In a weakly textured material with relatively pore-free and homogeneous microstructure, the local texture can influence primary crack propagation and secondary crack initiation, depending on specific microtexture cluster size. Moreover, the plastic strain assessment and strain quantity within individual grains are essential for understanding the material susceptibility to crack initiation and propagation at various loading conditions and temperature ranges. In the current study, electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD) is applied to measure the plastic strain present in RR1000 nickel-based superalloy microstructure following thermo-mechanical fatigue tests. The EBSD plastic strain measurements are evaluated to identify the distinctive deformation mode within individual grains. It was evident from the overall statistical analyses carried out for over 2000 grains that cube (001//loading direction) and near cube orientations (φ1,Φ,φ2: 0, 0–15, 0) behaved as “soft” grains with a high Schmid factor and contained low geometrically necessary dislocation (GND) density as a result of low strain hardening at the early stage of deformation for such grains. The near cube orientation (typically φ1,Φ,φ2: 0, 9, 0) was the softest orientation among the cube family. While the brass grains (111//loading direction) acted as “hard” grains that have the lowest Schmid factor with the highest Taylor factor and GND density compared with other oriented grains. A high GND content was found in the vicinity of the grain boundaries in the soft grains and on slip plane traces within the hard grains. It is concluded that GND absolute value for each grain can vary, as it is interrelated with deformation degree, but the GND locations within the grains give indications of the strain hardening state and deformation stages in hard and soft grains. Furthermore, the areas with random local texture contained high strain incompatibilities between neighbouring grains, and generated microtexture clusters that prompt preferential secondary crack initiation and propagation.
S. Biroscaa, F. Di Gioacchinob, S. Stekovicc, M. Hardyc
a. Materials Research Centre, College of Engineering, Swansea University, Singleton Park, Swansea SA2 8PP, UK
b. Department of Materials Science and Metallurgy, University of Cambridge, 27 Charles Babbage Road, Cambridge CB3 0FS, UK
c. Rolls-Royce plc, PO Box 31, Moor Lane, Derby DE24 8BJ, UK
Acta Materialia 74 (2014) Pages 110–124, doi.org/10.1016/j.actamat.2014.04.039 1359-6454/ 2014