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On a microscopic scale, deformation twinning is carried by the motion of twinning disconnections. A disconnection is an interfacial line defect characterized by a Burgers vector, a line vector, and a step vector. The Burgers vector (dislocation component of the disconnection) carries the deformation while the step vector (ledge component) carries the transformation from one twin variant to the other. On a mesoscopic scale, the deformation produced by twinning is a simple shear. A moving disclination dipole provides a mesoscopic model accounting for the twinning shear. Twin – twin interaction processes including the intersection of twins, the formation of structured twins, and the nucleation of cracks, may feature very complex mechanisms when analyzed on a microscopic scale. It turns out, however, that these mechanisms are controlled by the properties of large disconnection groups containing up to 10 000 disconnections and more. These properties are sufficiently well approximated in the disclination dipole model. The disclination model for twin – twin interaction predicts orientation and volume fractions of secondary twins. The model also predicts the nucleation of cracks and crack growth. The disclination model was used to analyze the ductile-to-brittle transition of austenitic steel deformed at low temperature. The mesoscopic disclination model for twinning is successful because it accounts for the properties and mechanisms of disconnection groups.

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This document was originally published in International Journal of Materials Research by Walter de Gruyter GmbH. Copyright restrictions may apply.

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