Can someone explain the concept of recrystallization in metals to me? I'm having some trouble understanding what actually happens in the material during this process, and also what causes it to happen...
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I'm assuming you know what a dislocation is. What "drives" recrystallization is the dislocation density. You can increase the dislocation density of a material by cold working the material. Recystallization takes place when strain-free grains are nucleated within the cold-worked material. Dislocations have a certain elastic energy associated with them. So in terms of energy considerations recrystallization lowers the Gibbs Free Energy of the system. There are many proposed models for recrystallization. Subgrain coalescence is one model proposed for deformed single crystals. Anyways, there is a wealth of information associated with this complex pheonomena and it's still not fully understood from a mechanistic point of view. Well I hope this helps.