Simulation of viscous sintering using the lattice Boltzmann method
F. Varnik, A. G. Rios Nogues, M. Gross, I. Steinbach.
Modelling and Simulation in Materials Science and Engineering, IOP Publishing Ltd., UK, 21, 025003, (2013)
The viscous flow is one of the important mass transport mechanisms in sintering powder materials such as porous glass. The main underlying driving force here is the tendency of the system to minimize the overall surface free energy. In this work, we first address the fundamental problem of the coalescence of two suspending drops and provide an alternative derivation of Frenkel's formula by explicitly taking account of driving forces which arise from the curvature of the contact zone. The result thus obtained is compared with non-ideal (two phase) fluid lattice Boltzmann simulations. Furthermore, we use this simulation tool to address the more complex case of the sintering of a compact of viscous spherical particles. We observe a significantly faster densification dynamics than in experiments but obtain qualitative agreement upon rescaling the unit of time. We attribute this faster dynamics in simulations to the absence of intergranular friction and discuss a possible improvement of the model. We also propose, for the present LB model, a simple way of imposing shear flow to determine the time dependence of the effective viscosity during the sintering process. The method is benchmarked via a simple analytic case and first simulation results are presented for situations for which no analytic theory exists.
Keyword(s): physics; materials science; crystallography; polymer science; thermodynamics