Habit plane determination from reconstructed parent phase orientation maps

Publication Name

Acta Materialia


This study details the development and validation of a new algorithm that determines the dominant habit plane of a transformed child phase from orientation maps of a single planar cross-section. The method describes the habit plane in terms of its five-parameter grain boundary character and couples it to the specific orientation relationship of the identified orientation variant. The symmetry operations associated with the specific orientation relationship of the variants are applied to transform habit plane traces as determined in the specimen-fixed reference frame into the parent or child reference frame, allowing for the fitting of the habit plane. Our algorithm stands out by its robustness, computational efficiency, automation and ability to operate on fully transformed microstructures. Four automated methods for habit plane trace determination are proposed and compared. Detailed sensitivity analysis reveals that the proposed algorithm is exceptionally robust against poor accuracy in the measured traces and distortions in the orientation map, but more sensitive to inaccuracies propagated from parent grain reconstruction. Validation on a synthetic microstructure with a known habit plane returned consistent results when applied to high and low carbon steels with different prior austenite grain sizes and orientation map resolutions. The habit planes were not significantly affected by the austenite grain sizes. The habit plane of the steel with 0.35 wt% C was close to (111)γ whereas the habit plane of steel with 0.71 wt% C was closer to (575)γ, in close agreement with previous work using two-surface stereological analysis and transmission electron microscopy-based trace analysis.

Open Access Status

This publication may be available as open access



Article Number




Link to publisher version (DOI)