A numerical study of diffusion of nanoparticles in a viscous medium during solidification
Rahman, Kazi Mizanur
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In the field of additive manufacturing process, laser cladding is widely considered due to its cost effectiveness, small localized heat generation and full fusion to metals. Introducing nanoparticles with cladding metals produces metal matrix nanocomposites which in turn improves the material characteristics of the clad layer. The strength of the laser cladded reinforced metal matrix composite are dependent on the location and concentration of the nanoparticles infused in metals. Hence, investigating the nanoparticle diffusion characteristics during solidification of laser cladding process is of prime interest. The governing equations that controls the fluid flow are standard incompressible Navier-Stokes and heat diffusion equation whereas the Euler-Lagrange approach has been considered for particle tracking. The mathematical formulation for solidification is adopted based on enthalpy porosity method. During the solidification process of liquid titanium, particle flow and distribution has been observed until the entire geometry solidified. A two dimensional numerical analysis has been performed to identify and track the silicon carbide nanoparticle diffusion in titanium. A numerical model implemented in a commercial software based on control volume method has been developed that allows to simulate the fluid flow during solidification as well as tracking nanoparticles during this process. The influence of the free surface of the melt pool has a high importance on the fluid flow as well as the influence of pure natural convection. Thus both buoyancy and Marangoni convection have been considered in terms of fluid flow in the molten region. A detailed parametric study has been conducted by changing the Marangoni number, convection heat transfer coefficient, different initial distribution of particles, and thermal boundary condition of bottom wall to analyze the behavior of the nanoparticle movement. Variation in particle's initial distribution along with different Marangoni number and solidification time results in a high concentration of nanoparticles in some portion of the geometry and lack of particles in rest of the geometry. High concentration of nanoparticles decrease with a decrease in Marangoni number. Furthermore, an increase in the rate of solidification time limits the nanoparticle movement from its original position which results in different distribution patterns with respect to the solidification time.