving forces governing microstructural evolution.
Original languageEnglish
JournalNational Academy of Sciences. Proceedings
Issue number41
Pages (from-to)E5998 – E6006
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • 3D microstructural evolution
  • Sintering
  • Ostwald ripening
  • Grain rotation
  • X-ray imaging


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