The magnetic configuration of a ferromagnetic system with mono-disperse and poly-disperse distribution of magnetic particles with inter-particle interactions has been computed. The analysis is general in nature and applies to all systems containing magnetically interacting particles in a non-magnetic matrix, but has been applied to steel microstructures, consisting of a paramagnetic austenite phase and a ferromagnetic ferrite phase, as formed during the austenite-to-ferrite phase transformation in low-alloyed steels. The characteristics of the computational microstructures are linked to the correlation function and determinant of depolarisation matrix, which can be experimentally obtained in three-dimensional neutron depolarisation (3DND). By tuning the parameters in the model used to generate the microstructure, we studied the effect of the (magnetic) particle size distribution on the 3DND parameters. It is found that the magnetic particle size derived from 3DND data matches the microstructural grain size over a wide range of volume fractions and grain size distributions. A relationship between the correlation function and the relative width of the particle size distribution was proposed to accurately account for the width of the size distribution. This evaluation shows that 3DND experiments can provide unique in situ information on the austenite-to-ferrite phase transformation in steels.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
JournalPhilosophical Magazine
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 24 Apr 2018

    Research areas

  • grain size distribution, magnetisation, Neutron scattering, phase transformation, steel

ID: 44960327