Abnormal Grain Growth in Metals
Grain growth may occur in two forms, normal grain growth, characterized by a constant grain size distribution during growth, and abnormal grain growth, where one or more abnormally large grains may form in the microstructure. The presence of abnormally large grains in an otherwise uniform microstructure may be detrimental to the mechanical properties of a polycrystalline structure. Little is understood of the exact cause of abnormal grain growth. The annealing conditions leading to the onset of abnormal grain growth have been investigated via a series of grain growth experiments carried out on an Al-4wt%Cu alloy. The structure of which consisted of equiaxed grains (<8μ) pinned by a fine dispersion of sub-micron second phase particles, which may dissolve upon annealing. Minority texture components may experience accelerated growth due to a higher energy and mobility compared to the surrounding grain structure. The combination of these two events may result in the abnormal growth of some grains. SEM imaging and EBSD data has then made it possible to characterize the influence of particle dissolution and grain boundary misorientation on the onset of abnormal grain growth. The stability of ‘island grains’ found to exist internally in abnormally large grains has also been investigated in relation to the misorientation relationship and localized second phase volume fraction found there. There was only weak evidence of special misorientation relationships between the island grains and the abnormally large grains in which they exist, and although there was evidence of an enhanced fraction of pinning particles at island grain boundaries, this was also true of boundaries in general. The larger size of island grains is their dominant characteristic, and grains which become island grains may have been incipient abnormal grains.
S.-J.L. Kang, M.Y. Huh, N.M. Hwang, H. Homma, K. Ushioda and Y. Ikuhara
J. Dennis et al., "Abnormal Grain Growth in Metals", Materials Science Forum, Vols. 558-559, pp. 717-722, 2007