Early stages of spinodal decomposition in Fe-Cr resolved by in-situ small-angle neutron scattering
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In-situ, time-resolved small-angle neutron scattering (SANS) investigations of the early stages of the spinodal decomposition process in Fe-35Cr were performed at 773 and 798K. The kinetics of the decomposition, both in terms of characteristic distance and peak intensity, followed a power-law behaviour from the start of the heat treatment (a' = 0.10-0.11 and a '' = 0.67-0.86). Furthermore, the method allows tracking of the high-Q slope, which is a sensitive measure of the early stages of decomposition. Ex-situ SANS and atom probe tomography were used to verify the results from the in-situ investigations. Finally, the in-situ measurement of the evolution of the characteristic distance at 773K was compared with the predictions from the Cahn-Hilliard-Cook model, which showed good agreement with the experimental data (a' = 0.12-0.20 depending on the assumed mobility). (C) 2015 AIP Publishing LLC.