Precipitate statistics in an Al-Mg-Si-Cu alloy from scanning precession electron diffraction data
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionJournal of Physics, Conference Series. 2017, 902 (1), . 10.1088/1742-6596/902/1/012022
The key microstructural feature providing strength to age-hardenable Al alloys is nanoscale precipitates. Alloy development requires a reliable statistical assessment of these precipitates, in order to link the microstructure with material properties. Here, it is demonstrated that scanning precession electron diffraction combined with computational analysis enable the semi-automated extraction of precipitate statistics in an Al-Mg-Si-Cu alloy. Among the main findings is the precipitate number density, which agrees well with a conventional method based on manual counting and measurements. By virtue of its data analysis objectivity, our methodology is therefore seen as an advantageous alternative to existing routines, offering reproducibility and efficiency in alloy statistics. Additional results include improved qualitative information on phase distributions. The developed procedure is generic and applicable to any material containing nanoscale precipitates.