The computer simulation of the evolution of microstructure during deformation processing is a desirable but elusive goal. In order to be effective, models must be tied to deformation parameters (temperature, strain rate, strain), and grain size distributions and recrystallisation kinetics must be predicted with high accuracy if the evolution of microstructure is to be tracked through several passes. This paper examines the cellular automaton (CA) simulation technique which has the potential to enable the modeller to accomplish these goals.
Aspects of the CA approach examined are the three dimensional representation of microstructure and its evolution and the incorporation of texture representation into simulations.Also investigated will be the limitations of the technique, in terms of the error that can be expected when different boundary conditions are imposed on a simulation.
Although at a rudimentary stage of investigation, the interfacing of CA simulations to deformation simulations (eg, finite element) will be examined. The paper concludes with a discussion of the challenges facing the implementation of CA simulations in industrial process models.