Uncovering Mechanisms of Grain Boundary Migration in Polycrystals for Predictive Simulations of Grain Growth
Most solid materials, including metals, ceramics, and even some polymers, have an internal network of grain boundaries that separate individual crystals. This grain boundary network strongly influences materials properties and, therefore, is important for the design of automobiles, aircraft, computers, and many other devices. The goal of this research is to develop accurate predictive simulations for the evolution of the grain boundary network in metals and ceramics. These simulations will accelerate the incorporation of polycrystalline components into devices and structures by defining processing conditions to achieve specific microstructures and properties. The project will rely on iterative feedback between experimental observations of grain growth, new theories for grain boundary migration, and computer simulations of the evolution of the grain boundary network. In this way, it is aligned with the Materials Genome Initiative.