Generalized balanced power diagrams for 3D representations of polycrystals

Andreas Alpers, Andreas Brieden, Peter Gritzmann, Allan Lyckegaard, Henning Friis Poulsen

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Characterizing the grain structure of polycrystalline material is an important task in material science. The present paper introduces the concept of generalized balanced power diagrams as a concise alternative to voxelated mappings. Here, each grain is represented by (measured approximations of) its centre of mass position, its volume and, if available, and by its second-order moments (in the non-equiaxed case). Such parameters may be obtained from 3D X-ray diffraction. As the exact global optimum of our model results from the solution of a suitable linear programme it can be computed quite efficiently. Based on verified real-world measurements, we show that from the few parameters per grain (3, respectively, 6 in 2D and 4, respectively, 10 in 3D) we obtain excellent representations of both equiaxed and non-equiaxed structures. Hence our approach seems to capture the physical principles governing the forming of such polycrystals in the underlying process quite well.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPhilosophical Magazine
Issue number9
Pages (from-to)1016-1028
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Generalized balanced power diagrams
  • Grains
  • Linear programming
  • Polycrystals
  • Power diagrams
  • Tessellations

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