Enhanced Phenomena in Metals with Electric and Magnetic Fields: I Electric Fields
The effects of an externally-applied electric field on the equilibria and kinetics of solid state transformations in metals and alloys are reviewed. Regarding equilibria, electric fields have been found to affect the solubility of solutes and the composition as well as volume fraction of phases present. Regarding kinetics, electric fields have been shown to affect recovery and recrystallization, precipitation, phase coarsening, hardenability and sintering. Electric fields thus offer an additional means of controlling microstructure and in turn properties. Our understanding of the effects of an electric field on solid state transformations in metals and alloys is very meager. It appears that most of the observed effects on kinetics are through its influence on vacancies.