The DGM Expert Committee aims to address scientific and industrial issues related to textures of polycrystalline materials of all kinds, namely measurement techniques, mathematical data analysis, texture formation, texture-property relationships, or the production and application of textured materials. It brings together members from materials science, mechanical engineering, physics, and geoscience with industry representatives, who are mainly involved in metal fabrication and metal processing as well as texture measurement and texture analysis.
In texture research, a scientific community with international appeal has been established in Germany with the active participation of various members of the Expert Committee. This is demonstrated every three years at the "International Conference on Textures of Materials" (ICOTOM) as well as at numerous symposia of other international conferences, which attract both scientists and industrial representatives of the mentioned fields from all over the world.
In crystallography, the "texture" of a material describes how the individual grains (crystallites) in a polycrystalline solid are oriented to each other. This is of central importance for numerous materials because their properties (e.g. magnetic and mechanical properties) result from this crystalline orientation - and can be adjusted for optimum use by specific treatment. In the field of materials technology, analyses of texture change after thermo-mechanical treatment provide valuable information about the underlying solid-state processes (crystallization (including separation from the gas and liquid phases), plastic deformation, recrystallization, grain growth, and phase transformation).
Since texture significantly determines the anisotropy of the properties of polycrystalline materials, texture research has always been of great economic importance. In international comparison, it is already very well positioned in Germany. If also, certain challenges can be mastered in the coming years and decades, new materials with optimized properties could be produced that could be used in a wide variety of industrial sectors, such as automotive and aerospace engineering, and thus make a significant contribution to local social prosperity.
To live up to the expectations placed in them, research in the coming decade will have to focus more on texture measurements using synchrotron and neutron radiation, which can be carried out "in-situ", for example during deformation or thermal treatment on massive samples. The same applies to electron diffraction in the scanning electron microscope, which is already well established and could be used to better understand interactions between local textures and the microstructure. Another challenge is texture measurements on materials with submicron to nanometer grain sizes, which can be produced by various new methods of forming. There is also a need to greatly improve texture simulations to make viable texture and property predictions.
So far, texture research has been mainly basic-research-oriented. In the future, a stronger connection with industry should be aimed for as a matter of principle.
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