Kinetics of heterogeneous grain boundary precipitation of NbC in α-iron: A Monte Carlo study

C. Hin, Y. Bréchet, P. Maugis, F. Soisson

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We propose Monte Carlo simulations of the NbC grain boundary (GB) precipitation kinetics in α-iron, based on an atomic description of the main mechanisms that control the kinetic pathway. The simulation involves realistic diffusion mechanisms, with a rapid diffusion of C atoms by interstitial jumps and a slower diffusion of Fe and Nb atoms by vacancy jumps; a simple model of the GB which reproduces the equilibrium segregation properties of Nb and C; and a point defect source which drives the vacancy concentration towards its equilibrium value. Depending on the precipitation conditions, Monte Carlo simulations predict different kinetic behaviours, including early segregation of C atoms at the grain boundaries, transient precipitation of metastable carbides, and homogeneous and heterogeneous NbC precipitation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5653-5667
Number of pages15
JournalActa Materialia
Issue number19
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Grain boundary
  • Heterogeneous nucleation of phase
  • MC simulations
  • Precipitation
  • Steels

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