Nucleation processes play a key role in the microstructure evolution of metallic alloys during thermomechanical treatments. These processes can involve phase transformations (such as precipitation) and structural instabilities (such as recrystallisation). Although the word 'nucleation' is used in both cases, the situation is profoundly different for precipitation and for recrystallisation on which this article is focussed. In the case of precipitation, species are conserved and the underlying physics is stochastic fluctuations, allowing the apparition of critical germs of the new phase. In the case of recrystallisation, the underlying physical phenomenon is the progressive growth of subgrain structures leading to an unstable configuration, allowing a dislocation free grain to grow at the expense of a dislocated one. The two cases require different types of modelling which are presented in the article. To cite this article: Y. Bréchet, G. Martin, C. R. Physique 7 (2006).
- Coherent precipitation