We have evaluated the liquid Ga penetration into an aluminium alloy by high-resolution X-ray tomography. The 3D visualization of a crack together with its surrounding grain structure was performed with the help of the Ga penetration technique. It is found that the advance directions of the crack-tip were strongly influenced by the grain microstructure and the branching of the crack is affected by grain distribution. In this study, the liquid Ga not only acts as a contrast agent for grain boundaries, but also expands the volume of the Al alloy due to Ga diffusion and associated processes. The 3D strain between the grains has been determined by microstructural gauging technique, which uses micropores as marker points. The 3D expansion of the sample volume, the volume reduction of micropores and the brittle fracture were evidently observed.
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