Considerable progress has been made in studying the mechanism and effectiveness of using ultrasound waves to manipulate the solidification microstructures of metallic alloys. However, uncertainties remain in both the underlying physics of how microstructures evolve under ultrasonic waves, and the best technological approach to control the final microstructures and properties. We used the ultrafast synchrotron X-ray phase contrast imaging facility housed at the Advanced Photon Source, Argonne National Laboratory, US to study in situ the highly transient and dynamic interactions between the liquid metal and ultrasonic waves/bubbles. The dynamics of ultrasonic bubbles in liquid metal and their interactions with the solidifying phases in a transparent alloy were captured in situ. The experiments were complemented by the simulations of the acoustic pressure field, the pulsing of the bubbles, and the associated forces acting onto the solidifying dendrites. The study provides more quantitative understanding on how ultrasonic waves/bubbles influence the growth of dendritic grains and promote the grain multiplication effect for grain refinement.
Mi, J., Tan, D., & Lee, T. L. (2015). In situ synchrotron x-ray study of ultrasound cavitation and its effect on solidification microstructures. Metallurgical and Materials Transactions B, 46(4), 1615-1619. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11663-014-0256-z