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In a perfect crystalline structure, there is an orderly repetition of the lattice in every direction in space. Real crystals contain a considerable number of imperfections, or defects, that affect their physical, chemical, mechanical, and electronic properties. Defects play an important role in processes such as deformation, annealing, precipitation, diffusion, and sintering. All defects and imperfections can be conveniently classified under four main divisions: point defects, line defects, planar defects, and volume defects. This chapter provides a detailed discussion on the causes, nature, and impact of these defects in metals. It also describes the mechanisms that cause plastic deformation in metals.

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