A new mechanism of strain transfer in polycrystals
Abstract: At the grain boundaries of plastically deforming polycrystals, strain transfer mechanisms can accommodate the shear strain carried by slip bands and mechanical twins to prevent stress build-ups and damage. So far, only the accommodation obtained through slip (and twinning) alone has been considered in the mechanism known as slip (and twin) transfer. Here, a strain transfer mechanism that also requires the rotation of the crystal lattice is demonstrated. A region of accumulated slip develops perpendicular to the active slip plane in the impinged grain. The slip gradients enable a localized lattice rotation that accommodates the shear strain in the incoming band, preventing the build-up of interfacial stresses. The mechanism operates preferentially at the boundaries between highly misoriented grains. Facilitating strain transfer at these interfaces opens up new possibilities to improve the mechanical properties of polycrystals, as discussed.