PhD Studentship: Development and application of 3D X-ray Diffraction for the study of phase transformations in metallic materials

Website DiamondLightSou Diamond Light Source

Supervisors & Universities

University: University of Birmingham
University Supervisor: Dr. David Collins
University Group: School of Metallurgy & Materials
Diamond Supervisor: Dr. Thomas Connolley
Diamond Group: Beamline I12

Project Description

Experiments determining the behaviour of individual crystals with the knowledge of their position in 3D allows new, exciting insights in materials to be discovered. This project will enable such experiments to be performed in the UK for the first time. These new experimental methods will be used to reveal how and why certain industrially-important alloys undergo phase transformations when deformed. Since the late 1990s, several X-ray methods have been developed for identifying and mapping grains in three dimensions in polycrystalline materials. One of these techniques, known as three-dimensional X-ray diffraction (3DXRD) microscopy (Poulsen et al., 2001; Juul-Jensen et al., 2006) has been applied in studies of various dynamic phenomena in metals, such a recrystallization, grain growth, phase transformation and plastic deformation. However, such an experimental capability does not exist in the UK. The goal of the project is to develop the 3DXRD capability at Diamond Light Source, using proven methods for indexing multi-grain diffraction data. For this the forward simulation approach (Schmidt, J. Appl. Cryst. 47 (2014) 276-284) is proposed, because the published methodology is clear, and data processing software is available. The technique will then be applied to study deformation in metallic materials where deformation is dependent on neighbourhood effects, as is the case in Transformation Induced Plasticity (TRIP) steels and shape memory alloys. The project will concentrate on TRIP steels, driven by their technical applications and hence the importance of understanding how they behave in order to improve their formability. Preliminary work will be carried out on single phase ferritic steel for validation of the methodology. The experimental work will combine in-situ 3DXRD experiments during heating and loading at DLS with complementary in-situ heating and loading in a scanning electron microscope at the University of Birmingham.

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