Low temperature annealing of metals with electrical wind force effects

Daudi Waryoba, Zahabul Islam, Baoming Wang, Aman Haque

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


Conventional annealing is a slow, high temperature process that involves heating atoms uniformly, i.e., in both defective and crystalline regions. This study explores an electrical alternative for energy efficiency, where moderate current density is used to generate electron wind force that produces the same outcome as the thermal annealing process. We demonstrate this on a zirconium alloy using in-situ electron back scattered diffraction (EBSD) inside a scanning electron microscope (SEM) and juxtaposing the results with that from thermal annealing. Contrary to common belief that resistive heating is the dominant factor, we show that 5 × 104 A/cm2 current density can anneal the material in less than 15 min at only 135 °C. The resulting microstructure is essentially the same as that obtained with 600 °C processing for 360 min. We propose that unlike temperature, the electron wind force specifically targets the defective regions, which leads to unprecedented time and energy efficiency. This hypothesis was investigated with molecular dynamics simulation that implements mechanical equivalent of electron wind force to provide the atomistic insights on defect annihilation and grain growth.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)465-472
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Materials Science and Technology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Metals and Alloys
  • Materials Chemistry


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