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The Two-step nucleation of G-phase in ferrite

Matsukawa, Yoshitaka*; Takeuchi, Tomoaki  ; Kakubo, Yuta*; Suzudo, Tomoaki ; Watanabe, Hideo*; Abe, Hiroaki*; Toyama, Takeshi*; Nagai, Yasuyoshi*

Atom probe tomography (APT) and TEM were combined for identifying the stage at which solute clusters transform into compounds crystallographically distinct from the matrix, in the precipitation of the G-phase (Ni$$_{16}$$Si$$_{7}$$Mn$$_{6}$$) from ferrite solid solution subjected to isothermal annealing at 673 K. Based on a systematic analysis of solute clusters as a function of annealing time, the nucleation of the G-phase was found to occur via a two-step process. Moreover, the structural change was found to occur via another two-step process. There was a time lag between the end of cluster growth to become a critical size and the start of the structural change. During the incubation period solute enrichment occurred inside the clusters without further size growth, indicating that the nucleation of the G-phase occurs at the critical size with a critical composition. Judging from the results of APT, TEM and the simulation of electron diffraction patterns, the critical composition was estimated to be Ni$$_{16}$$Si$$_{3.5}$$(Fe,Cr)$$_{3.5}$$Mn$$_{6}$$.

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Category:Materials Science, Multidisciplinary

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