Grain boundary tracking: A four-dimensional visualization technique for determining grain boundary geometry via local strain mapping

Hiroyuki Toda, Yoshikazu Ohkawa, Takanobu Kamiko, Takuma Naganuma, Kentaro Uesugi, Akihisa Takeuchi, Yoshio Suzuki, Masakazu Kobayashi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

21 Citations (Scopus)


A procedure for determining three-dimensional grain boundary geometry and its change under external loading is proposed for evaluating crystallographic deformation behaviours in polycrystalline materials, and the feasibility of this approach is confirmed for an aluminium alloy. X-ray microtomography has been combined with gallium-enhanced microscopy, in which grains are visualized in three dimensions by decorating grain boundaries with liquid gallium. Grain boundary particles are then extracted by comparing tomographic images with and without the gallium application. Three-dimensional reconstruction of grains is achieved using a connection scheme based on triplets of non-aligned points on grain boundaries. The deformation of the closed polygonal grains is visualized by combining the above technique with a microstructural tracking technique, in which the paths of particles are reconstructed by matching each pair of particles in consecutive images. This process also enables high-density four-dimensional strain mapping by tracking particles located in grains, providing direct interpretation of localized deformation caused by interaction between neighbouring grains.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5535-5548
Number of pages14
JournalActa Materialia
Issue number14
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2013


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Metals and Alloys

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