The discontinuous precipitation (DP) belongs to a group of diffusive solid state phase transformations during which the formation of a new phase is heterogeneous and limited to a migrating reaction front (RF). The use of analytical electron microscopy provided reliable information that there is no differences in the diffusion rate at the stationary grain boundary and moving RF of DP reaction. On the other hand, the use of “in situ” transmission electron microscopy observations indicated the importance of stop-go motion or oscillatory movement of the RF.
During 2004-2016 period more or less 280 papers were published in which the terms “discontinuous precipitation, “cellular precipitation”, discontinuous coarsening” appeared either in the abstract or in key-words.
In the present contribution, the research on the DP reaction will be reviewed taking into account new aspects of theories and modelling, new evidences and findings, effect of various factors including third element, external stresses, plastic deformation and GB orientation, occurrence in less known systems and alloys like: superalloys, nitrided Fe-based alloys and Cu-based alloys. Finally, some suggestions for the future research will be formulated.