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  1. Abstract

    Some of ultrafine-grained (UFG) metals including UFG twinning induced plasticity (TWIP) steels have been found to overcome the paradox of strength and ductility in metals benefiting from their unique deformation modes. Here, this study provides insights into the atomistic process of deformation twin nucleation at Σ3{111} twin boundaries, the dominant type of grain boundary in this UFG high manganese TWIP steel. In response to the applied tensile stresses, grain boundary sliding takes place which changes the structure of coherent Σ3{111} twin boundary from atomistically smooth to partly defective. High resolution transmission electron microscopy demonstrates that the formation of disconnection on Σ3{111} twin boundaries is associated with the motion of Shockley partial dislocations on the boundaries. The twin boundary disconnections act as preferential nucleation sites for deformation twin that is a characteristic difference from the coarse-grained counterpart, and is likely correlated with the lethargy of grain interior dislocation activities, frequently seen in UFG metals. The deformation twin nucleation behavior will be discussed based on in-situ TEM deformation experiments and nanoscale strain distribution analyses results.

     
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  2. Abstract

    In polycrystalline materials, grain boundaries are known to be a critical microstructural component controlling material’s mechanical properties, and their characters such as misorientation and crystallographic boundary planes would also influence the dislocation dynamics. Nevertheless, many of generally used mechanistic models for deformation twin nucleation in fcc metal do not take considerable care of the role of grain boundary characters. Here, we experimentally reveal that deformation twin nucleation occurs at an annealing twin (Σ3{111}) boundary in a high-Mn austenitic steel when dislocation pile-up at Σ3{111} boundary produced a local stress exceeding the twining stress, while no obvious local stress concentration was required at relatively high-energy grain boundaries such as Σ21 or Σ31. A periodic contrast reversal associated with a sequential stacking faults emission from Σ3{111} boundary was observed by in-situ transmission electron microscopy (TEM) deformation experiments, proving the successive layer-by-layer stacking fault emission was the deformation twin nucleation mechanism, different from the previously reported observations in the high-Mn steels. Since this is also true for the observed high Σ-value boundaries in this study, our observation demonstrates the practical importance of taking grain boundary characters into account to understand the deformation twin nucleation mechanism besides well-known factors such as stacking fault energy and grain size.

     
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