Connectivity and percolation in simulated grain-boundary networks

TitleConnectivity and percolation in simulated grain-boundary networks
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2003
AuthorsSchuh, CA, Minich, RW, Kumar, M
JournalPhilosophical Magazine
Pagination711 - 726
Date Published2003/02/21/

Random percolation theory is a common basis for modelling intergranular phenomena such as cracking, corrosion or diffusion. However, crystallographic constraints in real micro structures dictate that grain boundaries are not assembled at random. In this work a Monte Carlo method is used to construct physically realistic networks composed of high-angle grain boundaries that are susceptible to intergranular attack, as well as twin-variant boundaries that are damage resistant. When crystallographic constraints are enforced, the simulated networks exhibit triple-junction distributions that agree with experiment and reveal the non-random nature of grain-boundary connectivity. The percolation threshold has been determined for several constrained boundary networks and is substantially different from the classical result of percolation theory; compared with a randomly assembled network, about 50-75% more resistant boundaries are required to break up the network of susceptible boundaries. Triple-junction distributions are also shown to capture many details of the correlated percolation problem and to provide a simple means of ranking micro structures.