Real Time Control of Grain Growth in Metals
This project developed new methodologies to control adaptively the evolution of materials microstructure during thermal processing, through integration of simulation, real-time measurement, and control algorithms. The specific implementation focused on the spatial control of grain microstructure during thermal processing of polycrystalline copper. Monte Carlo and phase field simulations were used to predict the trajectory of microstructure evolution, and real-time measurements of local microstructure, crystallography and temperature using a multi-zone heater array in a scanning electron microscopy. When measurements showsedsignificant deviation from the planned / simulated trajectory, corrections were implemented through control algorithms. Multiple graduate students trained through this research became expert in the integrated application of experimental, simulation and data sciences to the acceleration of materials processing technologies.