Visualizing the heterogeneous breakdown of a fractal microstructure during compaction by neutron dark-field imaging

R.P. Harti, J. Valsecchi, P. Trtik, D. Mannes, C. Carminati, Markus Strobl, Jeroen Plomp, Chris Duif, Christian Grünzweig

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)
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Structural properties of cohesive powders are dominated by their microstructural composition. Powders with a fractal microstructure show particularly interesting properties during compaction where a microstructural transition and a fractal breakdown happen before compaction and force transport. The study of this phenomenon has been challenging due to its long-range effect and the subsequent necessity to characterize these microstructural changes on a macroscopic scale. For the detailed investigation of the complex nature of powder compaction for various densification states along with the heterogeneous breakdown of the fractal microstructure we applied neutron dark-field imaging in combination with a variety of supporting techniques with various spatial resolutions, field-of-views and information depths. We used scanning electron microscopy to image the surface microstructure in a small field-of-view and X-ray tomography to image density variations in 3D with lower spatial resolution. Non-local spin-echo small-angle neutron scattering results are used to evaluate fitting models later used as input parameters for the neutron dark-field imaging data analysis. Finally, neutron dark-field imaging results in combination with supporting measurements using scanning electron microscopy, X-ray tomography and spin-echo small angle scattering allowed us to comprehensively study the heterogeneous transition from a fractal to a homogeneous microstructure of a cohesive powder in a quantitative manner.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-10
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number17845
Publication statusPublished - 2018


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