On the governing fragmentation mechanism of primary intermetallics by induced cavitation

Priyadarshi, A., Khavari, M., Subroto, T., Conte, M., Prentice, P. , Pericleous, K., Eskin, D., Durodola, J. and Tzanakis, I. (2021) On the governing fragmentation mechanism of primary intermetallics by induced cavitation. Ultrasonics Sonochemistry, 70, 105260. (doi: 10.1016/j.ultsonch.2020.105260)

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One of the main applications of ultrasonic melt treatment is the grain refinement of aluminium alloys. Among several suggested mechanisms, the fragmentation of primary intermetallics by acoustic cavitation is regarded as very efficient. However, the physical process causing this fragmentation has received little attention and is not yet well understood. In this study, we evaluate the mechanical properties of primary Al3Zr intermetallics by nano-indentation experiments and correlate those with in-situ high-speed imaging (of up to 1 Mfps) of their fragmentation process by laser-induced cavitation (single bubble) and by acoustic cavitation (cloud of bubbles) in water. Intermetallic crystals were chemically extracted from an Al-3wt% Zr alloy matrix. Mechanical properties such as hardness, elastic modulus and fracture toughness of the extracted intermetallics were determined using a geometrically fixed Berkovich nano-diamond and cube corner indenter, under ambient temperature conditions. The studied crystals were then exposed to the two cavitation conditions mentioned. Results demonstrated for the first time that the governing fragmentation mechanism of the studied intermetallics was due to the emitted shock waves from the collapsing bubbles. The fragmentation caused by a single bubble collapse was found to be almost instantaneous. On the other hand, sono-fragmentation studies revealed that the intermetallic crystal initially underwent low cycle fatigue loading, followed by catastrophic brittle failure due to propagating shock waves. The observed fragmentation mechanism was supported by fracture mechanics and pressure measurements using a calibrated fibre optic hydrophone. Results showed that the acoustic pressures produced from shock wave emissions in the case of a single bubble collapse, and responsible for instantaneous fragmentation of the intermetallics, were in the range of 20-40 MPa. Whereas, the shock pressure generated from the acoustic cavitation cloud collapses surged up to 1.6 MPa inducing fatigue stresses within the crystal leading to eventual fragmentation.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:This research work was financially supported by the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) through the UltraMelt2 project (grant EP/R011001/1, EP/R011095/1 and EP/R011044/1).
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Prentice, Dr Paul
Creator Roles:
Prentice, P.Methodology, Resources, Supervision
Authors: Priyadarshi, A., Khavari, M., Subroto, T., Conte, M., Prentice, P., Pericleous, K., Eskin, D., Durodola, J., and Tzanakis, I.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering > Systems Power and Energy
Journal Name:Ultrasonics Sonochemistry
ISSN (Online):1873-2828
Published Online:24 July 2020
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2020 The Authors
First Published:First published in Ultrasonics Sonochemistry 70: 105260
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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