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Elastic stress driven rafting

Mogadalai Gururajan's picture

During solid-solid phase transformations elastic stresses arise due to a difference in lattice parameters between the constituent phases. These stresses have a strong influence on the resultant microstructure and its evolution; more specifically, if there be externally applied stresses, the interaction between the applied and the transformation stresses can lead to rafting.

Rafting is the preferential coarsening of (dilatationally) misfitting precipitates in a direction parallel (P-type) or perpendicular (N-type) to an applied stress. In the materials literature, it is sometimes argued that rafting is an elasto-plastic phenomenon, and that plastic pre-strains are essential for rafting. In this paper (which we have submitted to Acta Materialia) we show that purely elastic stress driven rafting is a distinct possibility.


We examine rafting of two-phase microstructures under a uniaxial applied stress, a process in which a mismatch in elastic moduli (elastic inhomogeneity) plays a central role. For this purpose, we have used a phase field model of an elastically inhomogeneous alloy; elastic stress and strain fields are calculated using a method adapted from the homogenization literature. We have characterized the efficiency of the resulting iterative algorithm based on Fourier transforms. Our simulations of rafting in two-dimensional systems show that rafting (unidirectionally elongated microstructures) is promoted when the precipitate phase is softer than the matrix and when the applied stress has the same sign as the eigenstrain. They also show that migration (for both hard and soft precipitates) and coalescence (for soft precipitates) have significant contributions to rafting.

PDF icon Rafting.pdf1.03 MB
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