Comparison between a near-field and a far-field indexing approach for characterization of a polycrystalline sample volume containing more than 1500 grains

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A comparison of the performance of X-ray diffraction tomography, a near-field diffraction technique, and a far-field diffraction technique for indexing X-ray diffraction data of polycrystalline materials has been carried out by acquiring two sets of diffraction data from the same polycrystalline sample volume. Both approaches used in this study are variants of the three-dimensional X-ray diffraction (3DXRD) methodology, but they rely on different data-collection and analysis strategies. Previous attempts to assess the quality of 3DXRD indexing results from polycrystalline materials have been restricted to comparisons with two-dimensional electron backscatter diffraction cross sections containing a limited number of grains. In the current work, the relative performance of two frequently used polycrystalline-material indexing algorithms is assessed, comparing the indexing results obtained from a threedimensional sample volume containing more than 1500 grains. The currently achievable accuracy of three-dimensional grain maps produced with these algorithms has been assessed using a statistical analysis of the measurement of the size, position and orientation of the grains in the sample. The material used for this comparison was a polycrystalline commercially pure titanium grade 2 sample, which has a hexagonal close-packed crystal structure. The comparison of the two techniques shows good agreement for the measurements of the grain position, size and orientation. Cross-validation between the indexing results shows that about 99% of the sample volume has been indexed correctly by either of these indexing approaches. The remaining discrepancies have been analysed and the strengths and limitations of both approaches are discussed.