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Graduate Institute of Ferrous Technology, POSTECH Rongshan Qin (R. S.


19. Eutectic growth

19.1 Eutectic structure Eutectic structure forms when the temperature and solute composition are at eutectic point, i.e. E of the figure 1.

Figure 1. Eutectic point, E, at binary phase diagram Eutectic structures are categorized into metal-metal, metal-nonmetal and nonmetal-nonmetal structures. The major factor affecting the eutectic structure is the entropy of fusion of each phase. The interface in each phase of metal-metal eutectic structures is rough and has no preferred growth orientation. Solid-liquid interface maintains approximately planar. The interface between two eutectic phases is perpendicular to the solid-liquid interface. The solute diffuses transverse to the growing interface as well as in the growth direction. Example includes Cu-Ag eutectic structure. Metal-nonmetal eutectic is randomly distributed dendritic non-metallic phase in the metallic background. Non-metal phase grows in its lowest interface energy lattice direction. Solid-liquid interface is non-planar. Examples include Al-Si and Fe-C alloys. In nonmetal-nonmetal eutectic growth, both phases are with smooth interface and grow independently.

Graduate Institute of Ferrous Technology, POSTECH Rongshan Qin (R. S. Qin)

The eutectic microstructures are in rich morphology. Figure 2 demonstrated two microstructures.


(b) Figure 2. Eutectic microstructures [1]

19.2 Solidification of metal-metal eutectic structure

Figure 3. Phase-field simulation of laminar eutectic growth [2] Most metal-metal eutectic growth looks like an expanding sphere which leaves two plate-like phases. Propagation rate of solid-liquid interface is almost the

Graduate Institute of Ferrous Technology, POSTECH Rongshan Qin (R. S. Qin)

same at all directions of the spherical surface. The numerical simulation of the eutectic growth is presented in figure 3. The center is one of the two phases which play the role of nucleus. The eutectic growth in metal-metal system does not depend on the crystal orientation because the solid-liquid interface is rough. Therefore, the heat and mass transfers determine the eutectic growth. Figure 4 demonstrated the eutectic growth model. When D-phase grows, the solute composition in front of D-phase is suitable to grow E-phase. And the solute composition in front of the E-phase is suitable to grow D-phase. Solute diffuses transverse to the growing interface so that D and E phases grow alternatively. Because of the growth mechanism, the eutectic spacing, O, is very small.

Figure 4. Schematic diagram of eutectic growth According to phase-diagram, solute concentration in front of D phase is higher than eutectic point solute concentration CE, which gives the solidifying temperature in front of D phase lower that the eutectic temperature TE. The difference is



m(C E  C L )


where m is the liquidus slope. The supercooling of 'TD is needed to solidify the liquid alloy. For the solute distribution that is schematically demonstrated in figure 5a, 'TD is different at different points of the solid-liquid interface as is demonstrated in figure 5b. When the real solidifying temperature is T*, the actual undercooling at the interface is 'T TE  T * . As learned before, the interface curvature contributes to the solidification temperature by a relationship of 'Tr VTE / 'H m U s r (19.2)

Graduate Institute of Ferrous Technology, POSTECH Rongshan Qin (R. S. Qin)

One has


'TD  'Tr

TE  T *


To maintain 'T constant so as to control the solid-liquid interface, 'Tr must be different at difference point of the solid-liquid interface, as illustrated in figure 6. At the point where D and E phases meeting C L C E .

Figure 5. (a) solute distribution; (b) solidifying temperature

Figure 6. Curvature contribution to the melting point.

Graduate Institute of Ferrous Technology, POSTECH Rongshan Qin (R. S. Qin)

It must be pointed out here that the solute-rich area in front of the solid-liquid interface only exists in a very thin area that is less than the eutectic spacing. The solute distribution vs. the distance from the solid-liquid interface at liquid is schematically demonstrated in figure 7. The derivation of the distribution is presented in next section.

Figure 7. Solute distribution in front of eutectic interface. 19.3 Solute distribution For a eutectic system where D-phase with solute composition C m and E-phase with solute composition C m, we suppose that the undercooling is very small so

it as y and the system originated at point of middle D-phase at the solid-liquid interface. The steady state solute distribution satisfies
DL 2 C L  V wC L wx c 0

that C

* L

C E . Denoted the eutectic growth direction as x, transverse direction to


Graduate Institute of Ferrous Technology, POSTECH Rongshan Qin (R. S. Qin)

The boundary conditions are wC L wy wC L wy 0 when y 0 S S




The mass conservation at interface also gives

wC L wxc wC L wx c   V C E  C DL

when 0 d y d S




S d ydS


it also satisfies

Equation (19.4) changes into



xc f


2C L 

Its solution is a generic solution C L of the Laplace equation 2C L

V wC L DL wxc

(19.10) 0 plus a

special solution which is CE. The method for solving Laplace equation has been demonstrated in our previous lectures by variable separation method. Let CL One has X xc Y y (19.11)

Y y A1 cos Ey  A2 sin Ey
Using boundary condition (19.7) and (19.8), one has


Graduate Institute of Ferrous Technology, POSTECH Rongshan Qin (R. S. Qin)

Y y

nS A1 cos y S S


Similarly and with equation (19.9) one gets

nS X xc C 2 exp  xc S S


Using (19.7) and (19.8), the final solute distribution is CL  CE



n 1




2nS 2nS exp xc cos y  O O


Where O is the laminar spacing. Plotting equation (19.15) will reproduce figure 7. In directional solidification, V= 102 cm/s, DL=5x10 5 cm2/s, O= 1Pm.

References 1. W. S. Chang, and B. C. Muddle, Metall. Mater. Trans. 28A, (1997) 1543. 2. F. Drolet, K. R. Elder, M. Grant, and J. M. Kosterlitz, Phys. Rev. E 61 (2000) 6705. 1985 3.