Modelling of Microstructure Formation during Solidification
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A comprehensive probabilistic model for simulating microstructure formation and evolution during solidification has been developed, based on coupling a Finite Differential Method (FDM) for macroscopic modelling of heat diffusion to a modified Cellular Automaton (mCA) for microscopic modelling of nucleation, growth of microstructures and solute diffusion. The mCA model is similar to Nastac's model for handling solute redistribution in the liquid and solid phases, curvature and growth anisotropy, but differs in the treatment of nucleation and growth. The aim is to improve understanding of the relationship between the solidification conditions and microstructure formation and evolution. A numerical algorithm used for FDM and mCA was developed. At each coarse scale, temperatures at FDM nodes were calculated while nucleation-growth simulation was done at a finer scale, with the temperature at the cell locations being interpolated from those at the coarser volumes. This model takes account of thermal, curvature and solute diffusion effects. Therefore, it can not only simulate microstructures of alloys both on the scale of grain size (macroscopic level) and the dendrite tip length (mesoscopic level), but also investigate nucleation mechanisms and growth kinetics of alloys solidified with various solute concentrations and solidification morphologies. The calculated results are compared with values of grain sizes and solidification morphologies of microstructures obtained from a set of casting experiments of Al-Si alloys in graphite crucibles.
International Journal of Cast Metals Research
Physical Chemistry of Materials
Solid State Chemistry