Conservation of mass and momentum for the flow of interdendritic liquid during solidification

S. Ganesan, D. R. Poirier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

207 Scopus citations


In this paper, mass and momentum conservation equations are derived for the flow of interdendritic liquid during solidification using the volume-averaging approach. In this approach, the mushy zone is conceived to be two interpenetrating phases; each phase is described with the usual field quantities, which are continuous in that phase but discontinuous over the entire space. On the microscopic scale, the usual conservation equations along with the appropriate interfacial boundary conditions describe the state of the system. However, the solution to these equations in the microscopic scale is not practical because of the complex interfacial geometry in the mushy zone. Instead, the scale at which the system is described is altered by averaging the microscopic equations over some representative elementary volume within the mushy zone, resulting in macroscopic equations that can be used to solve practical problems. For a fraction of liquid equal to unity, the equations reduce to the usual conservation equations for a single-phase liquid. It is also found that the resistance offered by the solid to the flow of interdendritic liquid in the mushy zone is best described by two coefficients, namely, the inverse of permeability and a second-order resistance coefficient. For the flow in columnar dendritic structures, the second-order coefficient along with the permeability should be evaluated experimentally. For the flow in equiaxial dendritic structures (i.e., isotropic media), the inverse of permeability alone is sufficient to quantify the resistance offered by the solid.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)173-181
Number of pages9
JournalMetallurgical Transactions B
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Metals and Alloys
  • Materials Chemistry
  • General Materials Science


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