Dendrite fragmentation: An experiment-driven simulation

T. Cool, P. W. Voorhees*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


The processes leading to the fragmentation of secondary dendrite arms are studied using a three-dimensional Sn dendritic structure that was measured experimentally as an initial condition in a phase-field simulation. The phase-field model replicates the kinetics of the coarsening process seen experimentally. Consistent with the experiment, the simulations of the Sn-rich dendrite show that secondary dendrite arm coalescence is prevalent and that fragmentation is not. The lack of fragmentation is due to the non-axisymmetric morphology and comparatively small spacing of the dendrite arms. A model for the coalescence process is proposed, and, consistent with the model, the radius of the contact region following coalescence increases as t1/3. We find that small changes in the width and spacing of the dendrite arms can lead to a very different fragmentation-dominated coarsening process. Thus, the alloy system and growth conditions of the dendrite can have a major impact on the fragmentation process. This article is part of the theme issue ‘From atomistic interfaces to dendritic patterns’.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number20170213
JournalPhilosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences
Issue number2113
StatePublished - Feb 28 2018


  • Dendrite
  • Fragmentation
  • Phase-field simulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Mathematics(all)


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