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This article reviews the characterization methods for producing 3-D microstructural data sets. The methods include serial sectioning by mechanical material removal method and focused ion beam tomography method. The article describes how these data sets are used in realistic 3-D simulations of microstructural evolution during materials processing and materials response. It also explains how the 3-D experimental data are actually input and used in the simulations using phase-field modeling and finite-element modeling.

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