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Methods used to measure planar grain size, either manually or by image analysis, are reviewed based on their historical development and their relationship to basic stereological concepts. The methods discussed include comparison techniques employing standard charts or the Shepherd fracture grain size standards; measurement techniques based on determination of the number of grains per unit area (Jeffries method), the number of triple points per unit area, or the number of grains intercepted or grain boundaries intersected per unit length of a test line (Heyn method); and correlations based on grain shape assumptions for estimating spatial grain size characteristics. Specific procedures for measuring the grain size of nonequiaxed, duplex, or multiphased grain structures are also discussed. Examples of these techniques are given, along with information about the accuracy of grain size measurements.
grain size, grain size distribution, grain shape, grain boundaries, quantitative metallography, etching, automatic image analysis
Vander Voort, GF
Supervisor, Applied Physics Research and Development, Carpenter Technology Corp., Reading, Pa.