Studying grain boundary regions in polycrystalline materials using spherical nano-indentation and orientation imaging microscopy
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- Pathak, S., Michler, J., Wasmer, K. et al. J Mater Sci (2012) 47: 815. doi:10.1007/s10853-011-5859-z
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In this article, we report on the application of our spherical nanoindentation data analysis protocols to study the mechanical response of grain boundary regions in as-cast and 30% deformed polycrystalline Fe–3%Si steel. In particular, we demonstrate that it is possible to investigate the role of grain boundaries in the mechanical deformation of polycrystalline samples by systematically studying the changes in the indentation stress–strain curves as a function of the distance from the grain boundary. Such datasets, when combined with the local crystal lattice orientation information obtained using orientation imaging microscopy, open new avenues for characterizing the mechanical behavior of grain boundaries based on their misorientation angle, dislocation density content near the boundary, and their propensity for dislocation source/sink behavior.