Ultrasonic attenuation of polycrystalline materials with a distribution of grain sizes

Andrea P. Arguelles, Joseph A. Turner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

71 Scopus citations


Elastic wave scattering at grain boundaries in polycrystalline media can be quantified to determine microstructural properties. The amplitude drop observed for coherent wave propagation (attenuation) as well as diffuse-field scattering events have been extensively studied. In all cases, the scattering shows a clear dependence on grain size, grain shape, and microstructural texture. Models used to quantify scattering experiments are often developed assuming dependence on a single spatial length scale, usually, mean grain diameter. However, several microscopy studies suggest that most metals have a log normal distribution of grain sizes. In this study, grain size distribution is discussed within the context of previous attenuation models valid for arbitrary crystallite symmetries. Results are presented for titanium using a range of distribution means and widths assuming equiaxed grains and no preferred crystallographic orientation. The longitudinal and shear attenuations are shown to vary with respect to the frequency dependence for varying distribution widths even when the volumetric mean grain size is held constant. Furthermore, the results suggest that grain size estimates based on attenuation can have large errors if the distribution is neglected. This work is anticipated to play an important role in microstructural characterization research associated with ultrasonic scattering.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4347-4353
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the Acoustical Society of America
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics


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