Microtomographic characterization of columnar Al-Cu dendrites for fluid flow and flow stress determination

Devashish Fuloria, Peter D. Lee, D. Bernard

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


    During the twin roll casting of Al alloys, the interdendritic liquid may flow as the two solidification fronts are compressed together between the rolls. This can lead to defects such as centerline segregation. To understand the flow properties of the interdendritic liquid, samples of Al-12 wt.% Cu were solidified directionally in a Bridgman furnace and quenched to capture the growing columnar dendritic structures. The quenched samples were scanned using a laboratory X-ray microtomography (XMT) unit to obtain the 3D structure with a voxel resolution of 7.2 μm. Image analysis was used to separate the Al dendrite from the interdendritic Al-Al2Cu eutectic. Flow between the dendrites was simulated by solving the Stokes equation to calculate the permeability tensor as a function of the fraction solid. The results were compared to prior experimental measurements and calculations using synchrotron tomography observations of equiaxed structures. Elasto-plastic finite element (FE) simulations were performed on the dendritic structures to determine flow stress behavior as a function of fraction solid. It was found that the standard approximations for the reduction in flow stress in the semi-solid have a variation in excess of 100% from that calculated using the true structure. Therefore, it is critical to simulate the actual dendrite for effective flow stress determination. © 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationMaterials Science and Engineering A|Mater. Sci. Eng. A
    Number of pages6
    Publication statusPublished - 25 Oct 2008


    • Aluminum alloys
    • Columnar dendrites
    • FE modeling
    • Permeability
    • X-ray microtomography


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