J. Phys. IV France
Volume 12, Numéro 8, September 2002
Page(s) 229 - 237

J. Phys. IV France
12 (2002) Pr8-229
DOI: 10.1051/jp4:20020336

Liquid metal penetration in metallic polycrystals: New tools for a challenging unsolved problem of materials science

J. Bernardini1, J.-P. Monchoux2, D. Chatain3 and E. Rabkin2

1  Laboratoire de Matériaux et Microélectronique de Provence, Faculté de Saint-Jerôme, 13397 Marseille, France
2  Department of Materials Engineering, Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, 32000 Haifa, Israël
3  Centre de Recherche sur les Mécanismes de la Croissance Cristalline, CNRS, Campus de Luminy, Case 913, 13288 Marseille cedex 9, France

The set of works performed in the framework of the GEDEON program on liquid metal embrittlement is presented. We focus on the role of wetting of grain boundaries (CBs) in the rapid penetration of a liquid metal along GB, and we point out the thermodynamic and kinetic parameters involved in this phenomenon. Since the paper of Mullins (1957) and the experimental studies performed in the 60's, new tools are available for the observation of grain boundary grooving (and wetting) at a scale below one micron. They are scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and atomic force microscopy (AFM). It will be shown on copper-, iron- and nickel-based alloys that accurate observations with these facilities allow to reveal the role of interface faceting in grain boundary penetration and to propose a new model which takes into account this new feature.

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