A combined experimental-model approach to estimate the solidification macrostructures formed during a microgravity experiment on Ti-Al based intermetallic alloys

Shaun Mc Fadden, David J. Browne

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

A computational model has been developed for a furnace and associated solidification experiment scheduled for launch on the European Space Agency (ESA) MAXUS 8 sounding rocket. The purpose of the experiment is to study the Columnar to Equiaxed Transition (CET) in a family of Ti-Al-Nb intermetallic alloys. The model predicts the heat transfer conditions within the crucible as solidification of the alloy occurs. It employs a front tracking approach to predict the solidification macrostructure and, in particular, CET formation.' Because of the microgravity nature of the experiment, the model of front tracking is based on diffusion-controlled solid growth. A significant effort is required to ensure that the alloy solidifies within the limited microgravity time and that the thermal parameters are correct for a CET to occur. To this end, the model is a key tool for assisting with the development of the experiment. Confidence in the model has been built from experience gleaned from a similar ESA microgravity CET experiment performed on Al-7wt%Si. In addition, several ground-reference experiments have been performed on the Ti-Al-Nb alloy to enhance knowledge of the relevant solidification phenomena and to test the hardware before the MAXUS 8 launch. Preliminary results of this pre-launch study using the model are discussed. A formal Design of Experiments (DOE) approach is considered for supporting the experimental work. The alloy in question is significant for a European Commission research project called IMPRESS (Intermetallic Materials Processing in Relation to Earth and Space Solidification).

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings from the 12th International Conference on Modeling of Casting, Welding, and Advanced Solidification Processes
Pages513-520
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2009
Event12th International Conference on Modeling of Casting, Welding, and Advanced Solidification Processes - Vancouver, BC, Canada
Duration: 7 Jun 200914 Jun 2009

Conference

Conference12th International Conference on Modeling of Casting, Welding, and Advanced Solidification Processes
CountryCanada
CityVancouver, BC
Period7/06/0914/06/09

Keywords

  • Columnar-to-equiaxed transition
  • Front-tracking
  • Intermetallic alloy solidification

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    Mc Fadden, S., & Browne, D. J. (2009). A combined experimental-model approach to estimate the solidification macrostructures formed during a microgravity experiment on Ti-Al based intermetallic alloys. In Proceedings from the 12th International Conference on Modeling of Casting, Welding, and Advanced Solidification Processes (pp. 513-520)