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Title: Detecting rare, abnormally large grains by x-ray diffraction

Bimodal grain structures are common in many alloys, arising from a number of different causes including incomplete recrystallization and abnormal grain growth. These bimodal grain structures have important technological implications, such as the well-known Goss texture which is now a cornerstone for electrical steels. Yet our ability to detect bimodal grain distributions is largely confined to brute force cross-sectional metallography. The present study presents a new method for rapid detection of unusually large grains embedded in a sea of much finer grains. Traditional X-ray diffraction-based grain size measurement techniques such as Scherrer, Williamson–Hall, or Warren–Averbach rely on peak breadth and shape to extract information regarding the average crystallite size. However, these line broadening techniques are not well suited to identify a very small fraction of abnormally large grains. The present method utilizes statistically anomalous intensity spikes in the Bragg peak to identify regions where abnormally large grains are contributing to diffraction. This needle-in-a-haystack technique is demonstrated on a nanocrystalline Ni–Fe alloy which has undergone fatigue-induced abnormal grain growth. In this demonstration, the technique readily identifies a few large grains that occupy <0.00001 % of the interrogation volume. Finally, while the technique is demonstrated in the current study on nanocrystalline metal,more » it would likely apply to any bimodal polycrystal including ultrafine grained and fine microcrystalline materials with sufficiently distinct bimodal grain statistics.« less
 [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [2]
  1. Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States). Materials Science and Engineering Center
  2. SLAC National Accelerator Lab., Menlo Park, CA (United States). Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource (SSRL)
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 0022-2461; 649826
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Journal of Materials Science
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 50; Journal Issue: 20; Journal ID: ISSN 0022-2461
Research Org:
Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22); USDOE National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)
Country of Publication:
United States
OSTI Identifier: