Virtual modeling of polycrystalline structures of materials using particle packing algorithms and Laguerre cells
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The influence of the microstructural heterogeneities is an important topic in the study of materials. In the context of computational mechanics, it is therefore necessary to generate virtual materials that are statistically equivalent to the microstructure under study, and to connect that geometrical description to the different numerical methods. Herein, the authors present a procedure to model continuous solid polycrystalline materials, such as rocks and metals, preserving their representative statistical grain size distribution. The first phase of the procedure consists of segmenting an image of the material into adjacent polyhedral grains representing the individual crystals. This segmentation allows estimating the grain size distribution, which is used as the input for an advancing front sphere packing algorithm. Finally, Laguerre diagrams are calculated from the obtained sphere packings. The centers of the spheres give the centers of the Laguerre cells, and their radii determine the cells’ weights. The cell sizes in the obtained Laguerre diagrams have a distribution similar to that of the grains obtained from the image segmentation. That is why those diagrams are a convenient model of the original crystalline structure. The above-outlined procedure has been used to model real polycrystalline metallic materials. The main difference with previously existing methods lies in the use of a better particle packing algorithm.
KeywordsPolycrystals Particle packing Laguerre diagram Rock and metallic materials microstructure Nanostructures
The authors are deeply grateful to the funds, resources and support of the following organizations and people: Brazilian agency for the improvement of higher education personnel (CAPES). Project No. 208/13 and National Postdoctorate Program. International Center for Numerical Methods in Engineering (CIMNE), Barcelona, Spain. Professor Manuel Llanes Abeijón, for his valuable revision of the use of English in the original version of this paper.
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