Competitive growth during directional solidification experiments of 〈1 1 1〉 Dendrites

Turlough Hughes, Anthony J. Robinson, Shaun McFadden

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Competitive growth is a key topic in directional solidification, however, to the authors' best knowledge, there are no experimental or numerical studies on competitive growth between neighbouring 〈1 1 1〉 dendrites. The secondary arms of 〈1 1 1〉 dendrites can grow with more favourable orientation than those of 〈1 0 0〉 dendrites and this has implications for the competitive growth mechanism. An experimental apparatus was developed for in-situ directional solidification with a transparent model alloy, Neopentyl Glycol-35 wt% (D)Camphor (NPG-35wt.%DC), which has 〈1 1 1〉 dendrite orientation. Seven tests were conducted with different temperature gradients and isotherm speeds to investigate competitive growth behaviour. Multiple grains were identified in each test with examples of competition at converging and diverging grain boundaries as well as obedience and disobedience with the well-known Walton-Chalmers rule. Unfavourably oriented crystal colonies at diverging grain boundaries were able to outgrow favourably oriented colonies via tertiary branching. Overgrowth by the unfavourably oriented crystal was linked to the advantageous growth directions of secondary arms in 〈1 1 1〉 dendrites. Automated dendrite tip velocity tracking further elucidated the tertiary branching mechanism that allowed the unfavourably oriented crystal colonies to stabilise along the growth direction. It is proposed that the deviation from the Walton-Chalmers rule of competitive growth is probabilistic and depends on the initial seeding as well as the 3D nature of the experiments.
Original languageEnglish
Article number126893
JournalJournal of Crystal Growth
Early online date26 Sept 2022
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 1 Dec 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the European Space Agency (ESA) [contract number 4200014313NL/SH, CCN009 to AO-99-117] and by ESA PRODEX [contract number 4000110385 CN 3] as part of the CETSOL Microgravity Application Programme. ESA PRODEX funding is managed by the Irish Space Delegation at Enterprise Ireland.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Elsevier B.V.


  • A1.Crystal Morphology
  • A1.Crystal structure
  • A1.Dendrites
  • A1.Directional solidification
  • A2.Growth from melt
  • B1.Alloys


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