Published: Jan 1986
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The evolution of microstructure during powder consolidation consists of the disintegration of a connected network of porosity into separate parts, which ultimately disappear, and the integration of a grain boundary network from initially separated fragments into a connected network, which coarsens. The path by which these two processes develop depends upon the initial powder and its stack, the processing sequence, and the competition of various transport processes that produce microstructural changes. The properties of the material depend upon its final structure, which is the end point of the evolutionary path.
Stereology provides the means for characterizing the geometric properties of microstructures along the paths of evolution of the pore and grain boundary networks.
This paper reviews both the levels of description of the microstructural state and the principles involved in describing the evolution of the microstructural state during processing. These principles are illustrated with applications to evolving porous structures.
aluminum alloys, powder metallurgy, stereology, microstructural evolution
Professor, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL