Experimental Study of the Transition from Constrained to Unconstrained Growth during Directional Solidification
Temperature measurements are carried out in 99.99 wt% aluminium and aluminium–silicon alloys. The experimental apparatus was initially built for the study of microporosity formation in aluminium alloys.<sup>1)</sup> The construction is designed to obtain upward directional solidification by limiting lateral heat flow during cooling and suppressing fluid flow induced by the pouring sequence. Cooling occurs from the top part of the ingot, leading to the formation of a surface dendrite layer. In the 99.99 wt% aluminium, very few equiaxed grains sink down from the surface dendrite layer into the liquid. The density of the equiaxed dendritic grains is too low to block the columnar cellular front. Cooling curves show that, once superheat disappears ( <I>i.e.</I>, when no substantial thermal gradient remains in the liquid), the liquid is kept at an almost constant temperature during the growth of the columnar front and a small negative thermal gradient forms in the liquid ahead of the growing columnar front. It is concluded that the liquid is reheated by the growing columnar front. In the case of the aluminium–silicon alloys, a columnar-to-equiaxed transition (CET) is observed at almost two-thirds of the ingot length. The columnar length is found to increase slightly with decreasing the solute content. Recalescence is measured in a fully equiaxed region, while cooling rate, recorded by the thermocouple located just above the CET, remains negative.
- ISIJ international
ISIJ international 40(10), 971-979, 2000-10-15
The Iron and Steel Institute of Japan