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Title: Laboratory micro- and nanoscale X-ray tomographic investigation of Al–7 at.%Cu solidification structures

X-ray computed tomography across multiple length scales provides an opportunity to non-destructively visualize and quantify the micro- to nano-scale microstructural features of solidification structures in three dimensions. Aluminum–7 at.%copper samples were directionally solidified at three cooling rates (0.44, 0.67, and 1.33 °C/s), resulting in systematic changes in the as-solidified microstructure, which are difficult to quantify using traditional microscopic techniques. The cooling rate of a material affects its ultimate microstructure, and characterizing that microstructure is key to predicting and understanding its bulk properties. Here, two different laboratory X-ray computed tomography instruments were used to characterize as-solidified microstructures, including micro-scale computed tomography with approximately 1 mm field-of-view, ∼ 1.7 μm resolution, and nano-scale X-ray computed tomography ∼ 65 μm FOV, 150 nm resolution. Micro-scale X-ray radiography and computed tomography enabled a quantitative investigation of changes in the primary dendritic solidification structure with increasing cooling rate. Nano-scale absorption contrast X-ray computed tomography resolved the distinct phases of the lamellar eutectic structure and three dimensional measurements of the ∼ 1 μm interlamellar spacing. It is found that the lamella eutectic structure thickness is inversely proportional to the cooling rate. Nano-scale Zernike phase contrast was also used to image voids at eutectic colony boundaries. Themore » application and resolution of these two instruments are discussed with respect to the resolvable features of the solidification structures. - Highlights: • Al–Cu eutectic is a model system for studying solidification microstructure. • X-ray computed tomography provides a 3D picture of these complex structures. • Micro-scale tomography images the primary and secondary dendritic structures. • Nano-scale tomography images the eutectic lamella and measures its thickness. • The ∼ 1 micrometer thickness of the eutectic lamella correlates to the cooling rate.« less
Authors:
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Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22403534
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Materials Characterization; Journal Volume: 95; Other Information: Copyright (c) 2014 Elsevier Science B.V., Amsterdam, The Netherlands, All rights reserved.; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; 77 NANOSCIENCE AND NANOTECHNOLOGY; 37 INORGANIC, ORGANIC, PHYSICAL AND ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY; ABSORPTION; ALUMINIUM; ALUMINIUM BASE ALLOYS; COMPUTERIZED TOMOGRAPHY; COPPER; COPPER ALLOYS; DENDRITES; EUTECTICS; IMAGES; MICROSTRUCTURE; NANOSTRUCTURES; RESOLUTION; SOLIDIFICATION; X RADIATION; X-RAY RADIOGRAPHY