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The role of solute in grain refinement of magnesium-based castings investigated by phase-field simulations
A fine grained microstructure is the most important prerequisite for good mechanical properties of cast metal products. Apart from the heat extraction rate and the number and size of nucleant particles, the alloy composition plays an important role in efficient grain refinement. In the present work a model for heterogenous nucleation on nucleant particles has been integrated into a phase-field model for multicomponent alloy solidification to simulate the complex interaction of nucleation, anisotropic growth, solute redistribution and latent hear release. Simulations are run by online-coupling of the phase-field software to a thermodynamic calculation software using a Calphad database. The effect od solute elements Al, Zn, Ca on the gain size of an Mg-based alloy is investigated and compared to predictions of the growth restriction theory.