3D analysis of crystal/melt interface shape and Marangoni flow instability in solidifying liquid bridges

M. Lappa, R. Savino

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Solidification of Gallium (Pr=0.02) in liquid bridges in zero gravity conditions is investigated by numerical solutions of the three-dimensional and time-dependent flow-field equations. A single region (continuum) formulation based on the enthalpy method is adopted to model the phase change problem. The paper analyzes the influence of the azimuthally asymmetric and steady first bifurcation of the Marangoni flow on the shape of the solid/melt interface during the crystal growth process. The numerical results show that this interface is distorted in the azimuthal direction. The distortion is related to the sinusoidal three-dimensional temperature disturbances due to the instability of the Marangoni flow. The three-dimensional flow field organization, related to the wave number, changes during the solidification process; this behaviour is explained according to the variation of the aspect ratio of the solidifying liquid bridge. A correlation law is found for the azimuthal wave number of the instability as function of the melt zone aspect ratio.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)751-774
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Computational Physics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 10 Aug 2002



  • liquid bridge
  • flow instability
  • zero gravity
  • crystal growth

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