Modelling grain growth in the framework of rational extended thermodynamics
Grain growth is a significant phenomenon for the thermomechanical processing of metals. Since the mobility of the grain boundaries is thermally activated and energy stored in the grain boundaries is released during their motion, a mutual interaction with the process conditions occurs. To model such phenomena, a thermodynamic framework for the representation of thermomechanical coupling phenomena in metals including a microstructure description is required. For this purpose, Rational Extended Thermodynamics appears to be a useful tool. We apply an entropy principle to derive a thermodynamically consistent model for grain coarsening due to the growth and shrinkage of individual grains. Despite the rather different approaches applied, we obtain a grain growth model which is similar to existing ones and can be regarded as a thermodynamic extension of that by Hillert (1965) to more general systems. To demonstrate the applicability of the model, we compare our simulation results to grain growth experiments in pure copper by different authors, which we are able to reproduce very accurately. Finally, we study the implications of the energy release due to grain growth on the energy balance. The present unified approach combining a microstructure description and continuum mechanics is ready to be further used to develop more elaborate material models for complex thermo-chemo-mechanical coupling phenomena.
Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft DFG