In the past various single parameters such as the mean, mode or maximum of the precipitate size distribution have been used in experiments to determine growth mechanisms. In the present study the development with aging time of the size and shape distributions of bcc precipitates at grain boundaries in an fcc material (Co-20Fe at 1003oK) have been compared with possible theoretical models to determine the rate controlling process. The growth of these precipitates is initially well described by the grain boundary dependent collector plate mechanism of Brailsford and Aaron. As the precipitates grow low energy facets are formed which can move only by the propagation of ledges and growth becomes interface controlled. The precipitates’ diffusion fields soon overlap and coarsening occurs with interface control. The results demonstrate that this would not have been revealed using simpler measures of precipitate size
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