Grain Boundary Phase Transitions and their Influence on Properties of Polycrystals


Grain boundary (GB) phase transitions can change drastically the properties of polycrystals. The GB wetting phase transition can occur in the two-phase area of the bulk phase diagram where the liquid (L) and solid (S) phases are in equlibrium. The GB wetting tie line appears in the L+S area. Above the temperature of the GB wetting phase transition a GB can not exist in equlibrium with the liquid bulk phase. The liquid phase has to substitute the GB and to separate both grains. The experimental data on GB wetting phase transitions in the systems Al– Sn, Al–Ga, Al–Sn–Ga, Cu–In, Cu–Bi, Fe–Si–Zn, Mo–Ni, W–Ni, Zn–Sn and Zn–In are analysed. The GB wetting tie line can continue in the one-phase area of the bulk phase diagram as a GB solidus line. This line represents the GB premelting or prewetting phase transitions. The GB properties change drastically when the GB solidus line is crossed by a change in the temperature or concentration. The experimental data on GB segregation, energy, mobility and diffusivity in the systems Cu–Bi, Al–Ga, Al–Pb and Fe–Si–Zn obtained both in polycrystals and bicrystals are analysed.