Slip transmission of high angle grain boundaries in body-centered cubic metals: Micropillar compression of pure Ta single and bi-crystals

Jordan S. Weaver, Nan Li, Nathan A. Mara, David R. Jones, Hansohl Cho, Curt A. Bronkhorst, Saryu J. Fensin, George T. Gray

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Here we seek to probe and understand the mechanical behavior of grain boundaries in pure Ta as a model bcc material using micropillar compression experiments. Three high angle grain boundaries are chosen with varying crystal orientations. Multiple bi-crystal pillars are prepared containing a single, nearly vertical grain boundary in the approximate center of the pillar and compared against their single crystalline pillar counterparts. The main phenomenon of interest was slip transmission or strain transfer in the bi-crystals which was considered to occur when slip traces aligned across the grain boundary. This occurred in two of the three bi-crystals. These observations were compared against two slip transmission factors, m=cos(ψ)cos(κ) and LRB=cos(θ)cos(κ), where ψ,θ,andκ are the angles between the slip vectors, slip plane normals, and the intersection of the slip planes with the grain boundary from the slip systems on either side of the grain boundary. Additionally, transmission was compared against the stress-strain response and overall deformation (i.e., sheared boundary) of the bi-crystal. The transmission factors exhibited a consistent behavior with slip transmission occurring for high transmission factors and not occurring for low transmission factors. For example, slip transmission occurred for m≥ 0.85 and did not occur for m≤ 0.46. The engineering stress-strain response and overall deformation behavior did not show correlations with the presence or absence of slip transmission. High angle boundaries in bcc metals are shown to represent a diverse set of responses in bi-crystalline micropillar compression experiments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)356-368
Number of pages13
JournalActa Materialia
StatePublished - Sep 1 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors acknowledge funding from Los Alamos National Laboratory ( LANL ), Laboratory Directed Exploratory Research ( LDRD ) program. This work was performed, in part, at the Center for Integrated Nanotechnologies, an Office of Science User Facility operated for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science. Los Alamos National Laboratory, an affirmative action equal opportunity employer, is operated by Los Alamos National Security, LLC, for the National Nuclear Security Administration of the U.S. Department of Energy under contract DE-AC52-06NA25396. We wish to thank Roberta Beal, Veronica Livescu, and Dr. Rodney McCabe of LANL for their insight into metallographic and microscopy endeavors. Likewise, we are grateful to Dr. Ben Morrow of LANL and Dr. Siddhartha Pathak of University of Nevada, Reno for their guidance in FIB milling. Finally, we wish to acknowledge the supportive discussions of Dr. Eric Hahn of LANL on bi-crystal Ta deformation.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Acta Materialia Inc.


  • Crystal plasticity
  • Electron microscopy
  • In-situ
  • Mechanical testing
  • Slip trace analysis


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