Phase-field simulation serves as an effective tool for quantitative characterization of microstructure evolution in single-crystal Ni-based superalloys during solidification nowadays. The classic unit cell is either limited to γ dendrites along <001> crystal orientation or too ideal to cover complex morphologies for γ dendrites. An attempt to design the unit cell for two-dimensional (2-D) phase-field simulations of microstructure evolution in single-crystal Ni-based superalloys during solidification was thus performed by using the MICRESS (MICRostructure Evolution Simulation Software) in the framework of the multi-phase-field (MPF) model, and demonstrated in a commercial TMS-113 superalloy. The coupling to CALPHAD (CALculation of PHAse Diagram) thermodynamic database was realized via the TQ interface and the experimental diffusion coefficients were utilized in the simulation. Firstly, the classic unit cell with a single γ dendrite along <001> crystal orientation was employed for the phase-field simulation in order to reproduce the microstructure features. Then, such simple unit cell was extended into the cases with two other different crystal orientations, i.e., <011> and <111>. Thirdly, for <001> crystal orientations, the effect of γ dendritic orientations and unit cell sizes on microstructure and microsegregation was comprehensively studied, from which a new unit cell with multiple γ dendrites was proposed. The phase-field simulation with the newly proposed unit cell was further performed in the TMS-113 superalloy, and the microstructure features including the competitive growth of γ dendrites, microsegregation of different solutes and distribution of γ′ grains, can be nicely reproduced.
Cao, D., Ta, N., & Zhang, L. (2017). Unit-cell design for two-dimensional phase-field simulation of microstructure evolution in single-crystal Ni-based superalloys during solidification. Progress in Natural Science: Materials International, 27(6), 678–686. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pnsc.2017.07.005