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Mullis, AM (2015)
Publisher: American Institute of Physics
Languages: English
Types: Article
The accepted view on dendritic side-branching is that side-branches grow as the result of selective amplification of thermal noise and that in the absence of such noise dendrites would grow without the development of side-arms. However, recently there has been renewed speculation about dendrites displaying deterministic side-branching [see, e.g., M. E. Glicksman, Metall. Mater. Trans A 43, 391 (2012)]. Generally, numerical models of dendritic growth, such as phase-field simulation, have tended to display behaviour which is commensurate with the former view, in that simulated dendrites do not develop side-branches unless noise is introduced into the simulation. However, here, we present simulations that show that under certain conditions deterministic side-branching may occur. We use a model formulated in the thin interface limit and a range of advanced numerical techniques to minimise the numerical noise introduced into the solution, including a multigrid solver. Spontaneous side-branching seems to be favoured by high undercoolings and by intermediate values of the capillary anisotropy, with the most branched structures being obtained for an anisotropy strength of 0.03. From an analysis of the tangential thermal gradients on the solid-liquid interface, the mechanism for side-branching appears to have some similarities with the deterministic model proposed by Glicksman.
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