Further understanding of mesoscale slip mechanics is crucial to future development of polycrystalline metals with improved performance. The research contained within this thesis aims to characterize localized mesoscale slip on slip bands further through two studies. First, a comprehensive comparison of slip system identification techniques was carried out to further validate each method as well as compare advantages and disadvantages of each. Second, slip bands in the presence of grain boundaries were studied to better characterize the dislocation content and behavior. In the first study, the use of SEM-DIC, AFM, ECCI, and HR-EBSD to characterize slip-system activity was assessed on the same material volume of Ti-7Al. This study presents a robust comparison of the various methods for the first time, including an assessment of their advantages and disadvantages, and how they can be used effectively in a complementary manner. The analysis of the different approaches was carried out in a blind manner independently at three different universities. A Ti-7Al specimen was deformed in uniaxial tension to approximately 3% axial strain, and the active slip systems were independently identified using (i) trace analysis; (ii) in-SEM digital image correlation, (iii) observations of residual dislocations from ECCI, and (iv) long-range rotation gradients through HR-EBSD, with consistent trace identification in all cases. Displacement data from AFM was used to augment the SEM-DIC displacement data by providing complementary out of plane displacement information. Furthermore, short-range dislocation gradients (measured by DIC) provided insight into the residual geometrically necessary dislocation (GND) content, and was consistent with the GND content extracted from EBSD data and ECCI images, confirming the presence of residual GNDs on the dominant slip systems resulting in visible slip bands. These approaches can be used in tandem to provide multi-modal information on slip band identification, strain and orientation gradients, out-of-plane displacements, and the presence of GNDs and SSDs, all of which can be used to inform and validate the development of dislocation-based crystal plasticity and strain gradient models. In the second study, shear strain profiles along slip bands in a modified Rolls-Royce nickel superalloy (RR1000) were analyzed for a tensile sample deformed by 2%. The strain increased with distance away from a grain boundary (GB), with maximum shear strain towards the center of the grain, indicating that dislocation nucleation generally occurred in the grain interior. The strain gradients in the neighborhood of the GBs were quantified and generally correlated with rotation about the active slip system line direction. This leads to an ability to determine the active slip system in these regions. The dislocation spacing and pileup stresses were inferred. The dislocation spacing closely follows an Eshelby analytical solution for a single ended pileup of dislocations under an applied stress. The distribution of pileup stress values for GBs of a given misorientation angle follows a log-normal distribution, with no correlation between the pileup stress and the GB misorientation angle. Furthermore, there is no observed correlation between various transmissivity factors and slip band pileup stress. Hence it appears that the obstacle strength of any of the observed GBs is adequate to facilitate the dislocation pileups present in the slip bands. However, slip band transmission does correlate with transmissivity factors, with the current study focusing on the Luster and Morris m'-factor. Observation of strain profiles of transmitted bands indicate dislocation nucleation locations.



College and Department

Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology



Date Submitted


Document Type





Slip bands, dislocation theory, crystal plasticity, digital image correlation(DIC), electron backscatter diffraction(EBSD)



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Engineering Commons