Temperature dependent grain boundary migration in deformed-then-annealed material: Observations from experimentally deformed synthetic rocksalt

S. Piazolo*, M. Bestmann, D. J. Prior, C. J. Spiers

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    71 Citations (Scopus)


    Grain boundary migration between strained, substructured grains and newly appearing, strain free grains has been observed during static in-situ annealing of pre-deformed rocksalt in the SEM. With increasing temperature (T) the migration velocity increases and the character of grain boundary migration changes. As temperature increases there is an increase in the length of individual migrating boundary segments that move at similar rates. In addition, the frequency of migrating boundaries that form traces of a {100} boundary plane of at least one of the crystals involved increases, and moving grain boundaries between new and old grains change from highly irregular to smooth, straight boundaries. At the same time there is a decrease in the influence of the substructure of pre-existing strained grains on the grain boundary movement. Resultant microstructures reflect these changes. At ∼ 325-350 °C, the deformed-then-annealed microstructure is characterized by very irregular grain boundaries, a high abundance of 5-50 m scale remnants of old, substructured grains within new grains, giving a poikilitic microstructure. At ∼ 350-400 °C, grain boundaries often exhibit elongate embayments into the strained grains and most remnants of old, strained grains are located at former grain boundaries. At > 400 °C, grain boundaries between new and old, strained grains are straight to smoothly curved. The grain boundary velocity observations are explained by the effect of temperature on mobility coupled with local driving force variations. Additionally, at low annealing temperature, impurity (solute) drag and driving-force variations are influential, while at high temperature the anisotropy in grain boundary energy with crystallographic orientation becomes more important. Transferring the knowledge from our experiments to geological samples enables us to recognize and interpret similar microstructures in rocks, thereby making it is possible to relate microstructural characteristics to the pre-annealing and post-deformational annealing history. Crown

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)55-71
    Number of pages17
    Issue number1-4
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2006


    • Annealing
    • Grain boundary migration
    • Heating experiments
    • Post-deformational annealing
    • Rocksalt


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