Neutron Diffraction Techniques for Alloy Characterization and Development
Important activities in the aluminum industry are the development of new alloys, and the optimization of thermo-mechanical treatments to obtain desired performance. The strength and formability of aluminum alloys depend on the distribution and scale of precipitating phases, on the grain size and grain orientation distribution, on the distribution and scale of flaws, and on the presence of residual stresses. Thus it is useful to have detailed quantitative data on the crystal structures and volume fractions of phases that form during thermomechanical treatment, on the kinetics of solid state reactions, on the distribution of grain orientations, and on the stresses that develop during mechanical testing and forming. Neutron scattering is a powerful tool that can provide unique data to guide the development of improved materials and processes. Of particular interest are in-situ experiments: such experiments are uniquely suited to neutron diffraction because of the high penetrating power of neutrons, which allows data to be collected from materials subjected to realistic conditions (load, temperature, atmosphere) in specialized sample environments. In this presentation, we discuss several examples of neutron scattering studies, including residual strain mapping, in-situ loading experiments, texture analysis, powder diffraction, and tomography.
W.J. Poole, M.A. Wells and D.J. Lloyd
M. A. Gharghouri "Neutron Diffraction Techniques for Alloy Characterization and Development", Materials Science Forum, Vols. 519-521, pp. 1379-1384, 2006