Probability of twin boundary formation associated with the nucleation of equiaxed grains on icosahedral quasicrystal templates
Recently, we have shown that minute Cr additions (typically 0.1 wt%) to Al-Zn alloys solidified in a uniform temperature field lead to the formation of fine equiaxed fcc Al grains . Furthermore, these grains exhibit an unexpectedly large number of twin, or near-twin, relationships with their nearest neighbors and some of them even show a 5-fold symmetry multi-twin relationship with a common < 110 > direction. Similar observations have been made for yellow gold alloys (Au-12.5wt%Cu-12.5wt%Ag) inoculated with very small amounts of Ir (5-200 ppm) . These results become fully consistent when one considers that the primary fcc phase forms on facets of icosahedral quasicrystals (iQC's), either by heteroepitaxy solidification or by peritectic transformation, with the following relationship: < 111 >(fcc) parallel to 3-fold symmetry iQC axes, < 110 >(fcc) perpendicular to 2-fold symmetry iQC axes. The present study contributes to a better understanding of the frequency of twin boundary formation by the nucleation of fcc phase from an iQC template. A simple stereological model for the formation of equiaxed grains on such iQC templates has been derived. It is based on a 3D Voronoi tessellation of randomly distributed and oriented iQC template centers. Each iQC nucleation template site is the origin of 20 fcc grains with the heteroepitaxy relationships mentioned above on the 20 facets of the iQC. Therefore, the neighboring grains having a common iQC nucleation site contributes to the twin boundary frequency, while those coming from different iQC sites have random grain boundary orientations. The twin boundary frequency of the grains nucleated from iQC templates seen in 2D metallographic sections is compared with that measured in EBSD reconstructed grain structures.