Cooling rate dependence of solidification for liquid aluminium: a large- scale molecular dynamics simulation study

ZY Hou and KJ Dong and ZA Tian and RS Liu and Z Wang and JG Wang, PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY CHEMICAL PHYSICS, 18, 17461-17469 (2016).

DOI: 10.1039/c6cp02172g

The effect of the cooling rate on the solidification process of liquid aluminium is studied using a large-scale molecular dynamics method. It is found that there are various types of short-range order (SRO) structures in the liquid, among which the icosahedral (ICO)-like structures are dominant. These SRO structures are in dynamic fluctuation and transform each other. The effect of the cooling rate on the microstructure is very weak at high temperatures and in supercooled liquids, and it appears only below the liquid-solid transition temperature. Fast cooling rates favour the formation of amorphous structures with ICO-like features, while slow cooling rates favour the formation of FCC crystalline structures. Furthermore, FCC and HCP structures can coexist in crystalline structures. It is also found that nanocrystalline aluminium can be achieved at appropriate cooling rates, and its formation mechanism is thoroughly investigated by tracing the evolution of nanoclusters. The arrangement of FCC and HCP atoms in the nanograins displays various twinned structures as observed using visualization analysis, which is different from the layering or phase separation structures observed in the solidification of Lennard-Jones fluids and some metal liquids.

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