Particle tracking during Ostwald ripening using time-resolved laboratory X-ray microtomography

T. Werz, M. Baumann, U. Wolfram, C. E. Krill III

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Abstract

Laboratory X-ray microtomography is investigated as a method for obtaining time-resolved images of microstructural coarsening of the semisolid state of Al-5 wt.% Cu samples during Ostwald ripening. Owing to the 3D imaging capability of tomography, this technique uniquely provides access to the growth rates of individual particles, thereby not only allowing a statistical characterization of coarsening-as has long been possible by conventional metallography-but also enabling quantification of the influence of local environment on particle boundary migration. The latter information is crucial to understanding growth kinetics during Ostwald ripening at high volume fractions of the coarsening phase. Automated image processing and segmentation routines were developed to close gaps in the network of particle boundaries and to track individual particles from one annealing step to the next. The particle tracking success rate places an upper bound of only a few percent on the likelihood of segmentation errors for any given particle. The accuracy of particle size trajectories extracted from the time-resolved tomographic reconstructions is correspondingly high. Statistically averaged coarsening data and individual particle growth rates are in excellent agreement with the results of prior experimental studies and with computer simulations of Ostwald ripening. (c) 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)185-195
Number of pages11
JournalMaterials Characterization
Volume90
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2014

Keywords

  • Ostwald ripening
  • X-ray microtomography
  • Image segmentation
  • HIGH-VOLUME FRACTION
  • SOLID-LIQUID-MIXTURES
  • MICROSTRUCTURAL CHANGES
  • MATERIALS SCIENCE
  • PHASE
  • SIMULATION
  • KINETICS
  • ALLOY
  • FIELD
  • TOMOGRAPHY

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