A Nucleation Progenitor Function approach to polycrystalline equiaxed solidification modelling with application to a microgravity transparent alloy experiment observed in-situ

S McFadden, R.P. Mooney, Laszlo Sturz, G. Zimmermann

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A Nucleation Progenitor Function (NPF) approach that accounts for the interdependence between nucleation and growth during equiaxed solidification is proposed. An athermal nucleation density distribution, based on undercooling, is identified as a progenitor function. A Kolmogorov statistical approach is applied assuming continuous nucleation and growth conditions. The derived progeny functions describe the (supressed) distribution of actual nucleation events. The approach offers the significant advantage of generating progeny functions for volumetric (3D) data and projected image (2D) data. The main difference between 3D and 2D data in transparent alloy experiments is due to a stereological correction for over-projection. Progeny functions can be analysed to obtain statistical output information, e.g., nucleation counts, average nucleation undercooling and standard deviation. The statistical output data may be calculated in a formative (running) or a summative (final) mode. The NPF kinetics have been incorporated into a transient thermal model of equiaxed solidification. The model has been applied to characterise a microgravity solidification experiment with the transparent alloy system Neopentylgycol-30 wt%(d)Camphor. The model predicted thermal and observed nucleation and growth data with a good level of agreement.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)289-299
JournalActa Materialia
Early online date8 Feb 2018
Publication statusPublished - 15 Apr 2018



  • Nucleation
  • Equiaxed growth
  • Solidification
  • Microgravity

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