Grain boundaries

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Definition

When a material is solidifying it may become a polycrystalline solid when the solidification process starts with nucleation sites which form and grow until there are many small crystals or grains. The interface between these grains is called a grain boundary. Grain boundaries are considered defects because the crystallographic orientations of the separate grains are not aligned where they meet at the boundary.

Polycrystalline material with grains meeting at grain boundaries

References

Callister, William D., "Materials Science and Engineering an Introduction," John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York (2003).