Phase field simulation of dendrite growth with boundary heat flux

  • Lifei DuEmail author
  • Rong Zhang


Boundary heat flux has a significant effect on solidification behavior and microstructure formation, for it can directly affect the interfacial heat flux and cooling rate during phase transition. In this study, a phase field model for non-isothermal solidification in binary alloys is employed to simulate the free dendrite growth in undercooled melts with induced boundary heat flux, and an anti-trapping current is introduced to suppress the solute trapping due to the larger interface width used in simulations than a real solidifying material. The effect of heat flux input/extraction from different boundaries was studied first. With heat input from boundaries, the temperature can be raised and the dendritic morphology changed with gradient temperature distribution caused by the heat flux input coupling with latent heat release during the liquid-solid phase transition. Also, the concentration distribution can be also influenced by this irregular temperature distribution. Heat flux extraction from the boundaries can decrease the temperature, which results in rapid solidification with small solute segregation and concentration changes in the dendrite structures. Also, dendrite growth manner changes caused by undercooling variation, the result of competition between heat flux and latent heat release from phase transition, are also studied. Results indicate that heat flux in the simulation zone significantly reduces the undercooling, thus slowing down the dendrite formation and enhancing the solute segregation, while large heat extraction can enlarge the undercooling and lead to rapid solidification with large dendrite tip speed and small secondary dendrite arm spacing, while solute segregation tends to be steady. Therefore, the boundary heat flux coupling with the latent heat release from the solidification has an effective influence on the temperature gradient distribution within the simulation zone, which leads to the morphology and concentration changes in the dendritic structure formation.


Computer simulations Metals and alloys Rapid solidification Microstructure Diffusion 



The authors would like to thank the financial support from the NPU Foundation of Fundamental Research, China (No. JC201272).

Supplementary material

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© Du and Zhang.; licensee Springer 2014

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Space Applied Physics and Chemistry-Ministry of EducationSchool of Science, Northwestern Polytechnical UniversityXi’anChina

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