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    Channel segregation (CS) is the most typical defect during solidification of NbTi alloy. Based on numerical simulation and experimental characterizations, we deeply elucidated its characteristics, formation mechanism, effecting factor and prediction criterion. According to acid etching, industrial X-ray transmission imaging, 3D X-ray microtomography and chemical analysis, it was found that in a casing ingot, by He cooling, finer grain size, weaker segregation and slighter CS can be obtained compared with air-cooled ingot. The simulation results of macrosegregation show that CS is caused by the strong natural convection in the mushy zone triggered by the thermo-solutal gradient. Its formation can be divided into two stages including channel initiation and growth. In addition, due to the stronger cooling effect of the He treatment, the interdendritic flow velocity becomes smaller, consequently lowering the positive segregation and CS and improving the global homogenization of the final ingot. Finally, to predict the formation of CS, the Rayleigh number model was proposed and its critical value was found to be 15 in NbTi alloy for the first time. When it is lower than the threshold, CS disappears. It provides an effective tool to evaluate and optimize the solidification parameters to fabricate the homogenized NbTi ingot in engineering practice.


    Baohui Zhu, Zhenzhen Chen, Yanfei Cao, Yanchang Liu, Xiuhong Kang, Yun Chen, Hongwei Liu, Paixian Fu, Yikun Luan, Dianzhong Li. Characteristics, Mechanism and Criterion of Channel Segregation in NbTi Alloy via Numerical Simulations and Experimental Characterizations. Materials (Basel, Switzerland). 2021 Feb 08;14(4)

    PMID: 33567539

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