Effect of Variant Strain Accommodation on the Three-Dimensional Microstructure Formation during Martensitic Transformation: Application to Zirconia


This paper computationally investigates the effect of martensitic variant strain accommodation on the formation of microstructural and topological patterning in zirconia. We used the phase-field technique to capture the temporal and spatial evolution of embryonic formation of the monoclinic phase in tetragonal single crystals. The three-dimensional simulations were able to capture the formation of all the possible monoclinic variants. We used the multivariant single embryo as an initial condition to mitigate the lack of nucleation criteria at the mesoscale. Without a priori constraint, the model can select the transformation path and final microstructure. The phase-field model was benchmarked against experimental studies on surface uplift formation in zirconia reported by Deville et al. (Acta Mater 2004;52:5697, Acta Mater 2004;52:5709). The simulations showed the excellent capabilities of the model in predicting the formation of a surface relief induced by the tetragonal to monoclinic martensitic transformation.


Materials Science and Engineering

Research Center/Lab(s)

Center for High Performance Computing Research

Keywords and Phrases

Microstructure; Phase interfaces; Single crystals; Zirconia; Final microstructures; Phase field models; Strain accommodations; Surface reliefs; Temporal and spatial evolutions; Three dimensional simulations; Three-dimensional microstructures; Transformation paths; Martensitic transformation; Zirconia

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)


Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version


File Type





© 2015 Elsevier Ltd, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Apr 2015