Synchrotron X-ray laminography was used to examine the time-dependent evolution of the three-dimensional (3D) morphology of micropores in sintered iron during the tensile test. 3D snapshots showed that the networked open pores grow wider than 20 µm along the tensile direction, resulting in the internal necking of the specimen. Subsequently, these pores initiated the cracks perpendicular to the tensile direction by coalescing with the surrounding pre-existing microvoids or with the secondary-generated voids immediately before fracture. Topological analysis of the barycentric positions of these microvoids showed that they form the two-dimensional networks within the ∼20 µm of radius area. These observations strongly indicate that the microvoid coalescence could occur on shear planes formed close to the enlarged open pores or between closed pores by strain accumulation and play an important role in the crack initiation.
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