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Factors affecting the accuracy and precision of quantitative description of materials microstructure

Jan Cwajna 

Silesian University of Technology, Department of Materials Science, KrasiƄskiego 8, Katowice 40-019, Poland


The required properties of structural criteria for materials quality assessment are discussed. An example of the application of various 3D computer simulated models of polycrystalline materials microstructure for assessment of accuracy and versatility of hitherto used methods for the determination of grain volume distribution parameters is presented. It shows that none of these methods ensured the required accuracy and versatility of grain size evaluation at acceptable labour consumption. The new empirical relationships between parameters of distribution of plane section area and grains volume were determined. They are the basis of simple method for grain size estimation.
The importance of proper selection of morphological and stereological parameters was shown on the ground of the improvement of quantitative description of sintered carbides microstructure. New empirical relationships between structural factors and properties of these materials are presented.
The effect of sample preparation technique, image acquisition and image analysis method on the precision of plane section area of grains and particles was analysed. The methodological conditions of obtaining repeatable results of quantitative description of microstructure of selected metallic materials, ceramics and composites were established.
The application of area weighted distribution of parameters describing grains or particles size as well of "structural maps" presenting diversification of microstructure on transverse and longitudinal cross sections of metallurgical products in the study of inhomogeneous microstructures are presented. They enable to increase the clarity and usefulness of quantitative description of materials microstructure.


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Presentation: invited oral at E-MRS Fall Meeting 2003, Symposium G, by Jan Cwajna
See On-line Journal of E-MRS Fall Meeting 2003

Submitted: 2003-05-08 12:32
Revised:   2009-06-08 12:55