The dependence of the grain boundary character distribution for a Cu-4 at. % Ti polycrystal alloy (average grain size: 100 μm) on the nucleation of cellular discontinuous precipitates was systematically investigated. In an alloy over-aged at 723 K, cellular discontinuous precipitates consisted of a terminal Cu solid solution and a stable β-Cu4Ti lamellae nucleated at grain boundaries. Electron backscatter diffraction analysis revealed that the discontinuous precipitation reaction preferentially occurred at random grain boundaries with a Σ value of more than 21 according to the coincidence site lattice theory. On the other hand, few cellular discontinuous precipitates nucleated at low-angle and low-Σ boundaries, particularly twin (Σ 3) boundaries. These findings suggest that the nucleation of discontinuous precipitates is closely correlated with grain boundary character and structure, and hence energy and/or diffusibility. It should therefore be possible to suppress the discontinuous precipitation reaction through control of the alloy's grain boundary energy, by means of texture control and third elemental addition.
- Cu alloy
- Discontinuous precipitation
- Electron backscattering diffraction
- Grain boundary