Remelting-induced anomalous eutectic formation during solidification of deeply undercooled eutectic alloy melts
Anomalous eutectics are argued to form due to the remelting of the primary solid during solidification of deeply undercooled eutectic alloy melts. As an indicator of the tendency for anomalous eutectic formation, the remelted fraction of the primary eutectic was analyzed systematically based on the eutectic dendrite growth theory. For eutectic alloys with either larger equilibrium solute distribution coefficients or gentle liquidus slopes, the primary eutectic is highly supersaturated with solute and more prone to remelting. When the eutectic composition is set to different values, (e.g. the eutectic point is closer to one phase of the eutectic), the two eutectic phases under rapid growth change their compositions simultaneously, but their remelted fractions during temperature recalescence do not vary significantly. Three representative binary eutectic alloys Ag–39.9 at.%Cu, Ni–19.6 at.%P and Pd–16.0 at.%P – their eutectic products are solid solution–solid solution, solid solution–stoichiometric intermetallic compound and stoichiometric intermetallic compound–stoichiometric intermetallic compound, respectively, were solidified at large undercooling. Anomalous eutectics were observed in the first two eutectic alloys whose eutectic structure consists of at least one solid solution phase, whereby the stoichiometric intermetallic compound phase remained highly oriented whereas the solid solution phase had a near random distribution of orientations. For the Pd–16.0 at.%P alloy, however, the primary eutectic retained its original morphology as the final solidification structure regardless of the degree of undercooling. All these experimental results validate the argument that anomalous eutectics result from the remelting of the primary solid.
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