Date of Award

Summer 8-2016

Embargo Period


Degree Type

Dissertation (CMU Access Only)

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Materials Science and Engineering


Anthony Rollett


A systematic investigation is presented into the microstructural and micromechanical influences on ductile damage nucleation with an emphasis on grain boundaries in polycrystals. Microstructures obtained from experiments on copper polycrystals are characterized using Electron Backscatter Diffraction (EBSD) and near-field High-Energy Diffraction Microscopy (nf-HEDM) and the occurrence of damage is compared with micromechanical values obtained using an elasto-viscoplastic model based on the Fast- Fourier Transform (EVPFFT). The model produces full-field solutions for the stress and strain in voxelized polycrystalline microstructures. In order to resolve the fields onto interfaces, local Cartesian moments of the polycrystalline grain structure are used to extract the normals of grain boundaries and the tangents of triple junctions directly from the voxelized microstructure. Thus projecting the stress yields a parameter with potential significance, i.e. the grain boundary surface tractions. We identify “traction hotspots”, i.e. regions with tractions that are significantly above the mean, for the case of uniaxial tension. These show correlations with the angle between the grain boundary normal and the loading axis, a trend that some experiments also show when boundaries that nucleated voids are analyzed using EBSD, though differences present between the simulation and experiment hint that further criteria are needed. Nf-HEDM was used to record microstructure images of a polycrystalline sample before and after it undergoes damage. The damage locations in the post-shocked image are mapped onto the pre-shocked image, allowing stress and strain values from the EVPFFT model in the regions that eventually nucleated damage to be correlated with the locations of the void. The unexpected result was that differences in plastic work across boundaries correlated with voids, whereas vi quantities such as triaxiality and normal forces across boundaries did not.