On the deformation twinning of Mg AZ31B: A three-dimensional synchrotron X-ray diffraction experiment and crystal plasticity finite element model

Hamidreza Abdolvand, Marta Majkut, Jette Oddershede, Søren Schmidt, Ulrich Lienert, Bradley J. Diak, Philip J. Withers, Mark R. Daymond

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Crystals with a hexagonal close-packed (HCP) structure are inherently anisotropic, and have a limited number of independent slip systems, which leads to strong deformation textures and reduced formability in polycrystalline products. Tension along the c-axis of the crystal ideally activates extension twinning as a deformation mode due to the lack of easy-slip systems. In this work, experiments were devised to study extension twinning in a polycrystalline Mg alloy AZ31B with a strong basal rolling texture by tensile deformation parallel to the plate normal. Three-dimensional synchrotron X-ray diffraction (3DXRD) was used to map the center-of-mass positions, volumes, orientations, elastic strains, and stress tensors of over 1400 grains in-situ up to a true strain of 1.4%. More than 700 tensile twins were observed to form in the mapped volume under deformation. The measured center-of-mass positions and grain volumes are used to construct various 3D microstructures and model them with a Crystal Plasticity Finite Element (CPFE) code. It is observed that the average grain-resolved stress did not always select the highest ranked Schmid factor twin variant. In fact, the contribution of lower ranked variants was non-negligible. The CPFE simulation indicates that there is a small variation in the stress within each grain in the elastic regime, which increases drastically upon the onset of plasticity. One of the significant outcomes of this work is the new statistical information on the interaction between twin and parent grain. It is shown that, on average, there is a small difference between the stress normal to the twin habit plane in the parent and twin, but that this is not the case for the shear acting on the habit plane.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Plasticity
Pages (from-to)77-97
Number of pages21
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Twinning
  • Polycrystalline materials
  • Crystal plasticity
  • Finite elements

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