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Metals 2014, 4(2), 155-167; doi:10.3390/met4020155

The Origins of Spontaneous Grain Refinement in Deeply Undercooled Metallic Melts

Institute for Materials Research, University of Leeds, Leeds LS2-9JT, UK
Received: 30 December 2013 / Revised: 3 March 2014 / Accepted: 9 May 2014 / Published: 22 May 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Solidification Processing)
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Phase-field modeling of rapid alloy solidification, in which the rejection of latent heat from the growing solid cannot be ignored, has lagged significantly behind the modeling of conventional casting practices which can be approximated as isothermal. This is in large part due to the fact that if realistic materials properties are adopted, the ratio of the thermal to solute diffusivity (the Lewis number) is typically 103–104, leading to severe multi-scale problems. However, use of state-of-the-art numerical techniques, such as local mesh adaptivity, implicit time-stepping and a non-linear multi-grid solver, allow these difficulties to be overcome. Here we describe how the application of such a model, formulated in the thin-interface limit, can help to explain the long-standing phenomenon of spontaneous grain refinement in deeply undercooled melts. We find that at intermediate undercoolings the operating point parameter, σ*, may collapse to zero, resulting in the growth of non-dendritic morphologies such as doublons and ‘dendritic seaweed’. Further increases in undercooling then lead to the re-establishment of stable dendritic growth. We postulate that remelting of such seaweed structures gives rise to the low undercooling instance of grain refinement observed in alloys. View Full-Text
Keywords: rapid solidification; undercooling; grain refined microstructures; phase-field modeling rapid solidification; undercooling; grain refined microstructures; phase-field modeling

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Mullis, A.M. The Origins of Spontaneous Grain Refinement in Deeply Undercooled Metallic Melts. Metals 2014, 4, 155-167.

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