Mechanistic understanding based on experimental measurements of grain and crack tip deformation at relevant length scales is critical for improvement of physics-based modeling of microstructurally-sensitive fatigue crack propagation and for the computationally-assisted design of more durable materials. In this study, single-crystal, bi-crystal, and large-grain multi-crystal specimens of Al–Cu alloys are fabricated, characterized using electron backscattered diffraction (EBSD), and mechanically tested. In addition to conventional optic al–imaging based 3D image correlation (IC), scanning electron microscope (SEM) based high-resolution 2D IC is used to measure displacements within grain interiors, near crack tips, and grain boundaries. The use of micro-scale IC and EBSD-based experiments is discussed as they relate to the development of crystal-plasticity-based finite element models (CP–FEMs). This article specifically highlights experimental methods that have been developed to obtain the relevant data needed for CP–FEM calibration and validation.
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