DEM simulation of dendritic grain random packing: application to metal alloy solidification
Institut Jean Lamour, CNRS – Université de Lorraine, F-54011 Nancy CEDEX, France
Published online: 30 June 2017
The random packing of equiaxed dendritic grains in metal-alloy solidification is numerically simulated and validated via an experimental model. This phenomenon is characterized by a driving force which is induced by the solid-liquid density difference. Thereby, the solid dendritic grains, nucleated in the melt, sediment and pack with a relatively low inertia-to-dissipation ratio, which is the so-called Stokes number. The characteristics of the particle packed porous structure such as solid packing fraction affect the final solidified product. A multi-sphere clumping Discrete Element Method (DEM) approach is employed to predict the solid packing fraction as function of the grain geometry under the solidification conditions. Five different monodisperse noncohesive frictionless particle collections are numerically packed by means of a vertical acceleration: a) three dendritic morphologies; b) spheres and c) one ellipsoidal geometry. In order to validate our numerical results with solidification conditions, the sedimentation and packing of two monodisperse collections (spherical and dendritic) is experimentally carried out in a viscous quiescent medium. The hydrodynamic similarity is respected between the actual phenomenon and the experimental model, that is a low Stokes number, o(10−3). In this way, the experimental average solid packing fraction is employed to validate the numerical model. Eventually, the average packing fraction is found to highly depend on the equiaxed dendritic grain sphericity, with looser packings for lower sphericity.
© The Authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2017
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