Modeling freckle formation in three dimensions during solidification of multicomponent alloys

S. D. Felicelli, D. R. Poirier, J. C. Heinrich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

86 Scopus citations


The formation of macrosegregation defects known as "freckles" was simulated using a three-dimensional finite element model that calculates the thermosolutal convection and macrosegregation during the dendritic solidification of multicomponent alloys. A recently introduced algorithm was used to calculate the complicated solidification path of alloys of many components, which can accommodate liquidus temperatures that are general functions of liquid concentrations. The calculations are started from an all-liquid state, and the growth of the mushy zone is followed in time. Simulations of a Ni-Al-Ta-\V alloy were performed on a rectangular cylinder until complete solidification. The results reveal details of the formation of freckles not previously observed in two-dimensional simulations. Liquid plumes in the form of chimney convection emanate from channels within the mushy zone, with similar qualitative features previously observed in transparent systems. Associated with the formation of channels, there is a complex three-dimensional flow produced by the interaction of the different solutal buoyancies of the alloy solutes. Regions of enhanced solid growth develop f around the channel mouths, which are visualized as volcanoes on top of the mushy zone. The prediction of volcanoes differs from our previous calculations with multicomponent alloys in two dimensions, in which the volcanoes were not nearly as apparent. These and other features of freckle formation phenomena are illustrated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)847-855
Number of pages9
JournalMetallurgical and Materials Transactions B: Process Metallurgy and Materials Processing Science
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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