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Scripta METALLURGICA Vol. 25, pp.

1557-1562, 1991 Pergamon Press plc
et MATERIALIA Printed in the U.S.A. All rights reserved

GEOMETRICALLY NECESSARY, INCIDENTAL AND SUBGRAIN BOUNDARIES

D. Kuhlmann-Wilsdorf
University of Virginia, Department of Materials Science
Charlottesville, VA 22901
and
Niels Hansen
Materials Department, Riso National Laboratory
DK-4000 Roskilde, Denmark
(Received April 22, 1991)

Introduction

In the course of polyslip, materials deforming via dislocation motion break up into mutually misoriented
volume elements on three levels. The most pervasive and of smallest scale is the "mosaic block structure"
formed of mutually misoriented dislocation cells separated by dislocation cell boundaries. On the other
end of the scale, already the first published micrographs on slip lines, in the classic paper by Ewing and
Rosenhain (1), document the break-up of crystal grains into domains with different operative slip system
combinations. These domains are clearly caused by stress variations due to the interference among
neighboring grains. Geometrically as well as from other early slip line evidence (1-3) it is apparent that
there are typically more than ten but less than one hundred domains per grain, in each of which com-
monly three to five slip systems operate simultaneously. Likewise it is obvious that interpenetrating glide
on different combinations of slip systems, causes lattice rotations which initially increase fast with strain
but sooner or later lead to a final orientation depending on the selection of operative systems, e.g. <112>
parallel to the tensile axis in double glide of fcc single crystals. As a direct geometrical consequence,
boundaries must arise between the different domains. The boundaries are undoubtedly somewhat
diffuse initially but presumably sharpen up with strain.

Related pioneering observations document the evolution of those lattice misorientations within grains
in the course of straining, partly obtained with the Berg-Barrett method (4,5), partly with direct x-ray
reflexes (6-9), and partly through metallography, notably by Wood and co-workers (6,7). All of the
studies demonstrated that plastic deformation of polycrystals leads to the break-up of grains into volume
elements of mutually misoriented material giving rise to fragmentation of x-ray spots and clearly visible
tilts on an initially smooth metallographically polished surface, on a scale much larger than dislocation
cells.

An additional form of fragrnentation but on an intermediate scale, namely into "cell blocks" (10-13) which
are typically much smaller than the domains, has been discovered only recently. This break-up was
recognized through the observation of "dense dislocation walls" and "microbands" (11,14) which, on
account of their much greater length and associated rotation angles, geometrically must delineate volume
elements larger and more strongly misoriented than individual cells. Mathematically such misorien-
tations can be explained only through the operation of different selections of glide systems within the
so delineated volume elements, i.e. the cell blocks.

Sharp boundaries across which the combination of slip systems and associated lattice misorientations
change, and which may be reasonably identified with cell block boundaries, were indeed observed in
early electron microscopical observations of aluminum single crystals (15-17) and also on copper and
silver (18), see Fig. 1; but their true nature and origin was not recognized until now. More recent

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3 illustrating the break up of grains into domains on a large scale (19) and into cell blocks and these into cells. 7 FIG. the cell blocks shrink in size more rapidly than the dislocation cells in them so that the number of dislocation cells per cell block decreases. As straining proceeds. FIG. . The misorientations between the cell blocks is likely to be a major cause of the angular spread of defor- mation texture components. 19). ultimately down to one (11). No. 3 of ref. observations are shown in Fig. 16). Note the evident change of operative slip systems across the boundary and the surface tilt indicated b y the sudden change of background contrast (Fig. visible on an electron microscopical replica of slip lines on an aluminum single crystal strained 36% in tension. 2 and Fig. 25. in this case almost certainly a cell block boundary.1558 SUBGRAIN BOUNDARIES Vol. 1: Geometrically necessary boundary. 31 of ref. on a smaller scale (11). 2: Grain break up visible in a channelling contrast micrograph of a polycrystalline aluminum strained 5% in tension (Fig.

namely GEOMETRICALLYNECESSARYBOUNDARIES.22) both cell walls and deformation bands are generated only because energy minimization yields dislocation boundaries as the lowest energy configuration of mutually trapped dislocations (10). 11). In accordance with tlhe LEDS principle and Frank's formula (21. namely domain boundaries. In addition. dislocations can bow through them. traditional "deformation bands" belong to the class of incidental dislocation boundaries. 3: Grain break-up into cell blocks of ordinary dislocation cells delineated by dense dislocation wails (D) and microbands (M). Geometrically Necessary. they have very similar basic properties. . Also. In accordance with their mode of formation.to which ordinary grain boundaries and twin boundaries also belong. As such. in accordance with the evidence discussed above. (Fig. the misorientation across cell walls is much smaller on average than that of cell block wails but continues to rise as work harden- ing progresses. Their micrographical appearance can differ greatly to include all types of "dense dislocation walls" and "microbands" (11-14). No. cell block boundaries and cell boundaries. 7 SUBGRAIN BOUNDARIES 1559 FIG. To the extent that all three types are composed of dislocations they may be difficult to distinguish in TEM micrographs. be seen as represen- tatives of that class of boundaries. By contrast. the average angular misorientation across domain bound- aries and cell block boundaries increases with strain at the start of deformation. which is why it has taken so long to understand their underlying geometrical simplicity. Initially they do not result from changes in slip systems or slip systems combinations. 25. but saturates at larger strains. they are equally bound to obey the LEDS principle (10).Vol. However. The rolling reduction is 30% and the rolling direction is marked 'rd'. Therefore. cell wails represent what from now on shall be called INCIDENTALDISLOCATIONBOUNDARIES because they are due to the statistical mutual trapping of glide dislocations. from now on. at least in their early phase. 3 of ref. be generated from them or be annihilated at them. they are geometrically necessary and will. and Incidental Boundaries Clearly. plastically deformed polycrystals exhibit at least three types of boundaries formed by glide dislocations. often supplemented by "forest" dislocations (10). the angular misorientations across the cell block bound- aries and domain boundaries are controlled by the glide-induced lattice rotations in the adjoining volume elements. However. These deformation bands are initiated by edge dislocation trapping on the primary system. upon continued straining they may cause the subsequent operation of additional systems (20).

respectively.e. when fully evolved. To these. and this in turn to the flow stress minus the friction stress (-c . As a result. as previously noted by Thompson (27). Such a structure is indistinguishable from the former in which different slip system combinations operate in each cell. Equation 2 is also accounted for by the mesh length theory (10.-co) = K2 GC~'I D ~ (3) where DCNB is the spacing of the geometrically necessary boundaries and K2 is a constant. Subgrain Boundaries The logical consequence of a gradual increase of the angles between dislocation cells (eq.1560 SUBGRAIN BOUNDARIES Vol. ( z G b / 3 ( z .-co) (i) with G and b the shear modulus and Burgers vector."co) . in accordance with the very widely observed empirical relationship (23) ('~ . A final logical conclusion to this line of argument is that the subgrain structure.14).. namely the elimination of the bowing-out stress leaving only the the contribution from geometrically necessary boundaries (eq. as (-c . However. It is further suggested that the formation of the described structure through continued straining entails the elimination of one of the normal two components of the flow stress.4. b / O . 3). At the other extreme. and that the term SUBGRAINBOUNDARIESapplies to this.-co). No.. 0. the subgrain structure will normally best be considered as a cell block structure which has degenerated to single cells albeit with an unusually large rotation angle between neighboring cells/subgrains. during the course of deformations in which one or two specimen dimensions are greatly reduced. At this stage the cell wails are identical to cell blocks walls and are no longer incidental but geometrically necessary boundaries. i. the geometrically necessary boundaries do only contribute a small amount to the flow stress. It is hereby suggested that the described structure is in fact that which has previously been called the "subgrain structure". the spacing of the geometrically necessary boundaries decreases continuously.. Again. and c~ . 3) applies. therefore. only.26).q According to the mesh length theory (10) the rotation angle (O) across cell wails is directly related to the average free dislocation length (1).. The dislocation cell diameter (D) is simply related to the shear stress. being different in neighboring cells. indeed of all types including grain boundaries may contribute to the flow stress in accordance with the Hall-Petch relationship (10. 1) is the ultimate accumulation of misorientations so large that additional slip systems are triggered. The geometrically necessary boundaries. as 1 . the process could be accompanied by a transient lowering of the flow stress.24. 25. the logical conclusion to the observed process of cell blocks being refined faster than the cell structure is cell blocks finally consisting of only one cell each. domain and grain boundaries which unlike the cell block boundaries are essentially immobile.25). In particular. Normally the subgrain structure will be approached through the gradual reduction of the number of cells per cell block rather than a critical increase of angle between individual cells.. the Hall-Petch relationship (eq. Since initially Dcn6 is much larger than D. become more closely spaced and thus their effect on flow stress continues to increase with strain. K I G b / D (2) where K1 is a constant about 10. could be prone . 7 Effect of Geometrically Necessary and Incidental Boundaries on Flow Strf. Thus.q. only geometrically necessary boundaries remain. such as in sheet rolling or wire drawing (13.

89. The domains then subdivide into "cell blocks". the grains break up into domains within which the selection of operative slip systems differs. 1039 (1990). 4) W. Roy.Vol... such boundaries appear as "dense dislocation walls" and "microbands". They are therefore named "geometrically necessary boundaries". In materials deforming with a cell structure. angewandte Physik. Proc.A. Hansen. W. ordinary dislocation cell bound- aries as well as traditional "deformation bands" arise from the mutual trapping of dislocations into low- energy configurations. No. 14) C. Burns. 253 (1985). 3) D. 65 (1899) and Phil. Kuhlmann-Wilsdorf. 193. 7 SUBGRAIN BOUNDARIES 1561 to superplasticity.. 137. Bay.A. Wood. Kuhlmann-Wilsdorf and H. 6) W. 722 (1949) (In Journal of Metals). Kemmey. Wood and R.Y. Geometrically necessary bound- aries are distinguished from ordinary dislocation cell boundaries by the absence of a change of glide systems across the latter. D. Soc. 12) N. 129 (1950). Hansen. Kuhlmann. 7) W. Met. Kuhlmann-Wilsdorf. They. 1 (1989). Hughes and D. The boundaries between cell blocks and/or domains accommodate the lattice misorientations which result from glide on the different slip system combinations. The average spacing of dislocation cell walls is inverse proportional to the flow stress whereas geometrically necess- ary boundaries obey the Hall-Petch relationship. 394 (1953). N. 15) H. Barlow. 76.H. Soc. Piccatinny Arsenal) is gratefully acknowledged by D. 41. 4. Bay and N. Tech. Scrutton. Barrett. 2) D. Wilsdoff and D. Arlington. J. 17) H. like all boundaries capable of accommodating variable lattice misorientations. 16) H. 6. Inst. Cell walls are then no longer incidental boundaries but geometrically necessary boundaries. VA. Engr. et Mater. A precondition for superplasticity would be however that other boundaries such as grain and twin boundaries contribute only a constant increment to the flow stress. Met. Barrett and L. Am. Such cell boundaries or walls are therefore named "incidental dislocation bound- aries". 286 (1934). 113 (1940). AIME. VA. 9) E. N: Hansen and D. ibid. 385 (1989). 13) B. 161. Woodard. Trans. Tribology) of the Office of Naval Research. Hansen. Rachinger. 15 (1945). 18) D. Inst. 77. 8) C. Kuhlmann-Wilsdorf.A. Caiman and B. Wilsdorf and D.. Wilsdoff and D. The misorientation across incidental boundaries is typically much smaller than for geometrically necessary boundaries. Mater. Bay. in the press. Gora. Eng. Such boundaries are termed "subgrain boundaries". monitored by T. References 1) J. Met. Inst. Trans. 418.A. Sci. 353 (1900). Zeits. in that it is no longer subject to either dislocation accumulation or lattice rotations. Kuhlmann-Wilsdorf. Ewing and W. A further distinction is their respective influence on the flow stress.F. Kuhlmann-Wilsdorf. ibid. A. Acta Met.445 (1950). Locally. Mater. 25. Inst. 423 (1950). p. Lewenson. Rosenhaln. Al13. Krist.H. 361 (1952). Acta Met. Zeitschrift f~ir MetaUkunde. 237 (1950). Acknowledgement Financial support for this research through the Materials Division (M. Microscopically. Metals Trans. TrO.B. and through the Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (13. Sci. Kuhlmann-Wilsdorf.S. Met. Summary_ During the deformation of polycrystals. Trans. Philos. J. Min. Al13. At increasing strain the angles between dislocation cells increase and different slip system combinations can operate in neighbouring cells. 11) B. 409. are composed of dislocations.S. each group of cell blocks comes near to fulfilling the Taylor criterion when taken collectively. 51. Berg. . Arlington. B. Mat. "Slip Lines". 10) D. Sci. 5) C. Engr. Mag.D.. Peterson. Z. Since they tend to occur more frequently the incidental boundaries typically control the flow stress. f. 185. Kuhimann-Wilsdorf. Met. p.. J. Wilsdorf. but the number of active glide systems in any one cell block is fewer than predicted. 77. 1.A.

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