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Solidification and compositional convection of a ternary alloy

Thompson, Andrew F. and Huppert, Herbert E. and Worster, M. Grae and Aitta, Anneli (2003) Solidification and compositional convection of a ternary alloy. Journal of Fluid Mechanics, 497 . pp. 167-199. ISSN 0022-1120. doi:10.1017/S002211200300661X.

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We present the results of an experimental study on the solidification of aqueous solutions of potassium nitrate and sodium nitrate cooled from below. Upon cooling, two distinct mushy layers form, primary and cotectic, separated by an approximately planar horizontal interface. A density reversal between the two mushes causes the residual liquid in the upper, primary mush to be more buoyant than the melt overlying it, while the cotectic mush is compositionally stable. The unstable concentration gradient between the melt and primary mush causes convection that keeps the melt well-mixed and reduces the concentration gradient to zero after a finite time. At this point, the cotectic mush overtakes the primary mush and a transition from a convective regime to a diffusive regime occurs. Our measurements show that this transition is rapid and alters the growth rate of the single (cotectic) mush layer that remains. Concentration measurements taken from within the melt during convection and from within the mush during the diffusive regime show good agreement with the concentration evolution predicted by use of the equilibrium ternary phase diagram. We describe a global conservation model for solidification of a ternary alloy in this regime. Predictions from our model forced with empirical data for the heat and solute fluxes are in good agreement with the measured data for the interface positions of the two mushy layers. We also discuss how solid fractions vary with different melt concentrations in a non-convecting alloy and examine the influence of vertical solute transport in the convecting case. The identification of a density reversal in the solidification of a ternary alloy begins to address the complexities in solidification processes of multi-component alloys.

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Thompson, Andrew F.0000-0003-0322-4811
Additional Information:© 2003 Cambridge University Press. Received 14 March 2003 and in revised form 30 June 2003. Published online: 29 December 2003. We thank Mark Hallworth for his assistance in the laboratory and Geoff Moggridge for the use of the atomic absorption spectrometer. A.F.T. was supported by a fellowship from the Keasbey Memorial Foundation. A.A. held a Daphne Jackson Fellowship supported by Lucy Cavendish College, University of Cambridge, and the Thriplow Charitable Trust.
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Keasbey Memorial FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Lucy Cavendish CollegeUNSPECIFIED
University of CambridgeUNSPECIFIED
Thriplow Charitable TrustUNSPECIFIED
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20130114-142428020
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ID Code:36361
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:16 Jan 2013 19:10
Last Modified:09 Nov 2021 23:21

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