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While studies of solidification microstructures have focused mainly on the tips of the dendrites, the last stage solidification is equally important from the point of view of defect formation (porosity, hot tearing), mechanical strength build-up and precipitation of phases. In particular, the transition from continuous liquid films to a coherent solid in low concentration alloys is of crucial importance for hot tearing formation, and more generally speaking for liquid feeding ability and coherency development. Based on a fairly recent theoretical model of coalescence which will be recalled briefly, new results obtained for a population of equiaxed grains will be presented. A granular-type model based on a Voronoi tessellation has been used for the description of the gradual disappearance of liquid films and the clustering of equiaxed g...
The gradual transformation of a mushy zone during alloy solidification, from a continuous liquid film network to a fully coherent solid, has been simulated using a granular model. Based on a Voronoi tessellation of a random set of nucleation centers, solidification within each polyhedron is computed considering back-diffusion and coalescence. In the network of connected liquid films, a pressure drop calculation is performed assuming a Poiseuille flow in each channel, Kirchhoff’s conservation of flow at nodal points and flow Losses compensating solidification shrinkage(KPL model). In addition to intergranular liquid pressure maps, the model shows the progressive formation of grains clusters, the localisation of the flow at very high solid fraction, and thus natural transitions of the mushy zone.
Hot tearing formation in both a classical tensile test and during direct chill (DC) casting of aluminum alloys has been modeled using a semicoupled, two-phase approach. Following a thermal calculation, the deformation of the mushy solid is computed using a compressive rheological model that neglects the pressure of the intergranular liquid. The nonzero expansion/compression of the solid and the solidification shrinkage are then introduced as source terms for the calculation of the pressure drop and pore formation in the liquid phase. A comparison between the simulation results and experimental data permits a detailed understanding of the specific conditions under which hot tears form under given conditions. It is shown that the failure modes can be quite different for these two experiments and that, as a consequence, the appropriate ho...
Two important factors affecting hot tearing - semi-solid constitutive behaviour and grain percolation - have been simulated through the use of microstructure models based on granular structures. The semi-solid model geometry is based on a modified Voronoi tessellation, and includes rounded corners to approximate an equiaxed-globular grain structure with liquid surrounding the grains. The percolation model combines solidification and thermodynamic aspects to predict the gradual transition within the mushy zone from a continuous liquid to a coherent solid network, while the constitutive behaviour model uses experimentally-derived data to describe the behaviour of the solid grains. By performing a series of model runs over ranges of grain size and fraction solid, the simulations have revealed an important link between grain size, semi-sol...
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