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ABSTRACT

This study is about the solidification of alloys and the analysis of phase field model to describe
the solidification phenomenon at a microscopic length occurring in different alloys such as iron,
copper, nickel and other materials which are important in daily industrial applications.
Solidification in alloys is more complicated compared to pure materials because of the
segregation i.e. due to the different solubilities in the liquid and solid phases of the material. This
study also includes the analysis including the effects due to different densities between solid and
liquid phases due to segregation co-efficient of the alloy.

INTRODUCTION
Solidification is an inherent part of welding and casting processes. When an alloy solidifies, the
solid which is formed has a different composition than the liquid from which it is freezing.
Hence the solute of the newly formed solid is different from the liquid from which it is being
formed because of the freezing. This redistribution of solute in the solid formed is called as
segregation. The mechanical properties of the castings and the quality of the work piece depends
upon the structure on an intermediate length scale of m between the atomic size of the crystal
lattice and the size of the final workpiece. This microstructure consists of grains which may
differ in orientation of the crystal lattice as well as the crystalline composition of the alloy
components. The solidification process takes place due to difference in the densities between
solid and liquid phases which is formed due to the non-zero segregation coefficient of the alloy.
During the last two decades significant progress has been made in the evolution of microscale
structure in the solidification method using different phase fields. These phases are in
thermodynamic equilibrium but the boundaries separating the grains of the present phases are not
in equilibrium. As a result these comprise for an excess energy during the solidification process.
Microstructure is defined to be the totality of all the crystal forces which are not in equilibrium.
As a multicomponent fluid cools and solidifies, the interface between the fluid and the solid is
either planar or distorted within a comparatively broad zone in which the solid crystals are
bathed in the liquid. Such a zone is called as mushy layer. The segregation defects cause the
inhomogeneities in the electrochemical and mechanical properties of the solidified material
which results in lowering the melting start temperatures of the materials thus decreasing the
performance of the final product. Therefore it has become important to work on the segregation
modelling for the dendrite solidification in order to improve the quality of the solidified alloy
products. Segregation formations in dendritic solidification alloys plays an important role and are
generally classified as Macro-Segregation and Micro-Segregation. The microstructure of a
solidified material depends on two properties. Firstly, the solid-liquid interface is subject to
morphological changes that are controlled by the conduction of heat and diffusion of the solute.
Secondly, because of the fluid flow which is either externally driven or buoyancy driven, volume
change it will directly affect the micro segregation. In this presentation our main concern is to
describe segregation process during the solidification of alloys.

A. EQUILIBRIUM FREEZING

Figure 1. Solid-liquid type of eutectic-type phase diagram

Figure 1 represents the eutectic type of solid-liquid phase diagram. At any temperature such as
T1 it shows that the fractional compositions of the solid and the liquid will be in equilibrium
with each other. This equilibrium co-efficient k 0 is defined as the ratio of the equilibrium solids and
the liquids as follows :

K0

Xs
Xl

X [solidus at T ]
X [liquidus at T ]

From the figure it can be concluded that if the temperature T 2 is lowered and if the equilibrium
freezing occurs then we can get the lever-law i.e.

Wt Fraction Liquid

Length AB
Lenght AC

From this law one can assume that the liquid is at Composition C and the solid is at Composition
A. But the latter can be rarely achieved in actual solidification processes and hence the lever law
does not have that much of importance in solidification of alloys.

B.NON-EQUILIBRIUM FREEZING OF ALLOYS

For the non-equilibrium freezing we can make two assumptions i.e. an uniform liquid
composition and a flat solid-liquid interface.

Figure 2 : Solidification under Non-equilibrium conditions

The top part of the figure shows the progression of solidification between solid and liquid from
left to right. We can find the relation between solute concentration and the fraction of solid using
the second part of the figure. The initial uniform solute in the liquid is given C 0 . The first solid
part which is formed during the process has the composition of kC 0 ,where k is partition coefficient and is used to define the solute partitions between the solid and liquid phases. As the
value of k reaches to 1 there is a tendency of segregation which means that the solute of liquid
and solid is evenly distributed in the formation. As the value of k decreases (0.05 for oxygen in
iron) the concentration of liquid solute is more in the formed product.