NUMERICAL ANALYSIS OF THE HYDRODYNAMICS CHARACTERISTICS OF TORPEDO ANCHOR INSTALLATION UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF OCEAN CURRENTS

魚雷錨擲錨過程受海流擲下之運移特性數值分析

번역된 기고 제목: 해류의 영향에 따른 어뢰 앵커 설치의 유체 역학 특성에 대한 수치 분석

Translated title of the contribution: NUMERICAL ANALYSIS OF THE HYDRODYNAMICS CHARACTERISTICS OF TORPEDO ANCHOR INSTALLATION UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF OCEAN CURRENTS

L. Y. Chen, R. Y. Yang

Abstract

The gravity-installed anchor (GIA) is a type of the anchor foundation that is installed by penetrating the seabed using the weight of the anchor body. It has the advantages of high installation efficiency, low cost, and no requirement of additional installation facilities. The GIA type used in this study is the torpedo anchor, which has been ap-plied in practical cases widely. The purpose of this study is to investigate the numerical analysis of the anchor trans-porting during the installation of the torpedo anchor under the action of ocean currents. Therefore, this article con-siders external environmental conditions and the different forms of torpedo anchors by using computational fluid dynamics (CFD) software, FLOW-3D, to simulate the fluid-solid interaction effect on the torpedo anchor. The falling time, impact velocity, displaced angle, and horizontal displacement of the torpedo anchor were observed at an installation height (i.e., the distance between the seabed and the anchor release height) of 85 meters. The obtained results show that when the current velocity is greater, the torpedo anchor will have a larger displaced angle, which will affect the impact velocity of the anchor on the seabed and may cause insufficient penetration depth, leading to installation failure.

중력설치형 앵커(GIA)는 앵커 본체의 무게를 이용하여 해저를 관통하여 설치하는 앵커 기초의 일종이다. 설치 효율성이 높고, 비용이 저렴하며, 추가 설치 시설이 필요하지 않다는 장점이 있습니다. 본 연구에서 사용된 GIA 유형은 어뢰앵커로 실제 사례에 널리 적용되어 왔다.

본 연구의 목적은 해류의 작용에 따라 어뢰앵커 설치 시 앵커 이송에 대한 수치해석을 연구하는 것이다. 따라서 이 기사에서는 어뢰 앵커에 대한 유체-고체 상호 작용 효과를 시뮬레이션하기 위해 전산유체역학(CFD) 소프트웨어인 FLOW-3D를 사용하여 외부 환경 조건과 다양한 형태의 어뢰 앵커를 고려합니다.

어뢰앵커의 낙하시간, 충격속도, 변위각, 수평변위 등은 설치높이(즉, 해저와 앵커 해제 높이 ​​사이의 거리) 85m에서 관찰되었다. 얻은 결과는 현재 속도가 더 높을 때 어뢰 앵커의 변위 각도가 더 커져 해저에 대한 앵커의 충격 속도에 영향을 미치고 침투 깊이가 부족하여 설치 실패로 이어질 수 있음을 보여줍니다.

  • Ocean currentsEngineering & Materials Science100%
  • AnchorsEngineering & Materials Science74%
  • Numerical analysisEngineering & Materials Science63%
  • HydrodynamicsEngineering & Materials Science62%
  • GravitationEngineering & Materials Science9%
  • Computational fluid dynamicsEngineering & Materials Science4%
  • FluidsEngineering & Materials Science3%
  • CostsEngineering & Materials Science
  • 해류
  • 앵커
  • 수치해석
  • 유체 역학
  • 중력
  • 전산유체역학
Influences of the Powder Size and Process Parameters on the Quasi-Stability of Molten Pool Shape in Powder Bed Fusion-Laser Beam of Molybdenum

Influences of the Powder Size and Process Parameters on the Quasi-Stability of Molten Pool Shape in Powder Bed Fusion-Laser Beam of Molybdenum

몰리브덴 분말층 융합-레이저 빔의 용융 풀 형태의 준안정성에 대한 분말 크기 및 공정 매개변수의 영향

Abstract

Formation of a quasi-steady molten pool is one of the necessary conditions for achieving excellent quality in many laser processes. The influences of distribution characteristics of powder sizes on quasi-stability of the molten pool shape during single-track powder bed fusion-laser beam (PBF-LB) of molybdenum and the underlying mechanism were investigated.

The feasibility of improving quasi-stability of the molten pool shape by increasing the laser energy conduction effect and preheating was explored. Results show that an increase in the range of powder sizes does not significantly influence the average laser energy conduction effect in PBF-LB process. Whereas, it intensifies fluctuations of the transient laser energy conduction effect.

It also leads to fluctuations of the replenishment rate of metals, difficulty in formation of the quasi-steady molten pool, and increased probability of incomplete fusion and pores defects. As the laser power rises, the laser energy conduction effect increases, which improves the quasi-stability of the molten pool shape. When increasing the laser scanning speed, the laser energy conduction effect grows.

However, because the molten pool size reduces due to the decreased heat input, the replenishment rate of metals of the molten pool fluctuates more obviously and the quasi-stability of the molten pool shape gets worse. On the whole, the laser energy conduction effect in the PBF-LB process of Mo is low (20-40%). The main factor that affects quasi-stability of the molten pool shape is the amount of energy input per unit length of the scanning path, rather than the laser energy conduction effect.

Moreover, substrate preheating can not only enlarge the molten pool size, particularly the length, but also reduce non-uniformity and discontinuity of surface morphologies of clad metals and inhibit incomplete fusion and pores defects.

준안정 용융 풀의 형성은 많은 레이저 공정에서 우수한 품질을 달성하는 데 필요한 조건 중 하나입니다. 몰리브덴의 단일 트랙 분말층 융합 레이저 빔(PBF-LB) 동안 용융 풀 형태의 준안정성에 대한 분말 크기 분포 특성의 영향과 그 기본 메커니즘을 조사했습니다.

레이저 에너지 전도 효과와 예열을 증가시켜 용융 풀 형태의 준안정성을 향상시키는 타당성을 조사했습니다. 결과는 분말 크기 범위의 증가가 PBF-LB 공정의 평균 레이저 에너지 전도 효과에 큰 영향을 미치지 않음을 보여줍니다. 반면, 과도 레이저 에너지 전도 효과의 변동이 강화됩니다.

이는 또한 금속 보충 속도의 변동, 준안정 용융 풀 형성의 어려움, 불완전 융합 및 기공 결함 가능성 증가로 이어집니다. 레이저 출력이 증가함에 따라 레이저 에너지 전도 효과가 증가하여 용융 풀 모양의 준 안정성이 향상됩니다. 레이저 스캐닝 속도를 높이면 레이저 에너지 전도 효과가 커집니다.

그러나 열 입력 감소로 인해 용융 풀 크기가 줄어들기 때문에 용융 풀의 금속 보충 속도의 변동이 더욱 뚜렷해지고 용융 풀 형태의 준안정성이 악화됩니다.

전체적으로 Mo의 PBF-LB 공정에서 레이저 에너지 전도 효과는 낮다(20~40%). 용융 풀 형상의 준안정성에 영향을 미치는 주요 요인은 레이저 에너지 전도 효과보다는 스캐닝 경로의 단위 길이당 입력되는 에너지의 양입니다.

또한 기판 예열은 용융 풀 크기, 특히 길이를 확대할 수 있을 뿐만 아니라 클래드 금속 표면 형태의 불균일성과 불연속성을 줄이고 불완전한 융합 및 기공 결함을 억제합니다.

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Discharge Coefficient of a Two-Rectangle Compound Weir combined with a Semicircular Gate beneath it under Various Hydraulic and Geometric Conditions

다양한 수력학적 및 기하학적 조건에서 아래에 반원형 게이트가 결합된 두 개의 직사각형 복합 웨어의 배수 계수

ABSTRACT

Two-component composite hydraulic structures are commonly employed in irrigation systems. The first component, responsible for managing the overflow, is represented by a weir consisting of two rectangles. The second component, responsible for regulating the underflow, is represented by a semicircular gate. Both components are essential for measuring, directing, and controlling the flow. In this study, we experimentally investigated the flow through a combined two-rectangle sharp-crested weir with a semicircular gate placed across the channel as a control structure. The upper rectangle of the weir has a width of 20 cm, while the lower rectangle has varying widths (W2 ) of 5, 7, and 9 cm and depths (z) of 6, 9, and 11 cm. Additionally, three different values were considered for the gate diameter (d), namely 8, 12, and 15 cm. These dimensions were tested interchangeably, including a weir without a gate (d = 0), under different water head conditions. The results indicate that the discharge passing through the combined structure of the two rectangles and the gate is significantly affected by the weir and gate dimensions. After analyzing the data, empirical formulas were developed to predict the discharge coefficient (Cd ) of the combined structure. It is important to note that the analysis and results presented in this study are limited to the range of data that were tested.

2성분 복합 수력 구조물은 일반적으로 관개 시스템에 사용됩니다. 오버플로 관리를 담당하는 첫 번째 구성 요소는 두 개의 직사각형으로 구성된 웨어로 표시됩니다.

언더플로우 조절을 담당하는 두 번째 구성 요소는 반원형 게이트로 표시됩니다. 두 구성 요소 모두 흐름을 측정, 지시 및 제어하는 데 필수적입니다. 본 연구에서 우리는 제어 구조로 수로를 가로질러 배치된 반원형 게이트를 갖춘 결합된 두 개의 직사각형 뾰족한 둑을 통한 흐름을 실험적으로 조사했습니다.

웨어의 위쪽 직사각형은 폭이 20cm인 반면, 아래쪽 직사각형은 5, 7, 9cm의 다양한 폭(W2)과 6, 9, 11cm의 깊이(z)를 갖습니다. 또한 게이트 직경(d)에 대해 8, 12, 15cm의 세 가지 다른 값이 고려되었습니다.

이러한 치수는 게이트가 없는 둑(d = 0)을 포함하여 다양한 수두 조건에서 상호 교환적으로 테스트되었습니다. 결과는 두 개의 직사각형과 게이트가 결합된 구조를 통과하는 방전이 위어와 게이트 크기에 크게 영향을 받는다는 것을 나타냅니다.

데이터를 분석한 후, 결합구조물의 유출계수(Cd)를 예측하기 위한 실험식을 개발하였다. 본 연구에서 제시된 분석 및 결과는 테스트된 데이터 범위에 국한된다는 점에 유의하는 것이 중요합니다.

Keywords

combound weir; semicircular gates; discharge coefficient; combined structure; open channels;
discharge measurement

Fig. 2. The flume and hydraulic bench layout
Fig. 2. The flume and hydraulic bench layout

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The impacts of profile concavity on turbidite deposits: Insights from the submarine canyons on global continental margins

The impacts of profile concavity on turbidite deposits: Insights from the submarine canyons on global continental margins

프로필 오목부가 탁도 퇴적물에 미치는 영향: 전 세계 대륙 경계에 대한 해저 협곡의 통찰력

Kaiqi Yu a, Elda Miramontes bc, Matthieu J.B. Cartigny d, Yuping Yang a, Jingping Xu a
aDepartment of Ocean Science and Engineering, Southern University of Science and Technology, 1088 Xueyuan Rd., Shenzhen 518055, Guangdong, China
bMARUM-Center for Marine Environmental Sciences, University of Bremen, Bremen, Germanyc
Faculty of Geosciences, University of Bremen, Bremen, Germany
dDepartment of Geography, Durham University, South Road, Durham DH1 3LE, UK

Received 10 August 2023, Revised 13 March 2024, Accepted 13 March 2024, Available online 17 March 2024, Version of Record 20 March 2024.

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Highlights

  • •The impact of submarine canyon concavity on turbidite deposition was assessed.
  • •Distribution of turbidite deposits varies with changes in canyon concavity.
  • •Three distinct deposition patterns were identified.
  • •The recognized deposition patterns align well with the observed turbidite deposits.

Abstract

Submarine canyons are primary conduits for turbidity currents transporting terrestrial sediments, nutrients, pollutants and organic carbon to the deep sea. The concavity in the longitudinal profile of these canyons (i.e. the downstream flattening rate along the profiles) influences the transport processes and results in variations in turbidite thickness, impacting the transfer and burial of particles. To better understand the controlling mechanisms of canyon concavity on the distribution of turbidite deposits, here we investigate the variation in sediment accumulation as a function of canyon concavity of 20 different modern submarine canyons, distributed on global continental margins. In order to effectively assess the isolated impact of the concavity of 20 different canyons, a series of two-dimensional, depth-resolved numerical simulations are conducted. Simulation results show that the highly concave profile (e.g. Surveyor and Horizon) tends to concentrate the turbidite deposits mainly at the slope break, while nearly straight profiles (e.g. Amazon and Congo) result in deposition focused at the canyon head. Moderately concave profiles with a smoother canyon floor (e.g. Norfolk-Washington and Mukluk) effectively facilitate the downstream transport of suspended sediments in turbidity currents. Furthermore, smooth and steep upper reaches of canyons commonly contribute to sediment bypass (i.e. Mukluk and Chirikof), while low slope angles lead to deposition at upper reaches (i.e. Bounty and Valencia). At lower reaches, the distribution of turbidite deposits is consistent with the occurrence of hydraulic jumps. Under the influence of different canyon concavities, three types of deposition patterns are inferred in this study, and verified by comparison with observed turbidite deposits on the modern or paleo-canyon floor. This study demonstrates a potential difference in sediment transport efficiency of submarine canyons with different concavities, which has potential consequences for sediment and organic carbon transport through submarine canyons.

Introduction

Submarine canyons are pivotal links in source-to-sink systems on continental margins (Sømme et al., 2009; Nyberg et al., 2018; Pope et al., 2022a, Pope et al., 2022b) that provide efficient pathways for moving prodigious volumes of terrestrial materials to the abyssal basin (Spychala et al., 2020; Heijnen et al., 2022). When turbidity currents, the main force that transports the above mentioned sediments (Xu et al., 2004; Xu, 2010; Talling et al., 2013; Stevenson et al., 2015), slow down after entering a flatter and/or wider stretch of the canyon downstream, the laden sediments settle, often rapidly, to form a deposit called turbidite that is known for organic carbon burial, hydrocarbon reserves and the accumulation of microplastics (Galy et al., 2007; Pohl et al., 2020a; Pope et al., 2022b; Pierdomenico et al., 2023). A set of flume experiments by Pohl et al. (2020b) revealed that the variation of bed slope plays a dominant role in controlling the sizes and locations of the deposit: a) a more gently dipping upper slope leads to upstream migration of upslope pinch-out; b) the increase of lower slope results in a decrease of the deposit thickness (Fig. 1a).

From upper continental slopes to deepwater basins, turbidity currents are commonly confined by submarine canyons that facilitate the longer distance transport of sediments (Eggenhuisen et al., 2022; Pope et al., 2022a; Wahab et al., 2022, Li et al., 2023a). The concavity, defined here as the downstream flattening rate of profiles (Covault et al., 2011; Chen et al., 2019; Seybold et al., 2021; Soutter et al., 2021a), of the longitudinal bed profile of the submarine canyons is therefore a key factor that determines hydrodynamic processes of turbidity currents, including the accumulation of sediments along the canyon thalweg (Covault et al., 2014; de Leeuw et al., 2016; Heerema et al., 2022; Heijnen et al., 2022). Due to the comprehensive impacts of sediment supply, grain size, climate change, regional tectonics, associated river and self-incision, the concavity of submarine canyons on global continental margins varies greatly (Parker et al., 1986; Harris and Whiteway, 2011; Casalbore et al., 2018; Nyberg et al., 2018; Soutter et al., 2021a, Li et al., 2023b), which is much more complex than the two constant slope setup of Pohl et al. (2020b)’s flume experiment (Fig. 1a). This raises the question of how the more complex concavity influences the dynamics of turbidity currents and the resultant distribution of turbidite deposits. For instance, the longitudinal profile concavity can also be increased by steepening the upper slope and/or gentling the lower slope of canyons (Fig. 1b). Parameters, known as significant factors influencing flow dynamics, include dip angle (Pohl et al., 2019), bed roughness (Baghalian and Ghodsian, 2020), obstacle presence (Howlett et al., 2019), and confinement conditions (Soutter et al., 2021b). However, the role of channel concavity in determining the downstream evolution of flow dynamics remains poorly understood (Covault et al., 2011; Georgiopoulou and Cartwright, 2013), and it is still unclear whether changes in concavity can result in different locations of pinch-out points and variations in turbidite deposit thicknesses (Pohl et al., 2020b).

In this study, we hypothesize that a more concave profile resulting from a steeper upper slope and a gentler lower slope may lead to a downstream migration of the upslope pinch-out and an increase of deposit thickness (Fig. 1b). This hypothesis is tested in 20 modern submarine canyons (shown in Fig. 2) whose longitudinal profiles are extracted from the GEBCO_2022 grid. Due to the lack of data describing the turbidite thickness trends in these canyons, we used a numerical model (FLOW-3D® software) to simulate the depositional process. The simulation results allow us to address at least two questions: (1) How does the concavity affect the distribution and thickness of turbidite deposits along the canyon thalwegs? (2) What is the impact of canyon concavity on the dynamics of the turbidity currents? Such answers on a global scale are undoubtedly helpful in understanding not only the sediment transport processes but also the efficient transfer and burial of organic carbon along global continental margins.

Section snippets

Submarine canyons used in this study

The longitudinal profiles of 20 modern submarine canyons are obtained using Global Mapper® from a public domain database GEBCO_2022 (doi:https://doi.org/10.5285/e0f0bb80-ab44-2739-e053-6c86abc0289c). The GEBCO_2022 grid provides elevation data, in meters, on a 15 arc-second interval grid. The 20 selected submarine canyons, which span the typical distance covered by turbidity currents, have been chosen from a diverse range of submarine canyon and channel systems that extend at least 250 km

Concavity of longitudinal canyon profiles

The NCI and α values of all 20 canyon profiles utilized in this study are plotted in Fig. 4, indicating the majority of these submarine canyons typically exhibit a concave profile, characterized by a negative NCI, except for the Amazon. In most of the profiles, the NCI is lower than −0.08, with the most concave point (indicated by the minimum ratio α) located closer to the canyon head than to the profile end, and their upper reaches are steeper than lower reaches, typically observed as the

Validation of the hypothesis

As previously mentioned in this paper, one of the primary objectives of this study is to evaluate the hypothesis inferred from the flume tank experiment of Pohl et al. (2020b): whether a more concave canyon profile can exert a comparable influence on turbidite deposits as the steepness of the lower and upper slopes in a slope-break system (Fig. 1). Shown as the modeling results, the deposition pattern of this study is more ‘irregular’ compared with the flume tank experiment (Pohl et al., 2020b

Conclusion

Based on global bathymetry, this study simulates the depositional behavior of turbidity currents flowing through the 20 different submarine canyons on the margins of open ocean and marginal sea. Influenced by the different concavities, the resulted deposition patterns are characterized by a variable distribution of turbidite deposits.

  • 1)The simulation results demonstrate that the accumulation of turbidite deposits is primarily observed in downstream regions near the slope break for highly concave

CRediT authorship contribution statement

Kaiqi Yu: Writing – review & editing, Writing – original draft, Validation, Software, Methodology, Investigation, Conceptualization. Elda Miramontes: Writing – review & editing, Supervision, Conceptualization. Matthieu J.B. Cartigny: Writing – review & editing, Supervision. Yuping Yang: Software, Methodology. Jingping Xu: Writing – review & editing, Supervision, Funding acquisition, Conceptualization.

Declaration of competing interest

The authors declare that they have no known competing financial interests or personal relationships that could have appeared to influence the work reported in this paper.

Acknowledgements

This study is supported by the Shenzhen Natural Science Foundation (JCYJ20210324105211031). Matthieu J. B. Cartigny was supported by Royal Society Research Fellowship (DHF/R1/180166). We thank the Chief Editor Zhongyuan Chen, the associate editor and two reviewers for their constructive comments that helped us improve our manuscript.

References (70)

There are more references available in the full text version of this article.

Fig. 3. Free surface and substrate profiles in all Sp and Ls cases at t = 1 s, t = 3 s, and t = 5 s, arranged left to right (note: the colour contours correspond to the horizontal component of the flow velocity (u), expressed in m/s).

Numerical investigation of dam break flow over erodible beds with diverse substrate level variations

다양한 기질 수준 변화를 갖는 침식성 층 위의 댐 파손 흐름에 대한 수치 조사

Alireza Khoshkonesh1, Blaise Nsom2, Saeid Okhravi3*, Fariba Ahmadi Dehrashid4, Payam Heidarian5,
Silvia DiFrancesco6
1 Department of Geography, School of Social Sciences, History, and Philosophy, Birkbeck University of London, London, UK.
2 Université de Bretagne Occidentale. IRDL/UBO UMR CNRS 6027. Rue de Kergoat, 29285 Brest, France.
3 Institute of Hydrology, Slovak Academy of Sciences, Dúbravská cesta 9, 84104, Bratislava, Slovak Republic.
4Department of Water Science and Engineering, Faculty of Agriculture, Bu-Ali Sina University, 65178-38695, Hamedan, Iran.
5 Department of Civil, Environmental, Architectural Engineering and Mathematics, University of Brescia, 25123 Brescia, Italy.
6Niccol`o Cusano University, via Don C. Gnocchi 3, 00166 Rome, Italy. * Corresponding author. Tel.: +421-944624921. E-mail: saeid.okhravi@savba.sk

Abstract

This study aimed to comprehensively investigate the influence of substrate level difference and material composition on dam break wave evolution over two different erodible beds. Utilizing the Volume of Fluid (VOF) method, we tracked free surface advection and reproduced wave evolution using experimental data from the literature. For model validation, a comprehensive sensitivity analysis encompassed mesh resolution, turbulence simulation methods, and bed load transport equations. The implementation of Large Eddy Simulation (LES), non-equilibrium sediment flux, and van Rijn’s (1984) bed load formula yielded higher accuracy compared to alternative approaches. The findings emphasize the significant effect of substrate level difference and material composition on dam break morphodynamic characteristics. Decreasing substrate level disparity led to reduced flow velocity, wavefront progression, free surface height, substrate erosion, and other pertinent parameters. Initial air entrapment proved substantial at the wavefront, illustrating pronounced air-water interaction along the bottom interface. The Shields parameter experienced a one-third reduction as substrate level difference quadrupled, with the highest near-bed concentration observed at the wavefront. This research provides fresh insights into the complex interplay of factors governing dam break wave propagation and morphological changes, advancing our comprehension of this intricate phenomenon.

이 연구는 두 개의 서로 다른 침식층에 대한 댐 파괴파 진화에 대한 기질 수준 차이와 재료 구성의 영향을 종합적으로 조사하는 것을 목표로 했습니다. VOF(유체량) 방법을 활용하여 자유 표면 이류를 추적하고 문헌의 실험 데이터를 사용하여 파동 진화를 재현했습니다.

모델 검증을 위해 메쉬 해상도, 난류 시뮬레이션 방법 및 침대 하중 전달 방정식을 포함하는 포괄적인 민감도 분석을 수행했습니다. LES(Large Eddy Simulation), 비평형 퇴적물 플럭스 및 van Rijn(1984)의 하상 부하 공식의 구현은 대체 접근 방식에 비해 더 높은 정확도를 산출했습니다.

연구 결과는 댐 붕괴 형태역학적 특성에 대한 기질 수준 차이와 재료 구성의 중요한 영향을 강조합니다. 기판 수준 차이가 감소하면 유속, 파면 진행, 자유 표면 높이, 기판 침식 및 기타 관련 매개변수가 감소했습니다.

초기 공기 포집은 파면에서 상당한 것으로 입증되었으며, 이는 바닥 경계면을 따라 뚜렷한 공기-물 상호 작용을 보여줍니다. 기판 레벨 차이가 4배로 증가함에 따라 Shields 매개변수는 1/3로 감소했으며, 파면에서 가장 높은 베드 근처 농도가 관찰되었습니다.

이 연구는 댐 파괴파 전파와 형태학적 변화를 지배하는 요인들의 복잡한 상호 작용에 대한 새로운 통찰력을 제공하여 이 복잡한 현상에 대한 이해를 향상시킵니다.

Keywords

Dam break; Substrate level difference; Erodible bed; Sediment transport; Computational fluid dynamics CFD.

Fig. 3. Free surface and substrate profiles in all Sp and Ls cases at t = 1 s, t = 3 s, and t = 5 s, arranged left to right (note: the colour contours
correspond to the horizontal component of the flow velocity (u), expressed in m/s).
Fig. 3. Free surface and substrate profiles in all Sp and Ls cases at t = 1 s, t = 3 s, and t = 5 s, arranged left to right (note: the colour contours correspond to the horizontal component of the flow velocity (u), expressed in m/s).

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그림 10. 수문이 고르지 않게 열리는 경우의 시뮬레이션 결과

홍수 시즌에 하수구를 운영할 때 흐름 회로를 제어하는 ​​기술, 푸토코무네 제방을 통해 제방에 적용

요약

대규모 홍수 구호 작업에 대한 일반적인 흐름 회로 현상의 영향은 많은 보고서에서 연구되었으며 비교적 자세하게 연구되었습니다. 그러나 유량 변동이 제방 암거 작동에 미치는 악영향에 대해서는 많이 언급되지 않았습니다.

실제 운영에 따르면 에너지 소산 탱크 또는 뒷마당의 국부적 불안정성, 운하 지붕의 부력 또는 붕괴, 하류 또는 제방 본체 일부 등 암거 구조 및 제방 시스템에 영향을 미치는 흐름 회로의 부정적인 영향이 많이 있음을 알 수 있습니다.

홍수기 운영 시 암거 및 제방의 안전성을 확보하기 위해서는 유동현상으로 인한 사업에 미치는 유해영향을 최소화할 필요가 있으며 본 연구에서는 이를 검증하고자 합니다.

제방을 통과하는 암거의 동적 회로 현상은 FLOW-3D 소프트웨어를 사용하여 수학적 모델로 시뮬레이션됩니다. 제방을 통한 암거 작동에 잠재적으로 영향을 미칠 수 있는 동맥 유형이 연구에서 구체적으로 논의됩니다.

동시에 암거와 제방 위치는 이 기사에서 지적한 흐름 회로 현상에 의해 부정적인 영향을 받을 가능성이 더 높습니다. 또한 Phuc Tho 마을의 제방을 가로지르는 암거 게이트 뒤의 회로 현상을 줄이기 위한 구조적, 비구조적 조치도 연구되고 평가됩니다.

이를 토대로 운영하수관로의 구조를 저해하지 않고 회로를 축소할 수 있는 방안을 제안한다.

The flow fluctuation has been studied in quite extensively for large-scale flood control works, however, this issue has been less addressed for culverts through levee. The operational experience has shown that there are many negative impacts of flow dynamics on the culvert structure and levee system such as the uplift instability, the local surface erosion of the stilling basin or the downstream channel, collapsing of part of the levee system, etc. According to the requirement of sluice and levee safety during flood season, the task of reducing fluctuation needs to be performed. The article not only pointed out the types of fluctuation that need to pay attention behind the operation gate, but also specified the locations where the sluice and levee could be destructively affected by the fluctuation. In addition, structural and non-structural countermeasures reducing negative impacts of fluctuation are also mentioned. Research has proposed measures to reduce flow dynamics for operating culverts without interfering with their structure.

키워드

Fluctuation, sluice, stilling basin, 흐름회로, 제방암거, 에너지소산조, Flow3D, 회로저감솔루션.

그림 10. 수문이 고르지 않게 열리는 경우의 시뮬레이션 결과
그림 10. 수문이 고르지 않게 열리는 경우의 시뮬레이션 결과

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Fig. 3. (a–c) Snapshots of the CtFD simulation of laser-beam irradiation: (a) Top, (b) longitudinal vertical cross-sectional, and (c) transversal vertical cross-sectional views. (d) z-position of the solid/liquid interface during melting and solidification.

Solute segregation in a rapidly solidified Hastelloy-X Ni-based superalloy during laser powder bed fusion investigated by phase-field simulations and computational thermal-fluid dynamics

Masayuki Okugawa ab, Kenji Saito a, Haruki Yoshima a, Katsuhiko Sawaizumi a, Sukeharu Nomoto c, Makoto Watanabe c, Takayoshi Nakano ab, Yuichiro Koizumi abShow moreAdd to MendeleyShareCite

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.addma.2024.104079

Get rights and content Under a Creative Commons license open access

Abstract

Solute segregation significantly affects material properties and is a critical issue in the laser powder-bed fusion (LPBF) additive manufacturing (AM) of Ni-based superalloys. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to demonstrate a computational thermal-fluid dynamics (CtFD) simulation coupled multi-phase-field (MPF) simulation with a multicomponent-composition model of Ni-based superalloy to predict solute segregation under solidification conditions in LPBF. The MPF simulation of the Hastelloy-X superalloy reproduced the experimentally observed submicron-sized cell structure. Significant solute segregations were formed within interdendritic regions during solidification at high cooling rates of up to 10K s-1, a characteristic feature of LPBF. Solute segregation caused a decrease in the solidus temperature (TS), with a reduction of up to 30.4 K, which increases the risk of liquation cracks during LPBF. In addition, the segregation triggers the formation of carbide phases, which increases the susceptibility to ductility dip cracking. Conversely, we found that the decrease in TS is suppressed at the melt-pool boundary regions, where re-remelting occurs during the stacking of the layer above. Controlling the re-remelting behavior is deemed to be crucial for designing crack-free alloys. Thus, we demonstrated that solute segregation at the various interfacial regions of Ni-based multicomponent alloys can be predicted by the conventional MPF simulation. The design of crack-free Ni-based superalloys can be expedited by MPF simulations of a broad range of element combinations and their concentrations in multicomponent Ni-based superalloys.

Graphical abstract

Keywords

Laser powder-bed fusion, Hastelloy-X Nickel-based superalloy, solute element segregation, computational thermal-fluid dynamics simulation, phase-field method

1. Introduction

Additive manufacturing (AM) technologies have attracted considerable attention as they allow us to easily build three-dimensional (3D) parts with complex geometries. Among the wide range of available AM techniques, laser powder-bed fusion (LPBF) has emerged as a preferred technique for metal AM [1][2][3][4][5]. In LPBF, metal products are built layer-by-layer by scanning laser, which fuse metal powder particles into bulk solids.

Significant attempts have been made to integrate LPBF techniques within the aerospace industry, with a particular focus on weldable Ni-based superalloys, such as IN718 [6][7][8], IN625 [9][10], and Hastelloy-X (HX) [11][12][13][14]. Non-weldable alloys, such as IN738LC [15][16] and CMSX-4 [1][17] are also suitable for their sufficient creep resistance under higher temperature conditions. However, non-weldable alloys are difficult to build using LPBF because of their susceptibility to cracking during the process. In general, a macro solute-segregation during solidification is suppressed by the rapid cooling conditions (up to 108 K s-1) unique to the LPBF process [18]. However, the solute segregation still occurs in the interdendritic regions that are smaller than the micrometer scale [5][19][20][21]; these regions are suggested to be related to the hot cracks in LPBF-fabricated parts. Therefore, an understanding of solute segregation is essential for the fabrication of reliable LPBF-fabricated parts while avoiding cracks.

The multiphase-field (MPF) method has gained popularity for modeling the microstructure evolution and solute segregation under rapid cooling conditions [5][20][21][22][23][24][25][26][27][28]. Moreover, quantifiable predictions have been achieved by combining the MPF method with temperature distribution analysis methods such as the finite-element method (FEM) [20] and computational thermal-fluid dynamics (CtFD) simulations [28]. These aforementioned studies have used binary-approximated multicomponent systems, such as Ni–Nb binary alloys, to simulate IN718 alloys. While MPF simulations using binary alloy systems can effectively reproduce microstructure formations and segregation behaviors, the binary approximation might be affected by the chemical interactions between the removed solute elements in the target multicomponent alloy. The limit of absolute stability predicted by the Mullins-Sekerka theory [29] is also crucial because the limit velocity is close to the solidification rate in the LPBF process and is different in multicomponent and binary-approximated systems. The difference between the solidus and liquidus temperatures, ΔT0, directly determines the absolute stability according to the Mullins-Sekerka theory. For example, the ΔT0 values of IN718 and its binary-approximated Ni–5 wt.%Nb alloy are 134 K [28] and 71 K [30], respectively. The solidification rate compared to the limit of absolute stability, i.e., the relative non-equilibrium of solidification, changes by simplification of the system. It is therefore important to use the composition of the actual multicomponent system in such simulations. However, to the best of our knowledge, there is no MPF simulation using a multicomponent model coupled with a temperature analysis simulation to predict solute segregation in a Ni-based superalloy.

In this study, we demonstrate that the conventional MPF model can reproduce experimentally observed dendritic structures by performing a phase-field simulation using the temperature distribution obtained by a CtFD simulation of a multicomponent Ni-based alloy (conventional solid-solution hardening-type HX). The MPF simulation revealed that the segregation behavior of solute elements largely depends on the regions of the melt pool, such as the cell boundary, the interior of the melt-pool boundary, and heat-affected regions. The sensitivities of the various interfaces to liquation and solidification cracks are compared based on the predicted concentration distributions. Moreover, the feasibility of using the conventional MPF model for LPBF is discussed in terms of the absolute stability limit.

2. Methods

2.1. Laser-beam irradiation experiments

Rolled and recrystallized HX ingots with dimensions of 20 × 50 × 10 mm were used as the specimens for laser-irradiation experiments. The specimens were irradiated with a laser beam scanned along straight lines of 10 mm in length using a laser AM machine (EOS 290 M, EOS) equipped with a 400 W Yb-fiber laser. Irradiation was performed with a beam power of P = 300 W and a scanning speed of V = 600 mm s-1, which are the conditions generally used in the LPBF fabrication of Ni-based superalloy [8]. The corresponding line energy was 0.5 J mm-1. The samples were cut perpendicular to the beam-scanning direction for cross-sectional observation using a field-emission scanning electron microscope (FE-SEM, JEOL JSM 6500). Crystal orientation analysis was performed by electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD). The sizes of each crystal grain and their aspect ratios were evaluated by analyzing the EBSD data.

2.2. CtFD simulation

CtFD simulations of the laser-beam irradiation of HX were performed using a 3D thermo-fluid analysis software (Flow Science FLOW-3D® with Flow-3D Weld module). A Gaussian heat source model was used, in which the irradiation intensity distribution of the beam is regarded as a symmetrical Gaussian distribution over the entire beam. The distribution of the beam irradiation intensity is expressed by the following equation.(1)q̇=2ηPπR2exp−2r2R2.

Here, P is the power, R is the effective beam radius, r is the actual beam radius, and η is the beam absorption rate of the substrate. To improve the accuracy of the model, η was calculated by assuming multiple reflections using the Fresnel equation:(2)�=1−121+1−�cos�21+1+�cos�2+�2−2�cos�+2cos2��2+2�cos�+2cos2�.

ε is the Fresnel coefficient and θ is the incident angle of the laser. A local laser melt causes the vaporization of the material and results in a high vapor pressure. This vapor pressure acts as a recoil pressure on the surface, pushing the weld pool down. The recoil pressure is reproduced using the following equation.(3)precoil=Ap0exp∆HLVRTV1−TVT.

Here, p0 is the atmospheric pressure, ∆HLV is the latent heat of vaporization, R is the gas constant, and TV is the boiling point at the saturated vapor pressure. A is a ratio coefficient that is generally assumed to be 0.54, indicating that the recoil pressure due to evaporation is 54% of the vapor pressure at equilibrium on the liquid surface.

Table 1 shows the parameters used in the simulations. Most parameters were evaluated using an alloy physical property calculation software (Sente software JMatPro v11). The values in a previously published study [31] were used for the emissivity and the Stefan–Boltzmann constant, and the values for pure Ni [32] were used for the heat of vaporization and vaporization temperatures. The Fresnel coefficient, which determines the beam absorption efficiency, was used as a fitting parameter to reproduce the morphology of the experimentally observed melt region, and a Fresnel coefficient of 0.12 was used in this study.

Table 1. Parameters used in the CtFD simulations.

ParameterSymbolValueReference
Density at 298.15 Kρ8.24 g cm-3[]
Liquidus temperatureTL1628.15 K[]
Solidus temperatureTS1533.15 K[]
Viscosity at TLη6.8 g m-1 s-1[]
Specific heat at 298.15 KCP0.439 J g-1 K-1[]
Thermal conductivity at 298.15 Kλ10.3 W m-1 K-1[]
Surface tension at TLγL1.85 J m-2[]
Temperature coefficient of surface tensiondγL/dT–2.5 × 10−4 J m-2 K-1[]
EmissivityΕ0.27[31]
Stefan–Boltzmann constantσ5.67 × 10-8 W m-2 K-4[31]
Heat of fusionΔHSL2.76 × 102 J g-1[32]
Heat of vaporizationΔHLV4.29 × 10J g-1[32]
Vaporization temperatureTV3110 K[32]

Calculated using JMatPro v11.

The dimensions of the computational domain of the numerical model were 4.0 mm in the beam-scanning direction, 0.4 mm in width, and 0.3 mm in height. A uniform mesh size of 10 μm was applied throughout the computational domain. The boundary condition of continuity was applied to all boundaries except for the top surface. The temperature was initially set to 300 K. P and V were set to their experimental values, i.e., 300 W and 600 mm s-1, respectively. Solidification conditions based on the temperature gradient, G, the solidification rate, R, and the cooling rate were evaluated, and the obtained temperature distribution was used in the MPF simulations.

2.3. MPF simulation

Two-dimensional MPF simulations weakly coupled with the CtFD simulation were performed using the Microstructure Evolution Simulation Software (MICRESS) [33][34][35][36][37] with the TQ-Interface for Thermo-Calc [38]. A simplified HX alloy composition of Ni-21.4Cr-17.6Fe-0.46Mn-8.80Mo-0.39Si-0.50W-1.10Co-0.08 C (mass %) was used in this study. The Gibbs free energy and diffusion coefficient of the system were calculated using the TCNI9 thermodynamic database [39] and the MOBNi5 mobility database [40]. Τhe equilibrium phase diagram calculated using Thermo-Calc indicates that the face-centered cubic (FCC) and σ phases appear as the equilibrium solid phases [19]. However, according to the time-temperature-transformation (TTT) diagram [41], the phases are formed after the sample is maintained for tens of hours in a temperature range of 1073 to 1173 K. Therefore, only the liquid and FCC phases were assumed to appear in the MPF simulations. The simulation domain was 5 × 100 μm, and the grid size Δx and interface width were set to 0.025 and 0.1 µm, respectively. The interfacial mobility between the solid and liquid phases was set to 1.0 × 10-8 m4 J-1 s-1. Initially, one crystalline nucleus with a [100] crystal orientation was placed at the left bottom of the simulation domain, with the liquid phase occupying the remainder of the domain. The model was solidified under the temperature field distribution obtained by the CtFD simulation. The concentration distribution and crystal orientation of the solidified model were examined. The primary dendrite arm space (PDAS) was compared to the experimental PDAS measured by the cross-sectional SEM observation.

In an actual LPBF process, solidified layers are remelted and resolidified during the stacking of the one layer above, thereby greatly affecting solute element distributions in those regions. Therefore, remelting and resolidification simulations were performed to examine the effect of remelting on solute segregation. The solidified model was remelted and resolidified by applying a time-dependent temperature field shifted by 60 μm in the height direction, assuming reheating during the stacking of the upper layer (i.e., the upper 40 μm region of the simulation box was remelted and resolidified). The changes in the composition distribution and formed microstructure were investigated.

3. Results

3.1. Experimental observation of melt pool

Fig. 1 shows a cross-sectional optical microscopy image and corresponding inverse pole figure (IPF) orientation maps obtained from the laser-melted region of HX. The dashed line indicates the fusion line. A deep melted region was formed by keyhole-mode melting due to the vaporization of the metal and resultant recoil pressure. Epitaxial growth from the unmelted region was observed. Columnar crystal grains with an average diameter of 5.46 ± 0.32 μm and an aspect ratio of 3.61 ± 0.13 appeared at the melt regions (Figs. 1b–1d). In addition, crystal grains growing in the z direction could be observed in the lower center.

Fig. 1

Fig. 2a shows a cross-sectional backscattering electron image (BEI) obtained from the laser-melted region indicated by the black square in Fig. 1a. The bright particles with a diameter of approximately 2 μm observed outside the melt pool. It is well known that M6C, M23C6, σ, and μ precipitate phases are formed in Hastelloy-X [41]. These precipitates mainly consisted of Mo, Cr, Fe, and Ni; The μ and M6C phases are rich in Mo, while the σ and M23C6 phases are rich in Cr. The SEM energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy analysis suggested that the bright particles are the stable precipitates as shown in Fig. S2 and Table S1. Conversely, there are no carbides in the melt pool. This suggests that the cooling rate is extremely high during LPBF, which prevents the formation of a stable carbide during solidification. Figs. 2b–2f show magnified BEI images at different height positions indicated in Fig. 2a. Bright regions are observed between the cells, which become fragmentary at the center of the melt pool, as indicated by the yellow arrow heads in Figs. 2e and 2f.

Fig. 2

3.2. CtFD simulation

Figs. 3a–3c show snapshots of the CtFD simulation of HX at 2.72 ms, with the temperature indicated in color. A melt pool with an elongated teardrop shape formed and keyhole-mode melting was observed at the front of the melt region. The cooling rate, temperature gradient (G), and solidification rate (R) were evaluated from the temporal change in the temperature distribution of the CtFD simulation results. The z-position of the solid/liquid interface during the melting and solidification processes is shown in Fig. 3d. The interface goes down rapidly during melting and then rises during solidification. The MPF simulation of the microstructure formation during solidification was performed using the temperature distribution. Moreover, the microstructure formation process during the fabrication of the upper layer was investigated by remelting and resolidifying the solidified layer using the same temperature distribution with a 60 μm upward shift, corresponding to the layer thickness commonly used in the LPBF of Ni-based superalloys.

Fig. 3

Figs. 4a–4c show the changes in the cooling rate, temperature gradient, and solidification rate in the center line of the melt pool parallel to the z direction. To output the solidification conditions at the solid/liquid interface in the melt pool, only the data of the mesh where the solid phase ratio was close to 0.5 were plotted. Solidification occurred where the cooling rate was in the range of 2.1 × 105–1.6 × 10K s-1G was in the range of 3.6 × 105–1.9 × 10K m-1, and R was in the range of 8.2 × 10−2–6.3 × 10−1 m s-1. The cooling rate was the highest near the fusion line and decreased as the interface approached the center of the melt region (Fig. 4a). G also exhibited the highest value in the regions near the fusion line and decreased throughout the solid/liquid interface toward the center of the melt pool (Fig. 4b). R had the lowest value near the fusion line and increased as the interface approached the center of the melt region (Fig. 4c).

Fig. 4

3.3. MPF simulations coupled with CtFD simulation

MPF simulations of solidification, remelting, and resolidification were performed using the temperature-time distribution obtained by the CtFD simulation. Fig. 5 shows the MPF solidified models colored by phase and Mo concentration. All the computational domains show the FCC phase after the solidification (Fig. 5a). Dendrites grew parallel to the heat flow direction, and solute segregations were observed in the interdendritic regions. At the bottom of the melt pool (Fig. 5d), planar interface growth occurred before the formation of primary dendrites. The bottom of the melt pool is the turning point of the solid/liquid interface from the downward motion in melting to the upward motion in solidification. Thus, the solidification rate at the boundary is zero, and is extremely low immediately above the molt-pool boundary. Here, the lower limit of the solidification rate (R) for dendritic growth can be represented by the constitutional supercooling criterion [29]Vcs = (G × DL) / ΔT, and planar interface growth occurs at R < VcsDL and ΔT denote the diffusion coefficient in the liquid and the equilibrium freezing range, respectively. The results suggest that planar interface growth occurs at the bottom of the melt pool, resulting in a dark region with a different solute element distribution. Some of the primary dendrites were diminished by competition with other dendrites. In addition, secondary dendrite arms could be seen in the upper regions (Fig. 5c), where solidification occurred at a lower cooling rate. The fragmentation of the solute segregation near the secondary dendrite arms is similar to that observed in the experimental melt pool shown in Figs. 2e and 2f, and the secondary dendrite arms are suggested to have appeared at the center of the melt region. Fig. 6 shows the PDASs measured from the MPF simulation models, compared to the experimental PDASs measured by the cross-sectional SEM observation of the laser-melted regions (Fig. 2). The PDAS obtained by the MPF simulation become larger as the solidification progress. Ghosh et al. [21] evident by the phase-field method that the PDAS decreases as the cooling rate increases under the rapid cooling conditions obtained by the finite element analysis. In this study, the cooling rate was decreased as the interface approached the center of the melt region (Fig. 4a), and the trends in PDAS changes with respect to cooling rate is same as the reported trend [21]. The simulated trends of the PDAS with the position in the melt pool agreed well with the experimental trends. However, all PDASs in the simulation were larger than those observed in the experiment at the same positions. Ode et al. [42] reported that PDAS differences between 2D and 3D MPF simulations can be represented by PDAS2D = 1.12 × PDAS3D owing to differences in the effects of the interfacial energy and diffusivity. We also performed 2D and 3D MPF simulations under the solidification conditions of G = 1.94 × 10K m-1 and R = 0.82 m s-1 (Fig. S1), and found that the PDAS from the 2D MPF simulation was 1.26 times larger than that from the 3D simulation. Therefore, the cell structure obtained by the CtFD simulation coupled with the 2D MPF simulation agreed well with the experimental results over the entire melt pool region considering the dimensional effects.

Fig. 5
Fig. 6

Fig. 7b1 and 7c1 show the concentration profiles of the solidified model along the growth direction indicated by dashed lines in Fig. 7a. The differences in concentrations from the alloy composition are also shown in Fig. 7b2 and 7c2. Cr, Mo, C, Mn, and W were segregated to the interdendritic regions, while Si, Fe, and Co were depressed. The solute segregation behavior agrees with the experimentally observation [43] and the prediction by the Scheil-Gulliver simulation [19]. Segregation occurred to the highest degree in Mo, while the ratio of segregation to the alloy composition was remarkable in C. The concentration fluctuations correlated with the position in the melt pool and decreased at the center of the melt pool, which was suggested to correspond to the lower cooling rate in this region. Conversely, droplets that appeared between secondary dendrite arms in the upper regions of the simulation domain exhibited a locally high segregation of solute elements, with the same amount of segregation as that at the bottom of the melt pool.

Fig. 7

3.4. Remelting and resolidification simulation

The solidified model was subjected to remelting and resolidification conditions by shifting the temperature profile upward by 60 µm to reveal the effect of reheating on the solute segregation behavior. Figs. 8a and 8b shows the simulation domains of the HX model after resolidification, colored by phase and Mo concentration. The magnified MPF models during the resolidification of the regions indicated by rectangles in Figs. 8a and 8b are also shown as Figs. 8c and 8d. Dendrites grew from the bottom of the remelted region, with the segregation of solute elements occurring in the interdendritic regions. The entire domain become the FCC phase after the resolidification, as shown in Fig. 8a. The bottom of the remelted regions exhibited a different microstructure, and Mo was depressed at the remelted regions, rather than the interdendritic regions. The different solute segregation behavior [44] and the microstructure formation [45] at the melt pool boundary is also observed in LPBF manufactured 316 L stainless steel. We found that this microstructure was formed by further remelting during the resolidification process, which is shown in Fig. 9. Here, the solidified HX model was heated, and the interdendritic regions were preferentially melted while concentration fluctuations were maintained (Fig. 9a1 and 9a2). Subsequently, planer interface growth occurs near the melt pool boundary where the solidification rate is almost zero, and the dendrites outside of the boundary are grown epitaxially (Fig. 9b1 and 9b2). However, these remelted again because of the temperature rise (Fig. 9c1 and 9c2, and the temperature-time profile shown in Fig. 9e). The remelted regions then cooled and solidified with the abnormal solute segregations (Fig. 9d1 and 9d2). Then, dendrite grows from amplified fluctuations under the solidification rate larger than the criterion of constitutional supercooling (Fig. 9d1, 9d2, and Fig. 8d). It has been reported [46][47] that temperature rising owning to latent heat affects microstructure formation: phase-field simulations of a Ni–Al binary alloy suggest that the release of latent heat during solidification increases the average temperature of the system [46] and strongly influences the solidification conditions [47]. In this study, the release of latent heat during solidification is considered in CtFD simulations for calculating the temperature distribution, and the temperature increase is suggested to have also occurred due to the release of latent heat.

Fig. 8
Fig. 9

Fig. 10b1 and 10c1 show the solute element concentration line profiles of the resolidified model along the growth direction indicated by dashed lines in Fig. 10a. Fig. 10b2 and 10c2 show the corresponding differences in concentration from the alloy composition. The segregation behavior of solute elements at the interdendritic regions (Fig. 10b1 and 10b2) was the same as that in the solidified model (Figs. 7b1 and 7b2). Here, Cr, Mo, C, Mn, and W were segregated to the interdendritic regions, while Si, Fe, and Co were depressed. However, the concentration fluctuations at the interdendritic regions were larger than those in the solidified model. Moreover, the segregation of the outside of the melt pool, i.e., the heat-affected zone, was remarkable throughout remelting and resolidification. Different segregation behaviors were observed in the re-remelted region: Mo, Si, Mn, and W were segregated, while Ni, Fe, and Co were depressed. These solute segregations caused by remelting are expected to heavily influence the crack behavior.

Fig. 10

4. Discussion

4.1. Effect of segregation of solute elements on liquation cracking susceptibility

Strong solute segregation was observed between the interdendritic regions of the solidified alloy (Fig. 7). In addition, the solute segregation behavior was significantly affected by remelting and resolidification and varied across the alloy. Solute segregation can be categorized by the regions shown in Fig. 11a1–11a4, namely the cell boundary (Fig. 11a1), interior of the melt-pool boundary (Fig. 11a2), re-remelted regions (Fig. 11a3), and heat-affected regions (Fig. 11a4). The concentration profiles of these regions are shown in Fig. 11b1–11b4. Solute segregation was the highest in the cell boundary region. The solute segregation in the heat-affected region was almost the same as that in the cell boundary region, but seemed to have been attenuated by reheating during remelting and resolidification. The interior of the melt-pool boundary region also had the same tendency for solute segregation. However, the amount of Cr segregation was smaller than that of Mo. A decrease in the Cr concentration was also mitigated, and the concentration remained the same as that in the alloy composition. Fig. 11c1–11c4 show the chemical potentials of the solute elements for the FCC phase at 1073 K calculated using the compositions of those interfacial regions. All the interfacial regions showed non-constant chemical potentials for each element along the perpendicular direction, but the fluctuations of the chemical potentials differed by the type of interfaces. In particular, the fluctuation of the chemical potential of C at the cell boundary region was the largest, suggesting it can be relaxed easily by heat treatment. On the other hand, the fluctuations of the other elements in all the regions were small. The solute segregations are most likely to remain after the heat treatment and are supposed to affect the cracking susceptibilities.

Fig. 11

The solidus temperatures TS, the difference between the liquidus and solidus temperatures (i.e., the brittle temperature range (BTR)), and the fractions of the equilibrium precipitate phases at 1073 K of the interfacial regions were calculated as the liquation, solidification, and ductility dip cracking susceptibilities, respectively. At the cell boundary (Fig. 12a1), interior of the melt-pool boundary (Fig. 12a1), and heat-affected regions (Fig. 12a1), the internal and interfacial regions exhibited higher and lower TS compared to that of the alloy composition, respectively. The lowest Ts was obtained with the composition at the cell boundary region, which is the largest solute-segregated region. It has been suggested that strong segregations of solute elements in LPBF lead to liquation cracks [16]. This study also supports this suggestion, and liquation cracks are more likely to occur at the interfacial regions indicated by predicting the solute segregation behavior using the MPF model. Additionally, the BTRs of the cell boundary, interior of the melt-pool boundary, and heat-affected regions were wider at the interdendritic regions, and solidification cracks were also likely to occur in these regions. Moreover, within the solute segregation regions, the fraction of the precipitate phases in these interfacial regions was larger than that calculated using the alloy composition (Fig. 12c1, 12c2, and 12c4). This indicates that ductility dip cracking is also likely to occur at the cell boundary, interior of the melt-pool boundary, and in heat-affected regions. Contrarily, we found that the re-remelted region exhibited a higher TS and smaller BTR even in the interfacial region (Fig. 12a3 and 12b3), where the solute segregation behavior was different from that of the other regions. In addition, the re-remelting region exhibited less precipitation compared with the other segregated regions (Fig. 12c3). The re-remelting caused by the latent heat can attenuate solute segregation, prevent Ts from decreasing, decrease the BTR, and decrease the amount of precipitate phases. Alloys with a large amount of latent heat are expected to increase the re-remelting region, thereby decreasing the susceptibility to liquation and ductility dip cracks due to solute element segregation. This can be a guide for designing alloys for the LPBF process. As mentioned in Section 3.4, the microstructure [45] and the solute segregation behavior [44] at the melt pool boundary of LPBF-manufactured 316 L stainless steel are observed, and they are different from that of the interdendritic regions. Experimental observations of the solute segregation behavior in the LPBF-fabricated Ni-based alloys are currently underway.

Fig. 12

4.2. Applicability of the conventional MPF simulation to microstructure formation under LPBF

As the solidification growth rate increases, segregation coefficients approach 1, and the fluctuation of the solid/liquid interface is suppressed by the interfacial tension. The interface growth occurs in a flat fashion instead of having a cellular morphology at a velocity above the absolute stability limit, Ras, predicted by the Mullins-Sekerka theory [29]Ras = (ΔT0 DL) / (k Γ) where ΔT0DLk, and Γ are the difference between the liquidus and solidus temperatures, equilibrium segregation coefficient, the diffusivity of liquid, and the Gibbs-Thomson coefficient, respectively.

The Ras of HX was calculated using the equation and the thermodynamic parameters obtained by the TCNI9 thermodynamic database [39]. The calculated Ras of HX was 3.9 m s-1 and is ten times larger than that of the Ni–Nb alloy (approximately 0.4 m s-1[20]. The HX alloy was solidified under R values in the range of 8.2 × 10−2–6.3 × 10−1 m s-1. The theoretically calculated criterion is larger than the evaluated R, and is in agreement with the experiment in which dendritic growth is observed in the melt pool (Fig. 5). In contrast, Karayagiz et al. [20] reported that the R of the Ni–Nb binary alloy under LPBF was as high as approximately 2 m s-1, and planar interface growth was observed to be predominant under the high-growth-rate conditions. These experimentally observed microstructures agree well with the prediction by the Mullins-Sekerka theory about the relationship between the morphology and solidification rates.

In this study, the solidification microstructure formed by the laser-beam irradiation of an HX multicomponent Ni-based superalloy was reproduced by a conventional MPF simulation, in which the system was assumed to be in a quasi-equilibrium condition. Boussinot et al. [24] also suggested that the conventional phase-field model can be applied to simulate the microstructure of an IN718 multicomponent Ni-based superalloy in LPBF. In contrast, Kagayaski et al. [20] suggested that the conventional MPF simulation cannot be applied to the solidification of the Ni-Nb binary alloy system and that the finite interface dissipation model proposed by Steinbach et al. [48][49] is necessary to simulate the high solidification rates observed in LPBF. The difference in the applicability of the conventional MPF method to HX and Ni–Nb binary alloys is presumed to arise from the differences in the non-equilibrium degree of these systems under the high solidification rates of LPBF. The results suggest that Ras can be used as a simple index to apply the conventional MPF model for solidification in LPBF. Solidification becomes a non-equilibrium process as the solidification rate approaches the limit of absolute stability, Ras. In this study, the solidification of the HX multicomponent system occurred under a relatively low solidification rate compared to Ras, and the microstructure of the conventional MPF model was successfully reproduced in the physical experiment. However, note that the limit of absolute stability predicted by the Mullins-Sekerka theory was originally proposed for solidification in a binary alloy system, and further investigation is required to consider its applicability to multicomponent alloy systems. Moreover, the fast solidification, such as in the LPBF process, causes segregation coefficient approaching a value of 1 [20][21][25] corresponds to a diffusion length that is on the order of the atomic interface thickness. When the segregation coefficient approaches 1, solute undercooling disappears; hence, there is no driving force to amplify fluctuations regardless of whether interfacial tension is present. This phenomenon should be further investigated in future studies.

5. Conclusions

We simulated solute segregation in a multicomponent HX alloy under the LPBF process by an MPF simulation using the temperature distributions obtained by a CtFD simulation. We set the parameters of the CtFD simulation to match the melt pool shape formed in the laser-irradiation experiment and found that solidification occurred under high cooling rates of up to 1.6 × 10K s-1.

MPF simulations using the temperature distributions from CtFD simulation could reproduce the experimentally observed PDAS and revealed that significant solute segregation occurred at the interdendritic regions. Equilibrium thermodynamic calculations using the alloy compositions of the segregated regions when considering crack sensitivities suggested a decrease in the solidus temperature and an increase in the amount of carbide precipitation, thereby increasing the susceptibility to liquation and ductility dip cracks in these regions. Notably, these changes were suppressed at the melt-pool boundary region, where re-remelting occurred during the stacking of the layer above. This effect can be used to achieve a novel in-process segregation attenuation.

Our study revealed that a conventional MPF simulation weakly coupled with a CtFD simulation can be used to study the solidification of multicomponent alloys in LPBF, contrary to the cases of binary alloys investigated in previous studies. We discussed the applicability of the conventional MPF model to the LPBF process in terms of the limit of absolute stability, Ras, and suggested that alloys with a high limit velocity, i.e., multicomponent alloys, can be simulated using the conventional MPF model even under the high solidification velocity conditions of LPBF.

CRediT authorship contribution statement

Masayuki Okugawa: Writing – review & editing, Writing – original draft, Visualization, Validation, Software, Methodology, Investigation, Formal analysis, Data curation, Conceptualization. Takayoshi Nakano: Writing – review & editing, Validation, Supervision, Funding acquisition. Yuichiro Koizumi: Writing – review & editing, Visualization, Validation, Supervision, Project administration, Methodology, Investigation, Funding acquisition, Formal analysis, Data curation, Conceptualization. Sukeharu Nomoto: Writing – review & editing, Validation, Investigation. Makoto Watanabe: Writing – review & editing, Validation, Supervision, Funding acquisition. Katsuhiko Sawaizumi: Validation, Software, Investigation, Formal analysis, Data curation. Kenji Saito: Visualization, Validation, Software, Methodology, Investigation, Formal analysis, Data curation. Haruki Yoshima: Visualization, Validation, Software, Investigation, Formal analysis, Data curation.

Declaration of Competing Interest

The authors declare that they have no known competing financial interests or personal relationships that could have appeared to influence the work reported in this paper

Acknowledgments

This work was partly supported by the Cabinet Office, Government of Japan, Cross-ministerial Strategic Innovation Promotion Program (SIP), “Materials Integration for Revolutionary Design System of Structural Materials,” (funding agency: The Japan Science and Technology Agency), by JSPS KAKENHI Grant Numbers 21H05018 and 21H05193, and by CREST Nanomechanics: Elucidation of macroscale mechanical properties based on understanding nanoscale dynamics for innovative mechanical materials (Grant Number: JPMJCR2194) from the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST). The authors would like to thank Mr. H. Kawabata and Mr. K. Kimura for their technical support with the sample preparations and laser beam irradiation experiments.

Appendix A. Supplementary material

Download : Download Word document (654KB)

Supplementary material.

Data availability

Data will be made available on request.

References

Figure 5. Simulation of the molten pool under low-speed scanning (1.06 m/s). (a) Sequential solidification of the molten pool at the end of the melt track for laser powers of 190 and 340 W, respectively. (b) Recoil pressure on the molten pool at the keyhole for laser powers of 190 and 340 W, respectively. (c) The force diagram of the melt at the back of the keyhole at t = 750 μs in case B. (d) Temperature gradient at the solid–liquid interface of the molten pool at the moment the laser is deactivated in case A. (e) Temperature gradient at the solid–liquid interface of the molten pool at the moment the laser is deactivated in case B.

Revealing formation mechanism of end of processdepression in laser powder bed fusion by multiphysics meso-scale simulation

다중물리 메조 규모 시뮬레이션을 통해 레이저 분말층 융합에서 공정 종료의 함몰 형성 메커니즘 공개

Haodong Chen a,b, Xin Lin a,b,c, Yajing Sund, Shuhao Wanga,b, Kunpeng Zhu a,b,c and Binbin Dana,b

To link to this article: https://doi.org/10.1080/17452759.2024.2326599

ABSTRACT

Unintended end-of-process depression (EOPD) commonly occurs in laser powder bed fusion (LPBF), leading to poor surface quality and lower fatigue strength, especially for many implants. In this study, a high-fidelity multi-physics meso-scale simulation model is developed to uncover the forming mechanism of this defect. A defect-process map of the EOPD phenomenon is obtained using this simulation model. It is found that the EOPD formation mechanisms are different under distinct regions of process parameters. At low scanning speeds in keyhole mode, the long-lasting recoil pressure and the large temperature gradient easily induce EOPD. While at high scanning speeds in keyhole mode, the shallow molten pool morphology and the large solidification rate allow the keyhole to evolve into an EOPD quickly. Nevertheless, in the conduction mode, the Marangoni effects along with a faster solidification rate induce EOPD. Finally, a ‘step’ variable power strategy is proposed to optimise the EOPD defects for the case with high volumetric energy density at low scanning speeds. This work provides a profound understanding and valuable insights into the quality control of LPBF fabrication.

의도하지 않은 공정 종료 후 함몰(EOPD)은 LPBF(레이저 분말층 융합)에서 흔히 발생하며, 특히 많은 임플란트의 경우 표면 품질이 떨어지고 피로 강도가 낮아집니다. 본 연구에서는 이 결함의 형성 메커니즘을 밝히기 위해 충실도가 높은 다중 물리학 메조 규모 시뮬레이션 모델을 개발했습니다.

이 시뮬레이션 모델을 사용하여 EOPD 현상의 결함 프로세스 맵을 얻습니다. EOPD 형성 메커니즘은 공정 매개변수의 별개 영역에서 서로 다른 것으로 밝혀졌습니다.

키홀 모드의 낮은 스캔 속도에서는 오래 지속되는 반동 압력과 큰 온도 구배로 인해 EOPD가 쉽게 유발됩니다. 키홀 모드에서 높은 스캐닝 속도를 유지하는 동안 얕은 용융 풀 형태와 큰 응고 속도로 인해 키홀이 EOPD로 빠르게 진화할 수 있습니다.

그럼에도 불구하고 전도 모드에서는 더 빠른 응고 속도와 함께 마랑고니 효과가 EOPD를 유발합니다. 마지막으로, 낮은 스캐닝 속도에서 높은 체적 에너지 밀도를 갖는 경우에 대해 EOPD 결함을 최적화하기 위한 ‘단계’ 가변 전력 전략이 제안되었습니다.

이 작업은 LPBF 제조의 품질 관리에 대한 심오한 이해와 귀중한 통찰력을 제공합니다.

Figure 5. Simulation of the molten pool under low-speed scanning (1.06 m/s). (a) Sequential solidification of the molten pool at the
end of the melt track for laser powers of 190 and 340 W, respectively. (b) Recoil pressure on the molten pool at the keyhole for laser
powers of 190 and 340 W, respectively. (c) The force diagram of the melt at the back of the keyhole at t = 750 μs in case B. (d) Temperature gradient at the solid–liquid interface of the molten pool at the moment the laser is deactivated in case A. (e) Temperature
gradient at the solid–liquid interface of the molten pool at the moment the laser is deactivated in case B.
Figure 5. Simulation of the molten pool under low-speed scanning (1.06 m/s). (a) Sequential solidification of the molten pool at the end of the melt track for laser powers of 190 and 340 W, respectively. (b) Recoil pressure on the molten pool at the keyhole for laser powers of 190 and 340 W, respectively. (c) The force diagram of the melt at the back of the keyhole at t = 750 μs in case B. (d) Temperature gradient at the solid–liquid interface of the molten pool at the moment the laser is deactivated in case A. (e) Temperature gradient at the solid–liquid interface of the molten pool at the moment the laser is deactivated in case B.

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Schematic diagram of HP-LPBF melting process.

Modeling and numerical studies of high-precision laser powder bed fusion

Yi Wei ;Genyu Chen;Nengru Tao;Wei Zhou
https://doi.org/10.1063/5.0191504

In order to comprehensively reveal the evolutionary dynamics of the molten pool and the state of motion of the fluid during the high-precision laser powder bed fusion (HP-LPBF) process, this study aims to deeply investigate the specific manifestations of the multiphase flow, solidification phenomena, and heat transfer during the process by means of numerical simulation methods. Numerical simulation models of SS316L single-layer HP-LPBF formation with single and double tracks were constructed using the discrete element method and the computational fluid dynamics method. The effects of various factors such as Marangoni convection, surface tension, vapor recoil, gravity, thermal convection, thermal radiation, and evaporative heat dissipation on the heat and mass transfer in the molten pool have been paid attention to during the model construction process. The results show that the molten pool exhibits a “comet” shape, in which the temperature gradient at the front end of the pool is significantly larger than that at the tail end, with the highest temperature gradient up to 1.69 × 108 K/s. It is also found that the depth of the second track is larger than that of the first one, and the process parameter window has been determined preliminarily. In addition, the application of HP-LPBF technology helps to reduce the surface roughness and minimize the forming size.

Topics

Heat transferNonequilibrium thermodynamicsSolidification processComputer simulationDiscrete element methodLasersMass transferFluid mechanicsComputational fluid dynamicsMultiphase flows

I. INTRODUCTION

Laser powder bed fusion (LPBF) has become a research hotspot in the field of additive manufacturing of metals due to its advantages of high-dimensional accuracy, good surface quality, high density, and high material utilization.1,2 With the rapid development of electronics, medical, automotive, biotechnology, energy, communication, and optics, the demand for microfabrication technology is increasing day by day.3 High-precision laser powder bed fusion (HP-LPBF) is one of the key manufacturing technologies for tiny parts in the fields of electronics, medical, automotive, biotechnology, energy, communication, and optics because of its process characteristics such as small focal spot diameter, small powder particle size, and thin powder layup layer thickness.4–13 Compared with LPBF, HP-LPBF has the significant advantages of smaller focal spot diameter, smaller powder particle size, and thinner layer thickness. These advantages make HP-LPBF perform better in producing micro-fine parts, high surface quality, and parts with excellent mechanical properties.

HP-LPBF is in the exploratory stage, and researchers have already done some exploratory studies on the focal spot diameter, the amount of defocusing, and the powder particle size. In order to explore the influence of changing the laser focal spot diameter on the LPBF process characteristics of the law, Wildman et al.14 studied five groups of different focal spot diameter LPBF forming 316L stainless steel (SS316L) processing effect, the smallest focal spot diameter of 26 μm, and the results confirm that changing the focal spot diameter can be achieved to achieve the energy control, so as to control the quality of forming. Subsequently, Mclouth et al.15 proposed the laser out-of-focus amount (focal spot diameter) parameter, which characterizes the distance between the forming plane and the laser focal plane. The laser energy density was controlled by varying the defocusing amount while keeping the laser parameters constant. Sample preparation at different focal positions was investigated, and their microstructures were characterized. The results show that the samples at the focal plane have finer microstructure than those away from the focal plane, which is the effect of higher power density and smaller focal spot diameter. In order to explore the influence of changing the powder particle size on the characteristics of the LPBF process, Qian et al.16 carried out single-track scanning simulations on powder beds with average powder particle sizes of 70 and 40 μm, respectively, and the results showed that the melt tracks sizes were close to each other under the same process parameters for the two particle-size distributions and that the molten pool of powder beds with small particles was more elongated and the edges of the melt tracks were relatively flat. In order to explore the superiority of HP-LPBF technology, Xu et al.17 conducted a comparative analysis of HP-LPBF and conventional LPBF of SS316L. The results showed that the average surface roughness of the top surface after forming by HP-LPBF could reach 3.40 μm. Once again, it was verified that HP-LPBF had higher forming quality than conventional LPBF. On this basis, Wei et al.6 comparatively analyzed the effects of different laser focal spot diameters on different powder particle sizes formed by LPBF. The results showed that the smaller the laser focal spot diameter, the fewer the defects on the top and side surfaces. The above research results confirm that reducing the laser focal spot diameter can obtain higher energy density and thus better forming quality.

LPBF involves a variety of complex systems and mechanisms, and the final quality of the part is influenced by a large number of process parameters.18–24 Some research results have shown that there are more than 50 factors affecting the quality of the specimen. The influencing factors are mainly categorized into three main groups: (1) laser parameters, (2) powder parameters, and (3) equipment parameters, which interact with each other to determine the final specimen quality. With the continuous development of technologies such as computational materials science and computational fluid dynamics (CFD), the method of studying the influence of different factors on the forming quality of LPBF forming process has been shifted from time-consuming and laborious experimental characterization to the use of numerical simulation methods. As a result, more and more researchers are adopting this approach for their studies. Currently, numerical simulation studies on LPBF are mainly focused on the exploration of molten pool, temperature distribution, and residual stresses.

  1. Finite element simulation based on continuum mechanics and free surface fluid flow modeling based on fluid dynamics are two common approaches to study the behavior of LPBF molten pool.25–28 Finite element simulation focuses on the temperature and thermal stress fields, treats the powder bed as a continuum, and determines the molten pool size by plotting the elemental temperature above the melting point. In contrast, fluid dynamics modeling can simulate the 2D or 3D morphology of the metal powder pile and obtain the powder size and distribution by certain algorithms.29 The flow in the molten pool is mainly affected by recoil pressure and the Marangoni effect. By simulating the molten pool formation, it is possible to predict defects, molten pool shape, and flow characteristics, as well as the effect of process parameters on the molten pool geometry.30–34 In addition, other researchers have been conducted to optimize the laser processing parameters through different simulation methods and experimental data.35–46 Crystal growth during solidification is studied to further understand the effect of laser parameters on dendritic morphology and solute segregation.47–54 A multi-scale system has been developed to describe the fused deposition process during 3D printing, which is combined with the conductive heat transfer model and the dendritic solidification model.55,56
  2. Relevant scholars have adopted various different methods for simulation, such as sequential coupling theory,57 Lagrangian and Eulerian thermal models,58 birth–death element method,25 and finite element method,59 in order to reveal the physical phenomena of the laser melting process and optimize the process parameters. Luo et al.60 compared the LPBF temperature field and molten pool under double ellipsoidal and Gaussian heat sources by ANSYS APDL and found that the diffusion of the laser energy in the powder significantly affects the molten pool size and the temperature field.
  3. The thermal stresses obtained from the simulation correlate with the actual cracks,61 and local preheating can effectively reduce the residual stresses.62 A three-dimensional thermodynamic finite element model investigated the temperature and stress variations during laser-assisted fabrication and found that powder-to-solid conversion increases the temperature gradient, stresses, and warpage.63 Other scholars have predicted residual stresses and part deflection for LPBF specimens and investigated the effects of deposition pattern, heat, laser power, and scanning strategy on residual stresses, noting that high-temperature gradients lead to higher residual stresses.64–67 

In short, the process of LPBF forming SS316L is extremely complex and usually involves drastic multi-scale physicochemical changes that will only take place on a very small scale. Existing literature employs DEM-based mesoscopic-scale numerical simulations to investigate the effects of process parameters on the molten pool dynamics of LPBF-formed SS316L. However, a few studies have been reported on the key mechanisms of heating and solidification, spatter, and convective behavior of the molten pool of HP-LPBF-formed SS316L with small laser focal spot diameters. In this paper, the geometrical properties of coarse and fine powder particles under three-dimensional conditions were first calculated using DEM. Then, numerical simulation models for single-track and double-track cases in the single-layer HP-LPBF forming SS316L process were developed at mesoscopic scale using the CFD method. The flow genesis of the melt in the single-track and double-track molten pools is discussed, and their 3D morphology and dimensional characteristics are discussed. In addition, the effects of laser process parameters, powder particle size, and laser focal spot diameter on the temperature field, characterization information, and defects in the molten pool are discussed.

II. MODELING

A. 3D powder bed modeling

HP-LPBF is an advanced processing technique for preparing target parts layer by layer stacking, the process of which involves repetitive spreading and melting of powders. In this process, both the powder spreading and the morphology of the powder bed are closely related to the results of the subsequent melting process, while the melted surface also affects the uniform distribution of the next layer of powder. For this reason, this chapter focuses on the modeling of the physical action during the powder spreading process and the theory of DEM to establish the numerical model of the powder bed, so as to lay a solid foundation for the accuracy of volume of fluid (VOF) and CFD.

1. DEM

DEM is a numerical technique for calculating the interaction of a large number of particles, which calculates the forces and motions of the spheres by considering each powder sphere as an independent unit. The motion of the powder particles follows the laws of classical Newtonian mechanics, including translational and rotational,38,68–70 which are expressed as follows:����¨=���+∑��ij,

(1)����¨=∑�(�ij×�ij),

(2)

where �� is the mass of unit particle i in kg, ��¨ is the advective acceleration in m/s2, And g is the gravitational acceleration in m/s2. �ij is the force in contact with the neighboring particle � in N. �� is the rotational inertia of the unit particle � in kg · m2. ��¨ is the unit particle � angular acceleration in rad/s2. �ij is the vector pointing from unit particle � to the contact point of neighboring particle �⁠.

Equations (1) and (2) can be used to calculate the velocity and angular velocity variations of powder particles to determine their positions and velocities. A three-dimensional powder bed model of SS316L was developed using DEM. The powder particles are assumed to be perfect spheres, and the substrate and walls are assumed to be rigid. To describe the contact between the powder particles and between the particles and the substrate, a non-slip Hertz–Mindlin nonlinear spring-damping model71 was used with the following expression:�hz=��������+��[(�����ij−�eff����)−(�����+�eff����)],

(3)

where �hz is the force calculated using the Hertzian in M. �� and �� are the radius of unit particles � and � in m, respectively. �� is the overlap size of the two powder particles in m. ��⁠, �� are the elastic constants in the normal and tangential directions, respectively. �ij is the unit vector connecting the centerlines of the two powder particles. �eff is the effective mass of the two powder particles in kg. �� and �� are the viscoelastic damping constants in the normal and tangential directions, respectively. �� and �� are the components of the relative velocities of the two powder particles. ��� is the displacement vector between two spherical particles. The schematic diagram of overlapping powder particles is shown in Fig. 1.

FIG. 1.

VIEW LARGEDOWNLOAD SLIDE

Schematic diagram of overlapping powder particles.

Because the particle size of the powder used for HP-LPBF is much smaller than 100 μm, the effect of van der Waals forces must be considered. Therefore, the cohesive force �jkr of the Hertz–Mindlin model was used instead of van der Waals forces,72 with the following expression:�jkr=−4��0�*�1.5+4�*3�*�3,

(4)1�*=(1−��2)��+(1−��2)��,

(5)1�*=1��+1��,

(6)

where �* is the equivalent Young’s modulus in GPa; �* is the equivalent particle radius in m; �0 is the surface energy of the powder particles in J/m2; α is the contact radius in m; �� and �� are the Young’s modulus of the unit particles � and �⁠, respectively, in GPa; and �� and �� are the Poisson’s ratio of the unit particles � and �⁠, respectively.

2. Model building

Figure 2 shows a 3D powder bed model generated using DEM with a coarse powder geometry of 1000 × 400 × 30 μm3. The powder layer thickness is 30 μm, and the powder bed porosity is 40%. The average particle size of this spherical powder is 31.7 μm and is normally distributed in the range of 15–53 μm. The geometry of the fine powder was 1000 × 400 × 20 μm3, with a layer thickness of 20 μm, and the powder bed porosity of 40%. The average particle size of this spherical powder is 11.5 μm and is normally distributed in the range of 5–25 μm. After the 3D powder bed model is generated, it needs to be imported into the CFD simulation software for calculation, and the imported geometric model is shown in Fig. 3. This geometric model is mainly composed of three parts: protective gas, powder bed, and substrate. Under the premise of ensuring the accuracy of the calculation, the mesh size is set to 3 μm, and the total number of coarse powder meshes is 1 704 940. The total number of fine powder meshes is 3 982 250.

FIG. 2.

VIEW LARGEDOWNLOAD SLIDE

Three-dimensional powder bed model: (a) coarse powder, (b) fine powder.

FIG. 3.

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Geometric modeling of the powder bed computational domain: (a) coarse powder, (b) fine powder.

B. Modeling of fluid mechanics simulation

In order to solve the flow, melting, and solidification problems involved in HP-LPBF molten pool, the study must follow the three governing equations of conservation of mass, conservation of energy, and conservation of momentum.73 The VOF method, which is the most widely used in fluid dynamics, is used to solve the molten pool dynamics model.

1. VOF

VOF is a method for tracking the free interface between the gas and liquid phases on the molten pool surface. The core idea of the method is to define a volume fraction function F within each grid, indicating the proportion of the grid space occupied by the material, 0 ≤ F ≤ 1 in Fig. 4. Specifically, when F = 0, the grid is empty and belongs to the gas-phase region; when F = 1, the grid is completely filled with material and belongs to the liquid-phase region; and when 0 < F < 1, the grid contains free surfaces and belongs to the mixed region. The direction normal to the free surface is the direction of the fastest change in the volume fraction F (the direction of the gradient of the volume fraction), and the direction of the gradient of the volume fraction can be calculated from the values of the volume fractions in the neighboring grids.74 The equations controlling the VOF are expressed as follows:𝛻����+�⋅(��→)=0,

(7)

where t is the time in s and �→ is the liquid velocity in m/s.

FIG. 4.

VIEW LARGEDOWNLOAD SLIDE

Schematic diagram of VOF.

The material parameters of the mixing zone are altered due to the inclusion of both the gas and liquid phases. Therefore, in order to represent the density of the mixing zone, the average density �¯ is used, which is expressed as follows:72�¯=(1−�1)�gas+�1�metal,

(8)

where �1 is the proportion of liquid phase, �gas is the density of protective gas in kg/m3, and �metal is the density of metal in kg/m3.

2. Control equations and boundary conditions

Figure 5 is a schematic diagram of the HP-LPBF melting process. First, the laser light strikes a localized area of the material and rapidly heats up the area. Next, the energy absorbed in the region is diffused through a variety of pathways (heat conduction, heat convection, and surface radiation), and this process triggers complex phase transition phenomena (melting, evaporation, and solidification). In metals undergoing melting, the driving forces include surface tension and the Marangoni effect, recoil due to evaporation, and buoyancy due to gravity and uneven density. The above physical phenomena interact with each other and do not occur independently.

FIG. 5.

VIEW LARGEDOWNLOAD SLIDE

Schematic diagram of HP-LPBF melting process.

  1. Laser heat sourceThe Gaussian surface heat source model is used as the laser heat source model with the following expression:�=2�0����2exp(−2�12��2),(9)where � is the heat flow density in W/m2, �0 is the absorption rate of SS316L, �� is the radius of the laser focal spot in m, and �1 is the radial distance from the center of the laser focal spot in m. The laser focal spot can be used for a wide range of applications.
  2. Energy absorptionThe formula for calculating the laser absorption �0 of SS316L is as follows:�0=0.365(�0[1+�0(�−20)]/�)0.5,(10)where �0 is the direct current resistivity of SS316L at 20 °C in Ω m, �0 is the resistance temperature coefficient in ppm/°C, � is the temperature in °C, and � is the laser wavelength in m.
  3. Heat transferThe basic principle of heat transfer is conservation of energy, which is expressed as follows:𝛻𝛻𝛻�(��)��+�·(��→�)=�·(�0����)+��,(11)where � is the density of liquid phase SS316L in kg/m3, �� is the specific heat capacity of SS316L in J/(kg K), 𝛻� is the gradient operator, t is the time in s, T is the temperature in K, 𝛻�� is the temperature gradient, �→ is the velocity vector, �0 is the coefficient of thermal conduction of SS316L in W/(m K), and  �� is the thermal energy dissipation term in the molten pool.
  4. Molten pool flowThe following three conditions need to be satisfied for the molten pool to flow:
    • Conservation of mass with the following expression:𝛻�·(��→)=0.(12)
    • Conservation of momentum (Navier–Stokes equation) with the following expression:𝛻𝛻𝛻𝛻���→��+�(�→·�)�→=�·[−pI+�(��→+(��→)�)]+�,(13)where � is the pressure in Pa exerted on the liquid phase SS316L microelement, � is the unit matrix, � is the fluid viscosity in N s/m2, and � is the volumetric force (gravity, atmospheric pressure, surface tension, vapor recoil, and the Marangoni effect).
    • Conservation of energy, see Eq. (11)
  5. Surface tension and the Marangoni effectThe effect of temperature on the surface tension coefficient is considered and set as a linear relationship with the following expression:�=�0−��dT(�−��),(14)where � is the surface tension of the molten pool at temperature T in N/m, �� is the melting temperature of SS316L in K, �0 is the surface tension of the molten pool at temperature �� in Pa, and σdσ/ dT is the surface tension temperature coefficient in N/(m K).In general, surface tension decreases with increasing temperature. A temperature gradient causes a gradient in surface tension that drives the liquid to flow, known as the Marangoni effect.
  6. Metal vapor recoilAt higher input energy densities, the maximum temperature of the molten pool surface reaches the evaporation temperature of the material, and a gasification recoil pressure occurs vertically downward toward the molten pool surface, which will be the dominant driving force for the molten pool flow.75 The expression is as follows:��=0.54�� exp ���−���0���,(15)where �� is the gasification recoil pressure in Pa, �� is the ambient pressure in kPa, �� is the latent heat of evaporation in J/kg, �0 is the gas constant in J/(mol K), T is the surface temperature of the molten pool in K, and Te is the evaporation temperature in K.
  7. Solid–liquid–gas phase transitionWhen the laser hits the powder layer, the powder goes through three stages: heating, melting, and solidification. During the solidification phase, mutual transformations between solid, liquid, and gaseous states occur. At this point, the latent heat of phase transition absorbed or released during the phase transition needs to be considered.68 The phase transition is represented based on the relationship between energy and temperature with the following expression:�=�����,(�<��),�(��)+�−����−����,(��<�<��)�(��)+(�−��)����,(��<�),,(16)where �� and �� are solid and liquid phase density, respectively, of SS316L in kg/m3. �� and �� unit volume of solid and liquid phase-specific heat capacity, respectively, of SS316L in J/(kg K). �� and ��⁠, respectively, are the solidification temperature and melting temperature of SS316L in K. �� is the latent heat of the phase transition of SS316L melting in J/kg.

3. Assumptions

The CFD model was computed using the commercial software package FLOW-3D.76 In order to simplify the calculation and solution process while ensuring the accuracy of the results, the model makes the following assumptions:

  1. It is assumed that the effects of thermal stress and material solid-phase thermal expansion on the calculation results are negligible.
  2. The molten pool flow is assumed to be a Newtonian incompressible laminar flow, while the effects of liquid thermal expansion and density on the results are neglected.
  3. It is assumed that the surface tension can be simplified to an equivalent pressure acting on the free surface of the molten pool, and the effect of chemical composition on the results is negligible.
  4. Neglecting the effect of the gas flow field on the molten pool.
  5. The mass loss due to evaporation of the liquid metal is not considered.
  6. The influence of the plasma effect of the molten metal on the calculation results is neglected.

It is worth noting that the formulation of assumptions requires a trade-off between accuracy and computational efficiency. In the above models, some physical phenomena that have a small effect or high difficulty on the calculation results are simplified or ignored. Such simplifications make numerical simulations more efficient and computationally tractable, while still yielding accurate results.

4. Initial conditions

The preheating temperature of the substrate was set to 393 K, at which time all materials were in the solid state and the flow rate was zero.

5. Material parameters

The material used is SS316L and the relevant parameters required for numerical simulations are shown in Table I.46,77,78

TABLE I.

SS316L-related parameters.

PropertySymbolValue
Density of solid metal (kg/m3�metal 7980 
Solid phase line temperature (K) �� 1658 
Liquid phase line temperature (K) �� 1723 
Vaporization temperature (K) �� 3090 
Latent heat of melting (⁠ J/kg⁠) �� 2.60×105 
Latent heat of evaporation (⁠ J/kg⁠) �� 7.45×106 
Surface tension of liquid phase (N /m⁠) � 1.60 
Liquid metal viscosity (kg/m s) �� 6×10−3 
Gaseous metal viscosity (kg/m s) �gas 1.85×10−5 
Temperature coefficient of surface tension (N/m K) ��/�T 0.80×10−3 
Molar mass (⁠ kg/mol⁠) 0.05 593 
Emissivity � 0.26 
Laser absorption �0 0.35 
Ambient pressure (kPa) �� 101 325 
Ambient temperature (K) �0 300 
Stefan–Boltzmann constant (W/m2 K4� 5.67×10−8 
Thermal conductivity of metals (⁠ W/m K⁠) � 24.55 
Density of protective gas (kg/m3�gas 1.25 
Coefficient of thermal expansion (/K) �� 16×10−6 
Generalized gas constant (⁠ J/mol K⁠) 8.314 

III. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION

With the objective of studying in depth the evolutionary patterns of single-track and double-track molten pool development, detailed observations were made for certain specific locations in the model, as shown in Fig. 6. In this figure, P1 and P2 represent the longitudinal tangents to the centers of the two melt tracks in the XZ plane, while L1 is the transverse profile in the YZ plane. The scanning direction is positive and negative along the X axis. Points A and B are the locations of the centers of the molten pool of the first and second melt tracks, respectively (x = 1.995 × 10−4, y = 5 × 10−7, and z = −4.85 × 10−5).

FIG. 6.

VIEW LARGEDOWNLOAD SLIDE

Schematic diagram of observation position.

A. Single-track simulation

A series of single-track molten pool simulation experiments were carried out in order to investigate the influence law of laser power as well as scanning speed on the HP-LPBF process. Figure 7 demonstrates the evolution of the 3D morphology and temperature field of the single-track molten pool in the time period of 50–500 μs under a laser power of 100 W and a scanning speed of 800 mm/s. The powder bed is in the natural cooling state. When t = 50 μs, the powder is heated by the laser heat and rapidly melts and settles to form the initial molten pool. This process is accompanied by partial melting of the substrate and solidification together with the melted powder. The molten pool rapidly expands with increasing width, depth, length, and temperature, as shown in Fig. 7(a). When t = 150 μs, the molten pool expands more obviously, and the temperature starts to transfer to the surrounding area, forming a heat-affected zone. At this point, the width of the molten pool tends to stabilize, and the temperature in the center of the molten pool has reached its peak and remains largely stable. However, the phenomenon of molten pool spatter was also observed in this process, as shown in Fig. 7(b). As time advances, when t = 300 μs, solidification begins to occur at the tail of the molten pool, and tiny ripples are produced on the solidified surface. This is due to the fact that the melt flows toward the region with large temperature gradient under the influence of Marangoni convection and solidifies together with the melt at the end of the bath. At this point, the temperature gradient at the front of the bath is significantly larger than at the end. While the width of the molten pool was gradually reduced, the shape of the molten pool was gradually changed to a “comet” shape. In addition, a slight depression was observed at the top of the bath because the peak temperature at the surface of the bath reached the evaporation temperature, which resulted in a recoil pressure perpendicular to the surface of the bath downward, creating a depressed region. As the laser focal spot moves and is paired with the Marangoni convection of the melt, these recessed areas will be filled in as shown in Fig. 7(c). It has been shown that the depressed regions are the result of the coupled effect of Marangoni convection, recoil pressure, and surface tension.79 By t = 500 μs, the width and height of the molten pool stabilize and show a “comet” shape in Fig. 7(d).

FIG. 7.

VIEW LARGEDOWNLOAD SLIDE

Single-track molten pool process: (a) t = 50  ��⁠, (b) t = 150  ��⁠, (c) t = 300  ��⁠, (d) t = 500  ��⁠.

Figure 8 depicts the velocity vector diagram of the P1 profile in a single-track molten pool, the length of the arrows represents the magnitude of the velocity, and the maximum velocity is about 2.36 m/s. When t = 50 μs, the molten pool takes shape, and the velocities at the two ends of the pool are the largest. The variation of the velocities at the front end is especially more significant in Fig. 8(a). As the time advances to t = 150 μs, the molten pool expands rapidly, in which the velocity at the tail increases and changes more significantly, while the velocity at the front is relatively small. At this stage, the melt moves backward from the center of the molten pool, which in turn expands the molten pool area. The melt at the back end of the molten pool center flows backward along the edge of the molten pool surface and then converges along the edge of the molten pool to the bottom center, rising to form a closed loop. Similarly, a similar closed loop is formed at the front end of the center of the bath, but with a shorter path. However, a large portion of the melt in the center of the closed loop formed at the front end of the bath is in a nearly stationary state. The main cause of this melt flow phenomenon is the effect of temperature gradient and surface tension (the Marangoni effect), as shown in Figs. 8(b) and 8(e). This dynamic behavior of the melt tends to form an “elliptical” pool. At t = 300 μs, the tendency of the above two melt flows to close the loop is more prominent and faster in Fig. 8(c). When t = 500 μs, the velocity vector of the molten pool shows a stable trend, and the closed loop of melt flow also remains stable. With the gradual laser focal spot movement, the melt is gradually solidified at its tail, and finally, a continuous and stable single track is formed in Fig. 8(d).

FIG. 8.

VIEW LARGEDOWNLOAD SLIDE

Vector plot of single-track molten pool velocity in XZ longitudinal section: (a) t = 50  ��⁠, (b) t = 150  ��⁠, (c) t = 300  ��⁠, (d) t = 500  ��⁠, (e) molten pool flow.

In order to explore in depth the transient evolution of the molten pool, the evolution of the single-track temperature field and the melt flow was monitored in the YZ cross section. Figure 9(a) shows the state of the powder bed at the initial moment. When t = 250 μs, the laser focal spot acts on the powder bed and the powder starts to melt and gradually collects in the molten pool. At this time, the substrate will also start to melt, and the melt flow mainly moves in the downward and outward directions and the velocity is maximum at the edges in Fig. 9(b). When t = 300 μs, the width and depth of the molten pool increase due to the recoil pressure. At this time, the melt flows more slowly at the center, but the direction of motion is still downward in Fig. 9(c). When t = 350 μs, the width and depth of the molten pool further increase, at which time the intensity of the melt flow reaches its peak and the direction of motion remains the same in Fig. 9(d). When t = 400 μs, the melt starts to move upward, and the surrounding powder or molten material gradually fills up, causing the surface of the molten pool to begin to flatten. At this time, the maximum velocity of the melt is at the center of the bath, while the velocity at the edge is close to zero, and the edge of the melt starts to solidify in Fig. 9(e). When t = 450 μs, the melt continues to move upward, forming a convex surface of the melt track. However, the melt movement slows down, as shown in Fig. 9(f). When t = 500 μs, the melt further moves upward and its speed gradually becomes smaller. At the same time, the melt solidifies further, as shown in Fig. 9(g). When t = 550 μs, the melt track is basically formed into a single track with a similar “mountain” shape. At this stage, the velocity is close to zero only at the center of the molten pool, and the flow behavior of the melt is poor in Fig. 9(h). At t = 600 μs, the melt stops moving and solidification is rapidly completed. Up to this point, a single track is formed in Fig. 9(i). During the laser action on the powder bed, the substrate melts and combines with the molten state powder. The powder-to-powder fusion is like the convergence of water droplets, which are rapidly fused by surface tension. However, the fusion between the molten state powder and the substrate occurs driven by surface tension, and the molten powder around the molten pool is pulled toward the substrate (a wetting effect occurs), which ultimately results in the formation of a monolithic whole.38,80,81

FIG. 9.

VIEW LARGEDOWNLOAD SLIDE

Evolution of single-track molten pool temperature and melt flow in the YZ cross section: (a) t = 0  ��⁠, (b) t = 250  ��⁠, (c) t = 300  ��⁠, (d) t = 350  ��⁠, (e) t = 400  ��⁠, (f) t = 450  ��⁠, (g) t = 500  ��⁠, (h) t = 550  ��⁠, (i) t = 600  ��⁠.

The wetting ability between the liquid metal and the solid substrate in the molten pool directly affects the degree of balling of the melt,82,83 and the wetting ability can be measured by the contact angle of a single track in Fig. 10. A smaller value of contact angle represents better wettability. The contact angle α can be calculated by�=�1−�22,

(17)

where �1 and �2 are the contact angles of the left and right regions, respectively.

FIG. 10.

VIEW LARGEDOWNLOAD SLIDE

Schematic of contact angle.

Relevant studies have confirmed that the wettability is better at a contact angle α around or below 40°.84 After measurement, a single-track contact angle α of about 33° was obtained under this process parameter, which further confirms the good wettability.

B. Double-track simulation

In order to deeply investigate the influence of hatch spacing on the characteristics of the HP-LPBF process, a series of double-track molten pool simulation experiments were systematically carried out. Figure 11 shows in detail the dynamic changes of the 3D morphology and temperature field of the double-track molten pool in the time period of 2050–2500 μs under the conditions of laser power of 100 W, scanning speed of 800 mm/s, and hatch spacing of 0.06 mm. By comparing the study with Fig. 7, it is observed that the basic characteristics of the 3D morphology and temperature field of the second track are similar to those of the first track. However, there are subtle differences between them. The first track exhibits a basically symmetric shape, but the second track morphology shows a slight deviation influenced by the difference in thermal diffusion rate between the solidified metal and the powder. Otherwise, the other characteristic information is almost the same as that of the first track. Figure 12 shows the velocity vector plot of the P2 profile in the double-track molten pool, with a maximum velocity of about 2.63 m/s. The melt dynamics at both ends of the pool are more stable at t = 2050 μs, where the maximum rate of the second track is only 1/3 of that of the first one. Other than that, the rest of the information is almost no significant difference from the characteristic information of the first track. Figure 13 demonstrates a detailed observation of the double-track temperature field and melts flow in the YZ cross section, and a comparative study with Fig. 9 reveals that the width of the second track is slightly wider. In addition, after the melt direction shifts from bottom to top, the first track undergoes four time periods (50 μs) to reach full solidification, while the second track takes five time periods. This is due to the presence of significant heat buildup in the powder bed after the forming of the first track, resulting in a longer dynamic time of the melt and an increased molten pool lifetime. In conclusion, the level of specimen forming can be significantly optimized by adjusting the laser power and hatch spacing.

FIG. 11.

VIEW LARGEDOWNLOAD SLIDE

Double-track molten pool process: (a) t = 2050  ��⁠, (b) t = 2150  ��⁠, (c) t = 2300  ��⁠, (d) t = 2500  ��⁠.

FIG. 12.

VIEW LARGEDOWNLOAD SLIDE

Vector plot of double-track molten pool velocity in XZ longitudinal section: (a) t = 2050  ��⁠, (b) t = 2150  ��⁠, (c) t = 2300  ��⁠, (d) t = 2500  ��⁠.

FIG. 13.

VIEW LARGEDOWNLOAD SLIDE

Evolution of double-track molten pool temperature and melt flow in the YZ cross section: (a) t = 2250  ��⁠, (b) t = 2300  ��⁠, (c) t = 2350  ��⁠, (d) t = 2400  ��⁠, (e) t = 2450  ��⁠, (f) t = 2500  ��⁠, (g) t = 2550  ��⁠, (h) t = 2600  ��⁠, (i) t = 2650  ��⁠.

In order to quantitatively detect the molten pool dimensions as well as the remolten region dimensions, the molten pool characterization information in Fig. 14 is constructed by drawing the boundary on the YZ cross section based on the isothermal surface of the liquid phase line. It can be observed that the heights of the first track and second track are basically the same, but the depth of the second track increases relative to the first track. The molten pool width is mainly positively correlated with the laser power as well as the scanning speed (the laser line energy density �⁠). However, the remelted zone width is negatively correlated with the hatch spacing (the overlapping ratio). Overall, the forming quality of the specimens can be directly influenced by adjusting the laser power, scanning speed, and hatch spacing.

FIG. 14.

VIEW LARGEDOWNLOAD SLIDE

Double-track molten pool characterization information on YZ cross section.

In order to study the variation rule of the temperature in the center of the molten pool with time, Fig. 15 demonstrates the temperature variation curves with time for two reference points, A and B. Among them, the red dotted line indicates the liquid phase line temperature of SS316L. From the figure, it can be seen that the maximum temperature at the center of the molten pool in the first track is lower than that in the second track, which is mainly due to the heat accumulation generated after passing through the first track. The maximum temperature gradient was calculated to be 1.69 × 108 K/s. When the laser scanned the first track, the temperature in the center of the molten pool of the second track increased slightly. Similarly, when the laser scanned the second track, a similar situation existed in the first track. Since the temperature gradient in the second track is larger than that in the first track, the residence time of the liquid phase in the molten pool of the first track is longer than that of the second track.

FIG. 15.

VIEW LARGEDOWNLOAD SLIDE

Temperature profiles as a function of time for two reference points A and B.

C. Simulation analysis of molten pool under different process parameters

In order to deeply investigate the effects of various process parameters on the mesoscopic-scale temperature field, molten pool characteristic information and defects of HP-LPBF, numerical simulation experiments on mesoscopic-scale laser power, scanning speed, and hatch spacing of double-track molten pools were carried out.

1. Laser power

Figure 16 shows the effects of different laser power on the morphology and temperature field of the double-track molten pool at a scanning speed of 800 mm/s and a hatch spacing of 0.06 mm. When P = 50 W, a smaller molten pool is formed due to the lower heat generated by the Gaussian light source per unit time. This leads to a smaller track width, which results in adjacent track not lapping properly and the presence of a large number of unmelted powder particles, resulting in an increase in the number of defects, such as pores in the specimen. The surface of the track is relatively flat, and the depth is small. In addition, the temperature gradient before and after the molten pool was large, and the depression location appeared at the biased front end in Fig. 16(a). When P = 100 W, the surface of the track is flat and smooth with excellent lap. Due to the Marangoni effect, the velocity field of the molten pool is in the form of “vortex,” and the melt has good fluidity, and the maximum velocity reaches 2.15 m/s in Fig. 16(b). When P = 200 W, the heat generated by the Gaussian light source per unit time is too large, resulting in the melt rapidly reaching the evaporation temperature, generating a huge recoil pressure, forming a large molten pool, and the surface of the track is obviously raised. The melt movement is intense, especially the closed loop at the center end of the molten pool. At this time, the depth and width of the molten pool are large, leading to the expansion of the remolten region and the increased chance of the appearance of porosity defects in Fig. 16(c). The results show that at low laser power, the surface tension in the molten pool is dominant. At high laser power, recoil pressure is its main role.

FIG. 16.

VIEW LARGEDOWNLOAD SLIDE

Simulation results of double-track molten pool under different laser powers: (a) P = 50 W, (b) P = 100 W, (c) P = 200 W.

Table II shows the effect of different laser powers on the characteristic information of the double-track molten pool at a scanning speed of 800 mm/s and a hatch spacing of 0.06 mm. The negative overlapping ratio in the table indicates that the melt tracks are not lapped, and 26/29 indicates the melt depth of the first track/second track. It can be seen that with the increase in laser power, the melt depth, melt width, melt height, and remelted zone show a gradual increase. At the same time, the overlapping ratio also increases. Especially in the process of laser power from 50 to 200 W, the melting depth and melting width increased the most, which increased nearly 2 and 1.5 times, respectively. Meanwhile, the overlapping ratio also increases with the increase in laser power, which indicates that the melting and fusion of materials are better at high laser power. On the other hand, the dimensions of the molten pool did not change uniformly with the change of laser power. Specifically, the depth-to-width ratio of the molten pool increased from about 0.30 to 0.39 during the increase from 50 to 120 W, which further indicates that the effective heat transfer in the vertical direction is greater than that in the horizontal direction with the increase in laser power. This dimensional response to laser power is mainly affected by the recoil pressure and also by the difference in the densification degree between the powder layer and the metal substrate. In addition, according to the experimental results, the contact angle shows a tendency to increase and then decrease during the process of laser power increase, and always stays within the range of less than 33°. Therefore, in practical applications, it is necessary to select the appropriate laser power according to the specific needs in order to achieve the best processing results.

TABLE II.

Double-track molten pool characterization information at different laser powers.

Laser power (W)Depth (μm)Width (μm)Height (μm)Remolten region (μm)Overlapping ratio (%)Contact angle (°)
50 16 54 11 −10 23 
100 26/29 74 14 18 23.33 33 
200 37/45 116 21 52 93.33 28 

2. Scanning speed

Figure 17 demonstrates the effect of different scanning speeds on the morphology and temperature field of the double-track molten pool at a laser power of 100 W and a hatch spacing of 0.06 mm. With the gradual increase in scanning speed, the surface morphology of the molten pool evolves from circular to elliptical. When � = 200 mm/s, the slow scanning speed causes the material to absorb too much heat, which is very easy to trigger the overburning phenomenon. At this point, the molten pool is larger and the surface morphology is uneven. This situation is consistent with the previously discussed scenario with high laser power in Fig. 17(a). However, when � = 1600 mm/s, the scanning speed is too fast, resulting in the material not being able to absorb sufficient heat, which triggers the powder particles that fail to melt completely to have a direct effect on the bonding of the melt to the substrate. At this time, the molten pool volume is relatively small and the neighboring melt track cannot lap properly. This result is consistent with the previously discussed case of low laser power in Fig. 17(b). Overall, the ratio of the laser power to the scanning speed (the line energy density �⁠) has a direct effect on the temperature field and surface morphology of the molten pool.

FIG. 17.

VIEW LARGEDOWNLOAD SLIDE

Simulation results of double-track molten pool under different scanning speed: (a)  � = 200 mm/s, (b)  � = 1600 mm/s.

Table III shows the effects of different scanning speed on the characteristic information of the double-track molten pool under the condition of laser power of 100 W and hatch spacing of 0.06 mm. It can be seen that the scanning speed has a significant effect on the melt depth, melt width, melt height, remolten region, and overlapping ratio. With the increase in scanning speed, the melt depth, melt width, melt height, remelted zone, and overlapping ratio show a gradual decreasing trend. Among them, the melt depth and melt width decreased faster, while the melt height and remolten region decreased relatively slowly. In addition, when the scanning speed was increased from 200 to 800 mm/s, the decreasing speeds of melt depth and melt width were significantly accelerated, while the decreasing speeds of overlapping ratio were relatively slow. When the scanning speed was further increased to 1600 mm/s, the decreasing speeds of melt depth and melt width were further accelerated, and the un-lapped condition of the melt channel also appeared. In addition, the contact angle increases and then decreases with the scanning speed, and both are lower than 33°. Therefore, when selecting the scanning speed, it is necessary to make reasonable trade-offs according to the specific situation, and take into account the factors of melt depth, melt width, melt height, remolten region, and overlapping ratio, in order to achieve the best processing results.

TABLE III.

Double-track molten pool characterization information at different scanning speeds.

Scanning speed (mm/s)Depth (μm)Width (μm)Height (μm)Remolten region (μm)Overlapping ratio (%)Contact angle (°)
200 55/68 182 19/32 124 203.33 22 
1600 13 50 11 −16.67 31 

3. Hatch spacing

Figure 18 shows the effect of different hatch spacing on the morphology and temperature field of the double-track molten pool under the condition of laser power of 100 W and scanning speed of 800 mm/s. The surface morphology and temperature field of the first track and second track are basically the same, but slightly different. The first track shows a basically symmetric morphology along the scanning direction, while the second track shows a slight offset due to the difference in the heat transfer rate between the solidified material and the powder particles. When the hatch spacing is too small, the overlapping ratio increases and the probability of defects caused by remelting phenomenon grows. When the hatch spacing is too large, the neighboring melt track cannot overlap properly, and the powder particles are not completely melted, leading to an increase in the number of holes. In conclusion, the ratio of the line energy density � to the hatch spacing (the volume energy density E) has a significant effect on the temperature field and surface morphology of the molten pool.

FIG. 18.

VIEW LARGEDOWNLOAD SLIDE

Simulation results of double-track molten pool under different hatch spacings: (a) H = 0.03 mm, (b) H = 0.12 mm.

Table IV shows the effects of different hatch spacing on the characteristic information of the double-track molten pool under the condition of laser power of 100 W and scanning speed of 800 mm/s. It can be seen that the hatch spacing has little effect on the melt depth, melt width, and melt height, but has some effect on the remolten region. With the gradual expansion of hatch spacing, the remolten region shows a gradual decrease. At the same time, the overlapping ratio also decreased with the increase in hatch spacing. In addition, it is observed that the contact angle shows a tendency to increase and then remain stable when the hatch spacing increases, which has a more limited effect on it. Therefore, trade-offs and decisions need to be made on a case-by-case basis when selecting the hatch spacing.

TABLE IV.

Double-track molten pool characterization information at different hatch spacings.

Hatch spacing (mm)Depth (μm)Width (μm)Height (μm)Remolten region (μm)Overlapping ratio (%)Contact angle (°)
0.03 25/27 82 14 59 173.33 30 
0.12 26 78 14 −35 33 

In summary, the laser power, scanning speed, and hatch spacing have a significant effect on the formation of the molten pool, and the correct selection of these three process parameters is crucial to ensure the forming quality. In addition, the melt depth of the second track is slightly larger than that of the first track at higher line energy density � and volume energy density E. This is mainly due to the fact that a large amount of heat accumulation is generated after the first track, forming a larger molten pool volume, which leads to an increase in the melt depth.

D. Simulation analysis of molten pool with powder particle size and laser focal spot diameter

Figure 19 demonstrates the effect of different powder particle sizes and laser focal spot diameters on the morphology and temperature field of the double-track molten pool under a laser power of 100 W, a scanning speed of 800 mm/s, and a hatch spacing of 0.06 mm. In the process of melting coarse powder with small laser focal spot diameter, the laser energy cannot completely melt the larger powder particles, resulting in their partial melting and further generating excessive pore defects. The larger powder particles tend to generate zigzag molten pool edges, which cause an increase in the roughness of the melt track surface. In addition, the molten pool is also prone to generate the present spatter phenomenon, which can directly affect the quality of forming. The volume of the formed molten pool is relatively small, while the melt depth, melt width, and melt height are all smaller relative to the fine powder in Fig. 19(a). In the process of melting fine powders with a large laser focal spot diameter, the laser energy is able to melt the fine powder particles sufficiently, even to the point of overmelting. This results in a large number of fine spatters being generated at the edge of the molten pool, which causes porosity defects in the melt track in Fig. 19(b). In addition, the maximum velocity of the molten pool is larger for large powder particle sizes compared to small powder particle sizes, which indicates that the temperature gradient in the molten pool is larger for large powder particle sizes and the melt motion is more intense. However, the size of the laser focal spot diameter has a relatively small effect on the melt motion. However, a larger focal spot diameter induces a larger melt volume with greater depth, width, and height. In conclusion, a small powder size helps to reduce the surface roughness of the specimen, and a small laser spot diameter reduces the minimum forming size of a single track.

FIG. 19.

VIEW LARGEDOWNLOAD SLIDE

Simulation results of double-track molten pool with different powder particle size and laser focal spot diameter: (a) focal spot = 25 μm, coarse powder, (b) focal spot = 80 μm, fine powder.

Table V shows the maximum temperature gradient at the reference point for different powder sizes and laser focal spot diameters. As can be seen from the table, the maximum temperature gradient is lower than that of HP-LPBF for both coarse powders with a small laser spot diameter and fine powders with a large spot diameter, a phenomenon that leads to an increase in the heat transfer rate of HP-LPBF, which in turn leads to a corresponding increase in the cooling rate and, ultimately, to the formation of finer microstructures.

TABLE V.

Maximum temperature gradient at the reference point for different powder particle sizes and laser focal spot diameters.

Laser power (W)Scanning speed (mm/s)Hatch spacing (mm)Average powder size (μm)Laser focal spot diameter (μm)Maximum temperature gradient (×107 K/s)
100 800 0.06 31.7 25 7.89 
11.5 80 7.11 

IV. CONCLUSIONS

In this study, the geometrical characteristics of 3D coarse and fine powder particles were first calculated using DEM and then numerical simulations of single track and double track in the process of forming SS316L from monolayer HP-LPBF at mesoscopic scale were developed using CFD method. The effects of Marangoni convection, surface tension, recoil pressure, gravity, thermal convection, thermal radiation, and evaporative heat dissipation on the heat and mass transfer in the molten pool were considered in this model. The effects of laser power, scanning speed, and hatch spacing on the dynamics of the single-track and double-track molten pools, as well as on other characteristic information, were investigated. The effects of the powder particle size on the molten pool were investigated comparatively with the laser focal spot diameter. The main conclusions are as follows:

  1. The results show that the temperature gradient at the front of the molten pool is significantly larger than that at the tail, and the molten pool exhibits a “comet” morphology. At the top of the molten pool, there is a slightly concave region, which is the result of the coupling of Marangoni convection, recoil pressure, and surface tension. The melt flow forms two closed loops, which are mainly influenced by temperature gradients and surface tension. This special dynamic behavior of the melt tends to form an “elliptical” molten pool and an almost “mountain” shape in single-track forming.
  2. The basic characteristics of the three-dimensional morphology and temperature field of the second track are similar to those of the first track, but there are subtle differences. The first track exhibits a basically symmetrical shape; however, due to the difference in thermal diffusion rates between the solidified metal and the powder, a slight asymmetry in the molten pool morphology of the second track occurs. After forming through the first track, there is a significant heat buildup in the powder bed, resulting in a longer dynamic time of the melt, which increases the life of the molten pool. The heights of the first track and second track remained essentially the same, but the depth of the second track was greater relative to the first track. In addition, the maximum temperature gradient was 1.69 × 108 K/s during HP-LPBF forming.
  3. At low laser power, the surface tension in the molten pool plays a dominant role. At high laser power, recoil pressure becomes the main influencing factor. With the increase of laser power, the effective heat transfer in the vertical direction is superior to that in the horizontal direction. With the gradual increase of scanning speed, the surface morphology of the molten pool evolves from circular to elliptical. In addition, the scanning speed has a significant effect on the melt depth, melt width, melt height, remolten region, and overlapping ratio. Too large or too small hatch spacing will lead to remelting or non-lap phenomenon, which in turn causes the formation of defects.
  4. When using a small laser focal spot diameter, it is difficult to completely melt large powder particle sizes, resulting in partial melting and excessive porosity generation. At the same time, large powder particles produce curved edges of the molten pool, resulting in increased surface roughness of the melt track. In addition, spatter occurs, which directly affects the forming quality. At small focal spot diameters, the molten pool volume is relatively small, and the melt depth, the melt width, and the melt height are correspondingly small. Taken together, the small powder particle size helps to reduce surface roughness, while the small spot diameter reduces the forming size.

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Figure 3. Computed contour of velocity magnitude (m/s) for Run 1 to Run 15.

FLOW-3D 소프트웨어를 이용한 유입구 및 배플 위치가 침전조 제거 효율에 미치는 영향

Ali Poorkarimi1
Khaled Mafakheri2
Shahrzad Maleki2

Journal of Hydraulic Structures
J. Hydraul. Struct., 2023; 9(4): 76-87
DOI: 10.22055/jhs.2024.44817.1265

Abstract

중력에 의한 침전은 부유 물질을 제거하기 위해 물과 폐수 처리 공정에 널리 적용됩니다. 이 연구에서는 침전조의 제거 효율에 대한 입구 및 배플 위치의 영향을 간략하게 설명합니다. 실험은 CCD(중심복합설계) 방법론을 기반으로 수행되었습니다. 전산유체역학(CFD)은 유압 설계, 미래 발전소에 대한 계획 연구, 토목 유지 관리 및 공급 효율성과 관련된 복잡한 문제를 모델링하고 분석하는 데 광범위하게 사용됩니다. 본 연구에서는 입구 높이, 입구로부터 배플까지의 거리, 배플 높이의 다양한 조건에 따른 영향을 조사하였다. CCD 접근 방식을 사용하여 얻은 데이터를 분석하면 축소된 2차 모델이 R2 = 0.77의 결정 계수로 부유 물질 제거를 예측할 수 있음이 나타났습니다. 연구 결과, 유입구와 배플의 부적절한 위치는 침전조의 효율에 부정적인 영향을 미칠 수 있음을 보여주었습니다. 입구 높이, 배플 거리, 배플 높이의 최적 값은 각각 0.87m, 0.77m, 0.56m였으며 제거 효율은 80.6%였습니다.

Sedimentation due to gravitation is applied widely in water and wastewater treatment processes to remove suspended solids. This study outlines the effect of the inlet and baffle position on the removal efficiency of sedimentation tanks. Experiments were carried out based on the central composite design (CCD) methodology. Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) is used extensively to model and analyze complex issues related to hydraulic design, planning studies for future generating stations, civil maintenance, and supply efficiency. In this study, the effect of different conditions of inlet elevation, baffle’s distance from the inlet, and baffle height were investigated. Analysis of the obtained data with a CCD approach illustrated that the reduced quadratic model can predict the suspended solids removal with a coefficient of determination of R2 = 0.77. The results showed that the inappropriate position of the inlet and the baffle can have a negative effect on the efficiency of the sedimentation tank. The optimal values of inlet elevation, baffle distance, and baffle height were 0.87 m, 0.77 m, and 0.56 m respectively with 80.6% removal efficiency.

Keywords

Sedimentation tank, Particle removal, Central Composite Design, Computational
Fluid Dynamics, Flow-3D

Figure 3. Computed contour of velocity magnitude (m/s) for Run 1 to Run 15.
Figure 3. Computed contour of velocity magnitude (m/s) for Run 1 to Run 15.

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Figure 1 | Schematic of the present research model with dimensions and macro-roughnesses installed.

On the hydraulic performance of the inclined drops: the effect of downstreammacro-roughness elements

경사 낙하의 수력학적 성능: 하류 거시 거칠기 요소의 영향

Farhoud Kalateh a,*, Ehsan Aminvash a and Rasoul Daneshfaraz b
a Faculty of Civil Engineering, University of Tabriz, Tabriz, Iran
b Faculty of Engineering, University of Maragheh, Maragheh, Iran
*Corresponding author. E-mail: f.kalateh@gmail.com

ABSTRACT

The main goal of the present study is to investigate the effects of macro-roughnesses downstream of the inclined drop through numerical models. Due to the vital importance of geometrical properties of the macro-roughnesses in the hydraulic performance and efficient energy dissipation downstream of inclined drops, two different geometries of macro-roughnesses, i.e., semi-circular and triangular geometries, have been investigated using the Flow-3D model. Numerical simulation showed that with the flow rate increase and relative critical depth, the flow energy consumption has decreased. Also, relative energy dissipation increases with the increase in height and slope angle, so that this amount of increase in energy loss compared to the smooth bed in semi-circular and triangular elements is 86.39 and 76.80%, respectively, in the inclined drop with a height of 15 cm and 86.99 and 65.78% in the drop with a height of 20 cm. The Froude number downstream on the uneven bed has been dramatically reduced, so this amount of reduction has been approximately 47 and 54% compared to the control condition. The relative depth of the downstream has also increased due to the turbulence of the flow on the uneven bed with the increase in the flow rate.

본 연구의 주요 목표는 수치 모델을 통해 경사 낙하 하류의 거시 거칠기 효과를 조사하는 것입니다. 수력학적 성능과 경사 낙하 하류의 효율적인 에너지 소산에서 거시 거칠기의 기하학적 특성이 매우 중요하기 때문에 두 가지 서로 다른 거시 거칠기 형상, 즉 반원형 및 삼각형 형상이 Flow를 사용하여 조사되었습니다.

3D 모델 수치 시뮬레이션을 통해 유량이 증가하고 상대 임계 깊이가 증가함에 따라 유동 에너지 소비가 감소하는 것으로 나타났습니다. 또한, 높이와 경사각이 증가함에 따라 상대적인 에너지 소산도 증가하는데, 반원형 요소와 삼각형 요소에서 평활층에 비해 에너지 손실의 증가량은 경사낙하에서 각각 86.39%와 76.80%입니다.

높이 15cm, 높이 20cm의 드롭에서 86.99%, 65.78%입니다. 고르지 못한 베드 하류의 프루드 수가 극적으로 감소하여 이 감소량은 대조 조건에 비해 약 47%와 54%였습니다. 유속이 증가함에 따라 고르지 못한 층에서의 흐름의 난류로 인해 하류의 상대적 깊이도 증가했습니다.

Key words

flow energy dissipation, Froude number, inclined drop, numerical simulation

Figure 1 | Schematic of the present research model with dimensions and macro-roughnesses installed.
Figure 1 | Schematic of the present research model with dimensions and macro-roughnesses installed.
Figure 2 | Meshing, boundary condition, and solution field network
Figure 2 | Meshing, boundary condition, and solution field network

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Effects of ramp slope and discharge on hydraulic performance of submerged hump weirs

Effects of ramp slope and discharge on hydraulic performance of submerged hump weirs

Arash Ahmadi a, Amir H. Azimi b

Abstract

험프 웨어는 수위 제어 및 배출 측정을 위한 기존의 수력 구조물 중 하나입니다. 상류 및 하류 경사로의 경사는 자유 및 침수 흐름 조건 모두에서 험프 웨어의 성능에 영향을 미치는 설계 매개변수입니다.

침수된 험프보의 유출 특성 및 수위 변화에 대한 램프 경사 및 유출의 영향을 조사하기 위해 일련의 수치 시뮬레이션이 수행되었습니다. 1V:1H에서 1V:5H까지의 5개 램프 경사를 다양한 업스트림 방전에서 테스트했습니다.

수치모델의 검증을 위해 수치결과를 실험실 데이터와 비교하였다. 수면수위 예측과 유출계수의 시뮬레이션 불일치는 각각 전체 범위의 ±10%와 ±5% 이내였습니다.

모듈 한계 및 방전 감소 계수의 변화에 대한 램프 경사의 영향을 연구했습니다. 험프보의 경사로 경사가 증가함에 따라 상대적으로 높은 침수율에서 모듈러 한계가 발생함을 알 수 있었다.

침수 시작은 방류 수위를 작은 증분으로 조심스럽게 증가시켜 모델링되었으며 그 결과는 모듈 한계의 고전적인 정의와 비교되었습니다. 램프 경사와 방전이 증가함에 따라 모듈러 한계가 증가하는 것으로 밝혀졌지만, 모듈러 한계의 고전적인 정의는 모듈러 한계가 방전과 무관하다는 것을 나타냅니다.

Hump weir 하류의 속도와 와류장은 램프 경사에 의해 제어되는 와류 구조 형성을 나타냅니다. 에너지 손실은 수치 출력으로부터 계산되었으며 정규화된 에너지 손실은 침수에 따라 선형적으로 감소하는 것으로 나타났습니다.

Hump weirs are amongst conventional hydraulic structures for water level control and discharge measurement. The slope in the upstream and downstream ramps is a design parameter that affects the performance of Hump weirs in both free and submerged flow conditions. A series of numerical simulations was performed to investigate the effects of ramp slope and discharge on discharge characteristics and water level variations of submerged Hump weirs. Five ramp slopes ranging from 1V:1H to 1V:5H were tested at different upstream discharges. The numerical results were compared with the laboratory data for verifications of the numerical model. The simulation discrepancies in prediction of water surface level and discharge coefficient were within ±10 % and ±5 % of the full range, respectively. The effects of ramp slope on variations of modular limit and discharge reduction factor were studied. It was found that the modular limit occurred at relatively higher submergence ratios as the ramp slope in Hump weirs increased. The onset of submergence was modeled by carefully increasing tailwater level with small increments and the results were compared with the classic definition of modular limit. It was found that the modular limit increases with increasing the ramp slope and discharge while the classic definition of modular limit indicated that the modular limit is independent of the discharge. The velocity and vortex fields in the downstream of Hump weirs indicated the formation vortex structure, which is controlled by the ramp slope. The energy losses were calculated from the numerical outputs, and it was found that the normalized energy losses decreased linearly with submergence.

Introduction

Weirs have been utilized predominantly for discharge measurement, flow diversion, and water level control in open channels, irrigation canal, and natural streams due to their simplicity of operation and accuracy. Several research studies have been conducted to determine the head-discharge relationship in weirs as one of the most common hydraulic structures for flow measurement (Rajaratnam and Muralidhar, 1969 [[1], [2], [3]]; Vatankhah, 2010, [[4], [5], [6]]; b [[7], [8], [9]]; Azimi and Seyed Hakim, 2019; Salehi et al., 2019; Salehi and Azimi, 2019, [10]. Weirs in general are classified into two major categories named as sharp-crested weirs and weirs of finite-crest length (Rajaratnam and Muralidhar, 1969; [11]. Sharp-crested weirs are typically used for flow measurement in small irrigation canals and laboratory flumes. In contrast, weirs of finite crest length are more suitable for water level control and flow diversion in rivers and natural streams [7,[12], [13], [14]].

The head-discharge relationship in sharp-crested weirs is developed by employing energy equation between two sections in the upstream and downstream of the weir and integration of the velocity profile at the crest of the weir as:

where Qf is the free flow discharge, B is the channel width, g is the acceleration due to gravity, ho is the water head in free-flow condition, and Cd is the discharge coefficient. Rehbock [15] proposed a linear correlation between discharge coefficient and the ratio of water head, ho, and the weir height, P as Cd = 0.605 + 0.08 (ho/P).

Upstream and/or downstream ramp(s) can be added to sharp-crested weirs to enhance the structural stability of the weir. A sharp-crested weir with upstream and/or downstream ramp(s) are known as triangular weirs in the literature. Triangular weirs with both upstream and downstream ramps are also known as Hump weirs and are first introduced in the experimental study of Bazin [16]. The ramps are constructed upstream and downstream of sharp-crested weirs to enhance the weir’s structural integrity and improve the hydraulic performance of the weir. In free-flow condition, the discharge coefficient of Hump weirs increases with increasing downstream ramp slope but decreases as upstream ramp slope increases (Azimi et al., 2013).

The hydraulic performance of weirs is evaluated in both free and submerged flow conditions. In free flow condition, water freely flows over weirs since the downstream water level is lower than that of the crest level of the weir. Channel blockage or flood in the downstream of weirs can raise the tailwater level, t. As tailwater passes the crest elevation in sharp-crested weirs, the upstream flow decelerates due to the excess pressure force in the downstream and the upstream water level increases. The onset of water level raise due to tailwater raise is called the modular limit. Once the tailwater level passes the modular limit, the weir is submerged. In sharp-crested weirs, the submerged flow regime may occur even before the tailwater reaches the crest elevation [8,14], whereas, in weirs of finite crest length, the upstream water level remains unchanged even if the tailwater raises above the crest elevation and it normally causes submergence once the tailwater level passes the critical depth at the crest of the weir [7,17]. The degree of submergence can be estimated by careful observation of the water surface profile. Observations of water surface at different submergence levels indicated two distinct flow patterns in submerged sharp-crested weirs that was initially classified as impinging jet and surface flow regimes [14]. [8] analyzed the variations of water surface profiles over submerged sharp-crested weirs with different submergence ratios and defined four distinct regimes of impinging jet, surface jump, surface wave, and surface jet.

[18] characterized the onset of submergence by defining the modular limit as a stage when the free flow head increases by +1 mm due to tailwater rise. The definition of modular limit is somewhat arbitrary, and it is difficult to identify for large discharges because the upstream water surface begins to fluctuate. This definition did not consider the effects of channel and weir geometries. The experimental data in triangular weirs and weirs finite-crest length with upstream and downstream ramp(s) revealed that the modular limit varied with the ratio of the free-flow head to the total streamwise length of the weir [17]. Weirs of finite crest length with upstream and downstream ramps are known as embankment weirs in literature [1,19,20] and Azimi et al., 2013) [19]. conducted two series of laboratory experiments to study the hydraulics of submerged embankment weirs with the upstream and downstream ramps of 1V:1H and 1V:2H. Empirical correlations were proposed to directly estimate the flow discharge in submerged embankment weirs for t/h > 0.7 where h is the water head in submerged flow condition. He found that the free flow discharge is a function of upstream water head, but the submerged discharge is a function of submergence level, t/h [21]. studied the hydraulics of four embankment weirs with different weir heights ranging from 0.09 m to 0.36 m. It was found that submerged embankments with a higher ho/P, where P is the height of the weir, have a smaller discharge reduction due to submergence. Effects of crest length in embankment weirs with both upstream and downstream ramps of 1V:2H was studied in both free and submerged flow conditions [1]. It was found that the modular limit in submerged embankment weirs decreased linearly with the relative crest length, Ho/(Ho + L), where Ho is the total head and L is the crest length.

In submerged flow condition, the performance of weirs is quantified by the discharge reduction factor, ψ, which is a ratio of the submerged discharge, Qs, to the corresponding free-flow discharge, Qf, based on the upstream head, h [12]. In submerged-flow conditions, flow discharge can be estimated as:��=���

[1] proposed a formula to predict ψ that could be used for embankment weirs with different crest lengths ranging from 0 to 0.3 m as:�=(1−��)�where n is an exponent varying from 4 to 7 and Yt is the normalized submergence defined as:��=�ℎ−[0.85−(0.5��+�)]1−[0.85−(0.5��+�)]where H is the total upstream head in submerged-flow conditions [7]. proposed a simpler formula to predict ψ for weirs of finite-crest length as:�=[1−(�ℎ)�]�where m and n are exponents varying for different types of weirs. Hakim and Azimi (2017) employed regression analysis to propose values of n = 0.25 and m = 0.28 (ho/L)−2.425 for triangular weirs.

The discharge capacity of weirs decreases in submerged flow condition and the onset of submergence occurs at the modular limit. Therefore, the determination of modular limit in weirs with different geometries is critical to understanding the sensitivity of a particular weir model with tailwater level variations. The available definition of modular limit as when head water raises by +1 mm due to tailwater rise does not consider the effects of channel and weir geometries. Therefore, a new and more accurate definition of modular limit is proposed in this study to consider the effect of other geometry and approaching flow parameters. The second objective of this study is to evaluate the effects of upstream and downstream ramps and ramps slopes on the hydraulic performance of submerged Hump weirs. The flow patterns, velocity distributions, and energy dissipation rates were extracted from validated numerical data to better understand the discharge reduction mechanism in Hump weirs in both free and submerged flow conditions.

Section snippets

Governing equations

Numerical simulation has been employed as an efficient and effective method to analyze free surface flow problems and in particular investigating on the hydraulics of flow over weirs [22]. The weir models were developed in numerical domain and the water pressure and velocity field were simulated by employing the FLOW-3D solver (Flow Science, Inc., Santa Fe, USA). The numerical results were validated with the laboratory measurements and the effects of ramps slopes on the performance of Hump

Verification of numerical model

The experimental observations of Bazin [16,17] were used for model validation in free and submerged flow conditions, respectively. The weir height in the study of Bazin was P = 0.5 m and two ramp slopes of 1V:1H and 1V:2H were tested. The bed and sides of the channel were made of glass, and the roughness distribution of the bed and walls were uniform. The Hump weir models in the study of Seyed Hakim and Azimi (2017) had a weir height of 0.076 m and ramp slopes of 1V:2H in both upstream and

Conclusions

A series of numerical simulations was performed to study the hydraulics and velocity pattern downstream of a Hump weir with symmetrical ramp slopes. Effects of ramp slope and discharge on formation of modular limit and in submerged flow condition were tested by conducting a series of numerical simulations on Hump weirs with ramp slopes varying from 1V:1H to 1V:5H. A comparison between numerical results and experimental data indicated that the proposed numerical model is accurate with a mean

Author contributions

Arash Ahmadi: Software, Validation, Visualization, Writing – original draft. Amir Azimi: Conceptualization, Funding acquisition, Investigation, Project administration, Supervision, Writing – review & editing

Uncited References

[30]; [31]; [32]; [33].

Declaration of competing interest

The authors declare that they have no known competing financial interests or personal relationships that could have appeared to influence the work reported in this paper.

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Lab-on-a-Chip 시스템의 혈류 역학에 대한 검토: 엔지니어링 관점

Review on Blood Flow Dynamics in Lab-on-a-Chip Systems: An Engineering Perspective

  • Bin-Jie Lai
  • Li-Tao Zhu
  • Zhe Chen*
  • Bo Ouyang*
  • , and 
  • Zheng-Hong Luo*

Abstract

다양한 수송 메커니즘 하에서, “LOC(lab-on-a-chip)” 시스템에서 유동 전단 속도 조건과 밀접한 관련이 있는 혈류 역학은 다양한 수송 현상을 초래하는 것으로 밝혀졌습니다.

본 연구는 적혈구의 동적 혈액 점도 및 탄성 거동과 같은 점탄성 특성의 역할을 통해 LOC 시스템의 혈류 패턴을 조사합니다. 모세관 및 전기삼투압의 주요 매개변수를 통해 LOC 시스템의 혈액 수송 현상에 대한 연구는 실험적, 이론적 및 수많은 수치적 접근 방식을 통해 제공됩니다.

전기 삼투압 점탄성 흐름에 의해 유발되는 교란은 특히 향후 연구 기회를 위해 혈액 및 기타 점탄성 유체를 취급하는 LOC 장치의 혼합 및 분리 기능 향상에 논의되고 적용됩니다. 또한, 본 연구는 보다 정확하고 단순화된 혈류 모델에 대한 요구와 전기역학 효과 하에서 점탄성 유체 흐름에 대한 수치 연구에 대한 강조와 같은 LOC 시스템 하에서 혈류 역학의 수치 모델링의 문제를 식별합니다.

전기역학 현상을 연구하는 동안 제타 전위 조건에 대한 보다 실용적인 가정도 강조됩니다. 본 연구는 모세관 및 전기삼투압에 의해 구동되는 미세유체 시스템의 혈류 역학에 대한 포괄적이고 학제적인 관점을 제공하는 것을 목표로 한다.

KEYWORDS: 

1. Introduction

1.1. Microfluidic Flow in Lab-on-a-Chip (LOC) Systems

Over the past several decades, the ability to control and utilize fluid flow patterns at microscales has gained considerable interest across a myriad of scientific and engineering disciplines, leading to growing interest in scientific research of microfluidics. 

(1) Microfluidics, an interdisciplinary field that straddles physics, engineering, and biotechnology, is dedicated to the behavior, precise control, and manipulation of fluids geometrically constrained to a small, typically submillimeter, scale. 

(2) The engineering community has increasingly focused on microfluidics, exploring different driving forces to enhance working fluid transport, with the aim of accurately and efficiently describing, controlling, designing, and applying microfluidic flow principles and transport phenomena, particularly for miniaturized applications. 

(3) This attention has chiefly been fueled by the potential to revolutionize diagnostic and therapeutic techniques in the biomedical and pharmaceutical sectorsUnder various driving forces in microfluidic flows, intriguing transport phenomena have bolstered confidence in sustainable and efficient applications in fields such as pharmaceutical, biochemical, and environmental science. The “lab-on-a-chip” (LOC) system harnesses microfluidic flow to enable fluid processing and the execution of laboratory tasks on a chip-sized scale. LOC systems have played a vital role in the miniaturization of laboratory operations such as mixing, chemical reaction, separation, flow control, and detection on small devices, where a wide variety of fluids is adapted. Biological fluid flow like blood and other viscoelastic fluids are notably studied among the many working fluids commonly utilized by LOC systems, owing to the optimization in small fluid sample volumed, rapid response times, precise control, and easy manipulation of flow patterns offered by the system under various driving forces. 

(4)The driving forces in blood flow can be categorized as passive or active transport mechanisms and, in some cases, both. Under various transport mechanisms, the unique design of microchannels enables different functionalities in driving, mixing, separating, and diagnosing blood and drug delivery in the blood. 

(5) Understanding and manipulating these driving forces are crucial for optimizing the performance of a LOC system. Such knowledge presents the opportunity to achieve higher efficiency and reliability in addressing cellular level challenges in medical diagnostics, forensic studies, cancer detection, and other fundamental research areas, for applications of point-of-care (POC) devices. 

(6)

1.2. Engineering Approach of Microfluidic Transport Phenomena in LOC Systems

Different transport mechanisms exhibit unique properties at submillimeter length scales in microfluidic devices, leading to significant transport phenomena that differ from those of macroscale flows. An in-depth understanding of these unique transport phenomena under microfluidic systems is often required in fluidic mechanics to fully harness the potential functionality of a LOC system to obtain systematically designed and precisely controlled transport of microfluids under their respective driving force. Fluid mechanics is considered a vital component in chemical engineering, enabling the analysis of fluid behaviors in various unit designs, ranging from large-scale reactors to separation units. Transport phenomena in fluid mechanics provide a conceptual framework for analytically and descriptively explaining why and how experimental results and physiological phenomena occur. The Navier–Stokes (N–S) equation, along with other governing equations, is often adapted to accurately describe fluid dynamics by accounting for pressure, surface properties, velocity, and temperature variations over space and time. In addition, limiting factors and nonidealities for these governing equations should be considered to impose corrections for empirical consistency before physical models are assembled for more accurate controls and efficiency. Microfluidic flow systems often deviate from ideal conditions, requiring adjustments to the standard governing equations. These deviations could arise from factors such as viscous effects, surface interactions, and non-Newtonian fluid properties from different microfluid types and geometrical layouts of microchannels. Addressing these nonidealities supports the refining of theoretical models and prediction accuracy for microfluidic flow behaviors.

The analytical calculation of coupled nonlinear governing equations, which describes the material and energy balances of systems under ideal conditions, often requires considerable computational efforts. However, advancements in computation capabilities, cost reduction, and improved accuracy have made numerical simulations using different numerical and modeling methods a powerful tool for effectively solving these complex coupled equations and modeling various transport phenomena. Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) is a numerical technique used to investigate the spatial and temporal distribution of various flow parameters. It serves as a critical approach to provide insights and reasoning for decision-making regarding the optimal designs involving fluid dynamics, even prior to complex physical model prototyping and experimental procedures. The integration of experimental data, theoretical analysis, and reliable numerical simulations from CFD enables systematic variation of analytical parameters through quantitative analysis, where adjustment to delivery of blood flow and other working fluids in LOC systems can be achieved.

Numerical methods such as the Finite-Difference Method (FDM), Finite-Element-Method (FEM), and Finite-Volume Method (FVM) are heavily employed in CFD and offer diverse approaches to achieve discretization of Eulerian flow equations through filling a mesh of the flow domain. A more in-depth review of numerical methods in CFD and its application for blood flow simulation is provided in Section 2.2.2.

1.3. Scope of the Review

In this Review, we explore and characterize the blood flow phenomena within the LOC systems, utilizing both physiological and engineering modeling approaches. Similar approaches will be taken to discuss capillary-driven flow and electric-osmotic flow (EOF) under electrokinetic phenomena as a passive and active transport scheme, respectively, for blood transport in LOC systems. Such an analysis aims to bridge the gap between physical (experimental) and engineering (analytical) perspectives in studying and manipulating blood flow delivery by different driving forces in LOC systems. Moreover, the Review hopes to benefit the interests of not only blood flow control in LOC devices but also the transport of viscoelastic fluids, which are less studied in the literature compared to that of Newtonian fluids, in LOC systems.

Section 2 examines the complex interplay between viscoelastic properties of blood and blood flow patterns under shear flow in LOC systems, while engineering numerical modeling approaches for blood flow are presented for assistance. Sections 3 and 4 look into the theoretical principles, numerical governing equations, and modeling methodologies for capillary driven flow and EOF in LOC systems as well as their impact on blood flow dynamics through the quantification of key parameters of the two driving forces. Section 5 concludes the characterized blood flow transport processes in LOC systems under these two forces. Additionally, prospective areas of research in improving the functionality of LOC devices employing blood and other viscoelastic fluids and potentially justifying mechanisms underlying microfluidic flow patterns outside of LOC systems are presented. Finally, the challenges encountered in the numerical studies of blood flow under LOC systems are acknowledged, paving the way for further research.

2. Blood Flow Phenomena

ARTICLE SECTIONS

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2.1. Physiological Blood Flow Behavior

Blood, an essential physiological fluid in the human body, serves the vital role of transporting oxygen and nutrients throughout the body. Additionally, blood is responsible for suspending various blood cells including erythrocytes (red blood cells or RBCs), leukocytes (white blood cells), and thrombocytes (blood platelets) in a plasma medium.Among the cells mentioned above, red blood cells (RBCs) comprise approximately 40–45% of the volume of healthy blood. 

(7) An RBC possesses an inherent elastic property with a biconcave shape of an average diameter of 8 μm and a thickness of 2 μm. This biconcave shape maximizes the surface-to-volume ratio, allowing RBCs to endure significant distortion while maintaining their functionality. 

(8,9) Additionally, the biconcave shape optimizes gas exchange, facilitating efficient uptake of oxygen due to the increased surface area. The inherent elasticity of RBCs allows them to undergo substantial distortion from their original biconcave shape and exhibits high flexibility, particularly in narrow channels.RBC deformability enables the cell to deform from a biconcave shape to a parachute-like configuration, despite minor differences in RBC shape dynamics under shear flow between initial cell locations. As shown in Figure 1(a), RBCs initiating with different resting shapes and orientations displaying display a similar deformation pattern 

(10) in terms of its shape. Shear flow induces an inward bending of the cell at the rear position of the rim to the final bending position, 

(11) resulting in an alignment toward the same position of the flow direction.

Figure 1. Images of varying deformation of RBCs and different dynamic blood flow behaviors. (a) The deforming shape behavior of RBCs at four different initiating positions under the same experimental conditions of a flow from left to right, (10) (b) RBC aggregation, (13) (c) CFL region. (18) Reproduced with permission from ref (10). Copyright 2011 Elsevier. Reproduced with permission from ref (13). Copyright 2022 The Authors, under the terms of the Creative Commons (CC BY 4.0) License https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/. Reproduced with permission from ref (18). Copyright 2019 Elsevier.

The flexible property of RBCs enables them to navigate through narrow capillaries and traverse a complex network of blood vessels. The deformability of RBCs depends on various factors, including the channel geometry, RBC concentration, and the elastic properties of the RBC membrane. 

(12) Both flexibility and deformability are vital in the process of oxygen exchange among blood and tissues throughout the body, allowing cells to flow in vessels even smaller than the original cell size prior to deforming.As RBCs serve as major components in blood, their collective dynamics also hugely affect blood rheology. RBCs exhibit an aggregation phenomenon due to cell to cell interactions, such as adhesion forces, among populated cells, inducing unique blood flow patterns and rheological behaviors in microfluidic systems. For blood flow in large vessels between a diameter of 1 and 3 cm, where shear rates are not high, a constant viscosity and Newtonian behavior for blood can be assumed. However, under low shear rate conditions (0.1 s

–1) in smaller vessels such as the arteries and venules, which are within a diameter of 0.2 mm to 1 cm, blood exhibits non-Newtonian properties, such as shear-thinning viscosity and viscoelasticity due to RBC aggregation and deformability. The nonlinear viscoelastic property of blood gives rise to a complex relationship between viscosity and shear rate, primarily influenced by the highly elastic behavior of RBCs. A wide range of research on the transient behavior of the RBC shape and aggregation characteristics under varied flow circumstances has been conducted, aiming to obtain a better understanding of the interaction between blood flow shear forces from confined flows.

For a better understanding of the unique blood flow structures and rheological behaviors in microfluidic systems, some blood flow patterns are introduced in the following section.

2.1.1. RBC Aggregation

RBC aggregation is a vital phenomenon to be considered when designing LOC devices due to its impact on the viscosity of the bulk flow. Under conditions of low shear rate, such as in stagnant or low flow rate regions, RBCs tend to aggregate, forming structures known as rouleaux, resembling stacks of coins as shown in Figure 1(b). 

(13) The aggregation of RBCs increases the viscosity at the aggregated region, 

(14) hence slowing down the overall blood flow. However, when exposed to high shear rates, RBC aggregates disaggregate. As shear rates continue to increase, RBCs tend to deform, elongating and aligning themselves with the direction of the flow. 

(15) Such a dynamic shift in behavior from the cells in response to the shear rate forms the basis of the viscoelastic properties observed in whole blood. In essence, the viscosity of the blood varies according to the shear rate conditions, which are related to the velocity gradient of the system. It is significant to take the intricate relationship between shear rate conditions and the change of blood viscosity due to RBC aggregation into account since various flow driving conditions may induce varied effects on the degree of aggregation.

2.1.2. Fåhræus-Lindqvist Effect

The Fåhræus–Lindqvist (FL) effect describes the gradual decrease in the apparent viscosity of blood as the channel diameter decreases. 

(16) This effect is attributed to the migration of RBCs toward the central region in the microchannel, where the flow rate is higher, due to the presence of higher pressure and asymmetric distribution of shear forces. This migration of RBCs, typically observed at blood vessels less than 0.3 mm, toward the higher flow rate region contributes to the change in blood viscosity, which becomes dependent on the channel size. Simultaneously, the increase of the RBC concentration in the central region of the microchannel results in the formation of a less viscous region close to the microchannel wall. This region called the Cell-Free Layer (CFL), is primarily composed of plasma. 

(17) The combination of the FL effect and the following CFL formation provides a unique phenomenon that is often utilized in passive and active plasma separation mechanisms, involving branched and constriction channels for various applications in plasma separation using microfluidic systems.

2.1.3. Cell-Free Layer Formation

In microfluidic blood flow, RBCs form aggregates at the microchannel core and result in a region that is mostly devoid of RBCs near the microchannel walls, as shown in Figure 1(c). 

(18) The region is known as the cell-free layer (CFL). The CFL region is often known to possess a lower viscosity compared to other regions within the blood flow due to the lower viscosity value of plasma when compared to that of the aggregated RBCs. Therefore, a thicker CFL region composed of plasma correlates to a reduced apparent whole blood viscosity. 

(19) A thicker CFL region is often established following the RBC aggregation at the microchannel core under conditions of decreasing the tube diameter. Apart from the dependence on the RBC concentration in the microchannel core, the CFL thickness is also affected by the volume concentration of RBCs, or hematocrit, in whole blood, as well as the deformability of RBCs. Given the influence CFL thickness has on blood flow rheological parameters such as blood flow rate, which is strongly dependent on whole blood viscosity, investigating CFL thickness under shear flow is crucial for LOC systems accounting for blood flow.

2.1.4. Plasma Skimming in Bifurcation Networks

The uneven arrangement of RBCs in bifurcating microchannels, commonly termed skimming bifurcation, arises from the axial migration of RBCs within flowing streams. This uneven distribution contributes to variations in viscosity across differing sizes of bifurcating channels but offers a stabilizing effect. Notably, higher flow rates in microchannels are associated with increased hematocrit levels, resulting in higher viscosity compared with those with lower flow rates. Parametric investigations on bifurcation angle, 

(20) thickness of the CFL, 

(21) and RBC dynamics, including aggregation and deformation, 

(22) may alter the varying viscosity of blood and its flow behavior within microchannels.

2.2. Modeling on Blood Flow Dynamics

2.2.1. Blood Properties and Mathematical Models of Blood Rheology

Under different shear rate conditions in blood flow, the elastic characteristics and dynamic changes of the RBC induce a complex velocity and stress relationship, resulting in the incompatibility of blood flow characterization through standard presumptions of constant viscosity used for Newtonian fluid flow. Blood flow is categorized as a viscoelastic non-Newtonian fluid flow where constitutive equations governing this type of flow take into consideration the nonlinear viscometric properties of blood. To mathematically characterize the evolving blood viscosity and the relationship between the elasticity of RBC and the shear blood flow, respectively, across space and time of the system, a stress tensor (τ) defined by constitutive models is often coupled in the Navier–Stokes equation to account for the collective impact of the constant dynamic viscosity (η) and the elasticity from RBCs on blood flow.The dynamic viscosity of blood is heavily dependent on the shear stress applied to the cell and various parameters from the blood such as hematocrit value, plasma viscosity, mechanical properties of the RBC membrane, and red blood cell aggregation rate. The apparent blood viscosity is considered convenient for the characterization of the relationship between the evolving blood viscosity and shear rate, which can be defined by Casson’s law, as shown in eq 1.

𝜇=𝜏0𝛾˙+2𝜂𝜏0𝛾˙⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯√+𝜂�=�0�˙+2��0�˙+�

(1)where τ

0 is the yield stress–stress required to initiate blood flow motion, η is the Casson rheological constant, and γ̇ is the shear rate. The value of Casson’s law parameters under blood with normal hematocrit level can be defined as τ

0 = 0.0056 Pa and η = 0.0035 Pa·s. 

(23) With the known property of blood and Casson’s law parameters, an approximation can be made to the dynamic viscosity under various flow condition domains. The Power Law model is often employed to characterize the dynamic viscosity in relation to the shear rate, since precise solutions exist for specific geometries and flow circumstances, acting as a fundamental standard for definition. The Carreau and Carreau–Yasuda models can be advantageous over the Power Law model due to their ability to evaluate the dynamic viscosity at low to zero shear rate conditions. However, none of the above-mentioned models consider the memory or other elastic behavior of blood and its RBCs. Some other commonly used mathematical models and their constants for the non-Newtonian viscosity property characterization of blood are listed in Table 1 below. 

(24−26)Table 1. Comparison of Various Non-Newtonian Models for Blood Viscosity 

(24−26)

ModelNon-Newtonian ViscosityParameters
Power Law(2)n = 0.61, k = 0.42
Carreau(3)μ0 = 0.056 Pa·s, μ = 0.00345 Pa·s, λ = 3.1736 s, m = 2.406, a = 0.254
Walburn–Schneck(4)C1 = 0.000797 Pa·s, C2 = 0.0608 Pa·s, C3 = 0.00499, C4 = 14.585 g–1, TPMA = 25 g/L
Carreau–Yasuda(5)μ0 = 0.056 Pa·s, μ = 0.00345 Pa·s, λ = 1.902 s, n = 0.22, a = 1.25
Quemada(6)μp = 0.0012 Pa·s, k = 2.07, k0 = 4.33, γ̇c = 1.88 s–1

The blood rheology is commonly known to be influenced by two key physiological factors, namely, the hematocrit value (H

t) and the fibrinogen concentration (c

f), with an average value of 42% and 0.252 gd·L

–1, respectively. Particularly in low shear conditions, the presence of varying fibrinogen concentrations affects the tendency for aggregation and rouleaux formation, while the occurrence of aggregation is contingent upon specific levels of hematocrit. 

(27) The study from Apostolidis et al. 

(28) modifies the Casson model through emphasizing its reliance on hematocrit and fibrinogen concentration parameter values, owing to the extensive knowledge of the two physiological blood parameters.The viscoelastic response of blood is heavily dependent on the elasticity of the RBC, which is defined by the relationship between the deformation and stress relaxation from RBCs under a specific location of shear flow as a function of the velocity field. The stress tensor is usually characterized by constitutive equations such as the Upper-Convected Maxwell Model 

(29) and the Oldroyd-B model 

(30) to track the molecule effects under shear from different driving forces. The prominent non-Newtonian features, such as shear thinning and yield stress, have played a vital role in the characterization of blood rheology, particularly with respect to the evaluation of yield stress under low shear conditions. The nature of stress measurement in blood, typically on the order of 1 mPa, is challenging due to its low magnitude. The occurrence of the CFL complicates the measurement further due to the significant decrease in apparent viscosity near the wall over time and a consequential disparity in viscosity compared to the bulk region.In addition to shear thinning viscosity and yield stress, the formation of aggregation (rouleaux) from RBCs under low shear rates also contributes to the viscoelasticity under transient flow 

(31) and thixotropy 

(32) of whole blood. Given the difficulty in evaluating viscoelastic behavior of blood under low strain magnitudes and limitations in generalized Newtonian models, the utilization of viscoelastic models is advocated to encompass elasticity and delineate non-shear components within the stress tensor. Extending from the Oldroyd-B model, Anand et al. 

(33) developed a viscoelastic model framework for adapting elasticity within blood samples and predicting non-shear stress components. However, to also address the thixotropic effects, the model developed by Horner et al. 

(34) serves as a more comprehensive approach than the viscoelastic model from Anand et al. Thixotropy 

(32) typically occurs from the structural change of the rouleaux, where low shear rate conditions induce rouleaux formation. Correspondingly, elasticity increases, while elasticity is more representative of the isolated RBCs, under high shear rate conditions. The model of Horner et al. 

(34) considers the contribution of rouleaux to shear stress, taking into account factors such as the characteristic time for Brownian aggregation, shear-induced aggregation, and shear-induced breakage. Subsequent advancements in the model from Horner et al. often revolve around refining the three aforementioned key terms for a more substantial characterization of rouleaux dynamics. Notably, this has led to the recently developed mHAWB model 

(35) and other model iterations to enhance the accuracy of elastic and viscoelastic contributions to blood rheology, including the recently improved model suggested by Armstrong et al. 

(36)

2.2.2. Numerical Methods (FDM, FEM, FVM)

Numerical simulation has become increasingly more significant in analyzing the geometry, boundary layers of flow, and nonlinearity of hyperbolic viscoelastic flow constitutive equations. CFD is a powerful and efficient tool utilizing numerical methods to solve the governing hydrodynamic equations, such as the Navier–Stokes (N–S) equation, continuity equation, and energy conservation equation, for qualitative evaluation of fluid motion dynamics under different parameters. CFD overcomes the challenge of analytically solving nonlinear forms of differential equations by employing numerical methods such as the Finite-Difference Method (FDM), Finite-Element Method (FEM), and Finite-Volume Method (FVM) to discretize and solve the partial differential equations (PDEs), allowing for qualitative reproduction of transport phenomena and experimental observations. Different numerical methods are chosen to cope with various transport systems for optimization of the accuracy of the result and control of error during the discretization process.FDM is a straightforward approach to discretizing PDEs, replacing the continuum representation of equations with a set of finite-difference equations, which is typically applied to structured grids for efficient implementation in CFD programs. 

(37) However, FDM is often limited to simple geometries such as rectangular or block-shaped geometries and struggles with curved boundaries. In contrast, FEM divides the fluid domain into small finite grids or elements, approximating PDEs through a local description of physics. 

(38) All elements contribute to a large, sparse matrix solver. However, FEM may not always provide accurate results for systems involving significant deformation and aggregation of particles like RBCs due to large distortion of grids. 

(39) FVM evaluates PDEs following the conservation laws and discretizes the selected flow domain into small but finite size control volumes, with each grid at the center of a finite volume. 

(40) The divergence theorem allows the conversion of volume integrals of PDEs with divergence terms into surface integrals of surface fluxes across cell boundaries. Due to its conservation property, FVM offers efficient outcomes when dealing with PDEs that embody mass, momentum, and energy conservation principles. Furthermore, widely accessible software packages like the OpenFOAM toolbox 

(41) include a viscoelastic solver, making it an attractive option for viscoelastic fluid flow modeling. 

(42)

2.2.3. Modeling Methods of Blood Flow Dynamics

The complexity in the blood flow simulation arises from deformability and aggregation that RBCs exhibit during their interaction with neighboring cells under different shear rate conditions induced by blood flow. Numerical models coupled with simulation programs have been applied as a groundbreaking method to predict such unique rheological behavior exhibited by RBCs and whole blood. The conventional approach of a single-phase flow simulation is often applied to blood flow simulations within large vessels possessing a moderate shear rate. However, such a method assumes the properties of plasma, RBCs and other cellular components to be evenly distributed as average density and viscosity in blood, resulting in the inability to simulate the mechanical dynamics, such as RBC aggregation under high-shear flow field, inherent in RBCs. To accurately describe the asymmetric distribution of RBC and blood flow, multiphase flow simulation, where numerical simulations of blood flows are often modeled as two immiscible phases, RBCs and blood plasma, is proposed. A common assumption is that RBCs exhibit non-Newtonian behavior while the plasma is treated as a continuous Newtonian phase.Numerous multiphase numerical models have been proposed to simulate the influence of RBCs on blood flow dynamics by different assumptions. In large-scale simulations (above the millimeter range), continuum-based methods are wildly used due to their lower computational demands. 

(43) Eulerian multiphase flow simulations offer the solution of a set of conservation equations for each separate phase and couple the phases through common pressure and interphase exchange coefficients. Xu et al. 

(44) utilized the combined finite-discrete element method (FDEM) to replicate the dynamic behavior and distortion of RBCs subjected to fluidic forces, utilizing the Johnson–Kendall–Roberts model 

(45) to define the adhesive forces of cell-to-cell interactions. The iterative direct-forcing immersed boundary method (IBM) is commonly employed in simulations of the fluid–cell interface of blood. This method effectively captures the intricacies of the thin and flexible RBC membranes within various external flow fields. 

(46) The study by Xu et al. 

(44) also adopts this approach to bridge the fluid dynamics and RBC deformation through IBM. Yoon and You utilized the Maxwell model to define the viscosity of the RBC membrane. 

(47) It was discovered that the Maxwell model could represent the stress relaxation and unloading processes of the cell. Furthermore, the reduced flexibility of an RBC under particular situations such as infection is specified, which was unattainable by the Kelvin–Voigt model 

(48) when compared to the Maxwell model in the literature. The Yeoh hyperplastic material model was also adapted to predict the nonlinear elasticity property of RBCs with FEM employed to discretize the RBC membrane using shell-type elements. Gracka et al. 

(49) developed a numerical CFD model with a finite-volume parallel solver for multiphase blood flow simulation, where an updated Maxwell viscoelasticity model and a Discrete Phase Model are adopted. In the study, the adapted IBM, based on unstructured grids, simulates the flow behavior and shape change of the RBCs through fluid-structure coupling. It was found that the hybrid Euler–Lagrange (E–L) approach 

(50) for the development of the multiphase model offered better results in the simulated CFL region in the microchannels.To study the dynamics of individual behaviors of RBCs and the consequent non-Newtonian blood flow, cell-shape-resolved computational models are often adapted. The use of the boundary integral method has become prevalent in minimizing computational expenses, particularly in the exclusive determination of fluid velocity on the surfaces of RBCs, incorporating the option of employing IBM or particle-based techniques. The cell-shaped-resolved method has enabled an examination of cell to cell interactions within complex ambient or pulsatile flow conditions 

(51) surrounding RBC membranes. Recently, Rydquist et al. 

(52) have looked to integrate statistical information from macroscale simulations to obtain a comprehensive overview of RBC behavior within the immediate proximity of the flow through introduction of respective models characterizing membrane shape definition, tension, bending stresses of RBC membranes.At a macroscopic scale, continuum models have conventionally been adapted for assessing blood flow dynamics through the application of elasticity theory and fluid dynamics. However, particle-based methods are known for their simplicity and adaptability in modeling complex multiscale fluid structures. Meshless methods, such as the boundary element method (BEM), smoothed particle hydrodynamics (SPH), and dissipative particle dynamics (DPD), are often used in particle-based characterization of RBCs and the surrounding fluid. By representing the fluid as discrete particles, meshless methods provide insights into the status and movement of the multiphase fluid. These methods allow for the investigation of cellular structures and microscopic interactions that affect blood rheology. Non-confronting mesh methods like IBM can also be used to couple a fluid solver such as FEM, FVM, or the Lattice Boltzmann Method (LBM) through membrane representation of RBCs. In comparison to conventional CFD methods, LBM has been viewed as a favorable numerical approach for solving the N–S equations and the simulation of multiphase flows. LBM exhibits the notable advantage of being amenable to high-performance parallel computing environments due to its inherently local dynamics. In contrast to DPD and SPH where RBC membranes are modeled as physically interconnected particles, LBM employs the IBM to account for the deformation dynamics of RBCs 

(53,54) under shear flows in complex channel geometries. 

(54,55) However, it is essential to acknowledge that the utilization of LBM in simulating RBC flows often entails a significant computational overhead, being a primary challenge in this context. Krüger et al. 

(56) proposed utilizing LBM as a fluid solver, IBM to couple the fluid and FEM to compute the response of membranes to deformation under immersed fluids. This approach decouples the fluid and membranes but necessitates significant computational effort due to the requirements of both meshes and particles.Despite the accuracy of current blood flow models, simulating complex conditions remains challenging because of the high computational load and cost. Balachandran Nair et al. 

(57) suggested a reduced order model of RBC under the framework of DEM, where the RBC is represented by overlapping constituent rigid spheres. The Morse potential force is adapted to account for the RBC aggregation exhibited by cell to cell interactions among RBCs at different distances. Based upon the IBM, the reduced-order RBC model is adapted to simulate blood flow transport for validation under both single and multiple RBCs with a resolved CFD-DEM solver. 

(58) In the resolved CFD-DEM model, particle sizes are larger than the grid size for a more accurate computation of the surrounding flow field. A continuous forcing approach is taken to describe the momentum source of the governing equation prior to discretization, which is different from a Direct Forcing Method (DFM). 

(59) As no body-conforming moving mesh is required, the continuous forcing approach offers lower complexity and reduced cost when compared to the DFM. Piquet et al. 

(60) highlighted the high complexity of the DFM due to its reliance on calculating an additional immersed boundary flux for the velocity field to ensure its divergence-free condition.The fluid–structure interaction (FSI) method has been advocated to connect the dynamic interplay of RBC membranes and fluid plasma within blood flow such as the coupling of continuum–particle interactions. However, such methodology is generally adapted for anatomical configurations such as arteries 

(61,62) and capillaries, 

(63) where both the structural components and the fluid domain undergo substantial deformation due to the moving boundaries. Due to the scope of the Review being blood flow simulation within microchannels of LOC devices without deformable boundaries, the Review of the FSI method will not be further carried out.In general, three numerical methods are broadly used: mesh-based, particle-based, and hybrid mesh–particle techniques, based on the spatial scale and the fundamental numerical approach, mesh-based methods tend to neglect the effects of individual particles, assuming a continuum and being efficient in terms of time and cost. However, the particle-based approach highlights more of the microscopic and mesoscopic level, where the influence of individual RBCs is considered. A review from Freund et al. 

(64) addressed the three numerical methodologies and their respective modeling approaches of RBC dynamics. Given the complex mechanics and the diverse levels of study concerning numerical simulations of blood and cellular flow, a broad spectrum of numerical methods for blood has been subjected to extensive review. 

(64−70) Ye at al. 

(65) offered an extensive review of the application of the DPD, SPH, and LBM for numerical simulations of RBC, while Rathnayaka et al. 

(67) conducted a review of the particle-based numerical modeling for liquid marbles through drawing parallels to the transport of RBCs in microchannels. A comparative analysis between conventional CFD methods and particle-based approaches for cellular and blood flow dynamic simulation can be found under the review by Arabghahestani et al. 

(66) Literature by Li et al. 

(68) and Beris et al. 

(69) offer an overview of both continuum-based models at micro/macroscales and multiscale particle-based models encompassing various length and temporal dimensions. Furthermore, these reviews deliberate upon the potential of coupling continuum-particle methods for blood plasma and RBC modeling. Arciero et al. 

(70) investigated various modeling approaches encompassing cellular interactions, such as cell to cell or plasma interactions and the individual cellular phases. A concise overview of the reviews is provided in Table 2 for reference.

Table 2. List of Reviews for Numerical Approaches Employed in Blood Flow Simulation

ReferenceNumerical methods
Li et al. (2013) (68)Continuum-based modeling (BIM), particle-based modeling (LBM, LB-FE, SPH, DPD)
Freund (2014) (64)RBC dynamic modeling (continuum-based modeling, complementary discrete microstructure modeling), blood flow dynamic modeling (FDM, IBM, LBM, particle-mesh methods, coupled boundary integral and mesh-based methods, DPD)
Ye et al. (2016) (65)DPD, SPH, LBM, coupled IBM-Smoothed DPD
Arciero et al. (2017) (70)LBM, IBM, DPD, conventional CFD Methods (FDM, FVM, FEM)
Arabghahestani et al. (2019) (66)Particle-based methods (LBM, DPD, direct simulation Monte Carlo, molecular dynamics), SPH, conventional CFD methods (FDM, FVM, FEM)
Beris et al. (2021) (69)DPD, smoothed DPD, IBM, LBM, BIM
Rathnayaka (2022) (67)SPH, CG, LBM

3. Capillary Driven Blood Flow in LOC Systems

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3.1. Capillary Driven Flow Phenomena

Capillary driven (CD) flow is a pivotal mechanism in passive microfluidic flow systems 

(9) such as the blood circulation system and LOC systems. 

(71) CD flow is essentially the movement of a liquid to flow against drag forces, where the capillary effect exerts a force on the liquid at the borders, causing a liquid–air meniscus to flow despite gravity or other drag forces. A capillary pressure drops across the liquid–air interface with surface tension in the capillary radius and contact angle. The capillary effect depends heavily on the interaction between the different properties of surface materials. Different values of contact angles can be manipulated and obtained under varying levels of surface wettability treatments to manipulate the surface properties, resulting in different CD blood delivery rates for medical diagnostic device microchannels. CD flow techniques are appealing for many LOC devices, because they require no external energy. However, due to the passive property of liquid propulsion by capillary forces and the long-term instability of surface treatments on channel walls, the adaptability of CD flow in geometrically complex LOC devices may be limited.

3.2. Theoretical and Numerical Modeling of Capillary Driven Blood Flow

3.2.1. Theoretical Basis and Assumptions of Microfluidic Flow

The study of transport phenomena regarding either blood flow driven by capillary forces or externally applied forces under microfluid systems all demands a comprehensive recognition of the significant differences in flow dynamics between microscale and macroscale. The fundamental assumptions and principles behind fluid transport at the microscale are discussed in this section. Such a comprehension will lay the groundwork for the following analysis of the theoretical basis of capillary forces and their role in blood transport in LOC systems.

At the macroscale, fluid dynamics are often strongly influenced by gravity due to considerable fluid mass. However, the high surface to volume ratio at the microscale shifts the balance toward surface forces (e.g., surface tension and viscous forces), much larger than the inertial force. This difference gives rise to transport phenomena unique to microscale fluid transport, such as the prevalence of laminar flow due to a very low Reynolds number (generally lower than 1). Moreover, the fluid in a microfluidic system is often assumed to be incompressible due to the small flow velocity, indicating constant fluid density in both space and time.Microfluidic flow behaviors are governed by the fundamental principles of mass and momentum conservation, which are encapsulated in the continuity equation and the Navier–Stokes (N–S) equation. The continuity equation describes the conservation of mass, while the N–S equation captures the spatial and temporal variations in velocity, pressure, and other physical parameters. Under the assumption of the negligible influence of gravity in microfluidic systems, the continuity equation and the Eulerian representation of the incompressible N–S equation can be expressed as follows:

∇·𝐮⇀=0∇·�⇀=0

(7)

−∇𝑝+𝜇∇2𝐮⇀+∇·𝝉⇀−𝐅⇀=0−∇�+�∇2�⇀+∇·�⇀−�⇀=0

(8)Here, p is the pressure, u is the fluid viscosity, 

𝝉⇀�⇀ represents the stress tensor, and F is the body force exerted by external forces if present.

3.2.2. Theoretical Basis and Modeling of Capillary Force in LOC Systems

The capillary force is often the major driving force to manipulate and transport blood without an externally applied force in LOC systems. Forces induced by the capillary effect impact the free surface of fluids and are represented not directly in the Navier–Stokes equations but through the pressure boundary conditions of the pressure term p. For hydrophilic surfaces, the liquid generally induces a contact angle between 0° and 30°, encouraging the spread and attraction of fluid under a positive cos θ condition. For this condition, the pressure drop becomes positive and generates a spontaneous flow forward. A hydrophobic solid surface repels the fluid, inducing minimal contact. Generally, hydrophobic solids exhibit a contact angle larger than 90°, inducing a negative value of cos θ. Such a value will result in a negative pressure drop and a flow in the opposite direction. The induced contact angle is often utilized to measure the wall exposure of various surface treatments on channel walls where different wettability gradients and surface tension effects for CD flows are established. Contact angles between different interfaces are obtainable through standard values or experimental methods for reference. 

(72)For the characterization of the induced force by the capillary effect, the Young–Laplace (Y–L) equation 

(73) is widely employed. In the equation, the capillary is considered a pressure boundary condition between the two interphases. Through the Y–L equation, the capillary pressure force can be determined, and subsequently, the continuity and momentum balance equations can be solved to obtain the blood filling rate. Kim et al. 

(74) studied the effects of concentration and exposure time of a nonionic surfactant, Silwet L-77, on the performance of a polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) microchannel in terms of plasma and blood self-separation. The study characterized the capillary pressure force by incorporating the Y–L equation and further evaluated the effects of the changing contact angle due to different levels of applied channel wall surface treatments. The expression of the Y–L equation utilized by Kim et al. 

(74) is as follows:

𝑃=−𝜎(cos𝜃b+cos𝜃tℎ+cos𝜃l+cos𝜃r𝑤)�=−�(cos⁡�b+cos⁡�tℎ+cos⁡�l+cos⁡�r�)

(9)where σ is the surface tension of the liquid and θ

bθ

tθ

l, and θ

r are the contact angle values between the liquid and the bottom, top, left, and right walls, respectively. A numerical simulation through Coventor software is performed to evaluate the dynamic changes in the filling rate within the microchannel. The simulation results for the blood filling rate in the microchannel are expressed at a specific time stamp, shown in Figure 2. The results portray an increasing instantaneous filling rate of blood in the microchannel following the decrease in contact angle induced by a higher concentration of the nonionic surfactant treated to the microchannel wall.

Figure 2. Numerical simulation of filling rate of capillary driven blood flow under various contact angle conditions at a specific timestamp. (74) Reproduced with permission from ref (74). Copyright 2010 Elsevier.

When in contact with hydrophilic or hydrophobic surfaces, blood forms a meniscus with a contact angle due to surface tension. The Lucas–Washburn (L–W) equation 

(75) is one of the pioneering theoretical definitions for the position of the meniscus over time. In addition, the L–W equation provides the possibility for research to obtain the velocity of the blood formed meniscus through the derivation of the meniscus position. The L–W equation 

(75) can be shown below:

𝐿(𝑡)=𝑅𝜎cos(𝜃)𝑡2𝜇⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯√�(�)=��⁡cos(�)�2�

(10)Here L(t) represents the distance of the liquid driven by the capillary forces. However, the generalized L–W equation solely assumes the constant physical properties from a Newtonian fluid rather than considering the non-Newtonian fluid behavior of blood. Cito et al. 

(76) constructed an enhanced version of the L–W equation incorporating the power law to consider the RBC aggregation and the FL effect. The non-Newtonian fluid apparent viscosity under the Power Law model is defined as

𝜇=𝑘·(𝛾˙)𝑛−1�=�·(�˙)�−1

(11)where γ̇ is the strain rate tensor defined as 

𝛾˙=12𝛾˙𝑖𝑗𝛾˙𝑗𝑖⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯√�˙=12�˙���˙��. The stress tensor term τ is computed as τ = μγ̇

ij. The updated L–W equation by Cito 

(76) is expressed as

𝐿(𝑡)=𝑅[(𝑛+13𝑛+1)(𝜎cos(𝜃)𝑅𝑘)1/𝑛𝑡]𝑛/𝑛+1�(�)=�[(�+13�+1)(�⁡cos(�)��)1/��]�/�+1

(12)where k is the flow consistency index and n is the power law index, respectively. The power law index, from the Power Law model, characterizes the extent of the non-Newtonian behavior of blood. Both the consistency and power law index rely on blood properties such as hematocrit, the appearance of the FL effect, the formation of RBC aggregates, etc. The updated L–W equation computes the location and velocity of blood flow caused by capillary forces at specified time points within the LOC devices, taking into account the effects of blood flow characteristics such as RBC aggregation and the FL effect on dynamic blood viscosity.Apart from the blood flow behaviors triggered by inherent blood properties, unique flow conditions driven by capillary forces that are portrayed under different microchannel geometries also hold crucial implications for CD blood delivery. Berthier et al. 

(77) studied the spontaneous Concus–Finn condition, the condition to initiate the spontaneous capillary flow within a V-groove microchannel, as shown in Figure 3(a) both experimentally and numerically. Through experimental studies, the spontaneous Concus–Finn filament development of capillary driven blood flow is observed, as shown in Figure 3(b), while the dynamic development of blood flow is numerically simulated through CFD simulation.

Figure 3. (a) Sketch of the cross-section of Berthier’s V-groove microchannel, (b) experimental view of blood in the V-groove microchannel, (78) (c) illustration of the dynamic change of the extension of filament from FLOW 3D under capillary flow at three increasing time intervals. (78) Reproduced with permission from ref (78). Copyright 2014 Elsevier.

Berthier et al. 

(77) characterized the contact angle needed for the initiation of the capillary driving force at a zero-inlet pressure, through the half-angle (α) of the V-groove geometry layout, and its relation to the Concus–Finn filament as shown below:

𝜃<𝜋2−𝛼sin𝛼1+2(ℎ2/𝑤)sin𝛼<cos𝜃{�<�2−�sin⁡�1+2(ℎ2/�)⁡sin⁡�<cos⁡�

(13)Three possible regimes were concluded based on the contact angle value for the initiation of flow and development of Concus–Finn filament:

𝜃>𝜃1𝜃1>𝜃>𝜃0𝜃0no SCFSCF without a Concus−Finn filamentSCF without a Concus−Finn filament{�>�1no SCF�1>�>�0SCF without a Concus−Finn filament�0SCF without a Concus−Finn filament

(14)Under Newton’s Law, the force balance with low Reynolds and Capillary numbers results in the neglect of inertial terms. The force balance between the capillary forces and the viscous force induced by the channel wall is proposed to derive the analytical fluid velocity. This relation between the two forces offers insights into the average flow velocity and the penetration distance function dependent on time. The apparent blood viscosity is defined by Berthier et al. 

(78) through Casson’s law, 

(23) given in eq 1. The research used the FLOW-3D program from Flow Science Inc. software, which solves transient, free-surface problems using the FDM in multiple dimensions. The Volume of Fluid (VOF) method 

(79) is utilized to locate and track the dynamic extension of filament throughout the advancing interface within the channel ahead of the main flow at three progressing time stamps, as depicted in Figure 3(c).

4. Electro-osmotic Flow (EOF) in LOC Systems

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The utilization of external forces, such as electric fields, has significantly broadened the possibility of manipulating microfluidic flow in LOC systems. 

(80) Externally applied electric field forces induce a fluid flow from the movement of ions in fluid terms as the “electro-osmotic flow” (EOF).Unique transport phenomena, such as enhanced flow velocity and flow instability, induced by non-Newtonian fluids, particularly viscoelastic fluids, under EOF, have sparked considerable interest in microfluidic devices with simple or complicated geometries within channels. 

(81) However, compared to the study of Newtonian fluids and even other electro-osmotic viscoelastic fluid flows, the literature focusing on the theoretical and numerical modeling of electro-osmotic blood flow is limited due to the complexity of blood properties. Consequently, to obtain a more comprehensive understanding of the complex blood flow behavior under EOF, theoretical and numerical studies of the transport phenomena in the EOF section will be based on the studies of different viscoelastic fluids under EOF rather than that of blood specifically. Despite this limitation, we believe these studies offer valuable insights that can help understand the complex behavior of blood flow under EOF.

4.1. EOF Phenomena

Electro-osmotic flow occurs at the interface between the microchannel wall and bulk phase solution. When in contact with the bulk phase, solution ions are absorbed or dissociated at the solid–liquid interface, resulting in the formation of a charge layer, as shown in Figure 4. This charged channel surface wall interacts with both negative and positive ions in the bulk sample, causing repulsion and attraction forces to create a thin layer of immobilized counterions, known as the Stern layer. The induced electric potential from the wall gradually decreases with an increase in the distance from the wall. The Stern layer potential, commonly termed the zeta potential, controls the intensity of the electrostatic interactions between mobile counterions and, consequently, the drag force from the applied electric field. Next to the Stern layer is the diffuse mobile layer, mainly composed of a mobile counterion. These two layers constitute the “electrical double layer” (EDL), the thickness of which is directly proportional to the ionic strength (concentration) of the bulk fluid. The relationship between the two parameters is characterized by a Debye length (λ

D), expressed as

𝜆𝐷=𝜖𝑘B𝑇2(𝑍𝑒)2𝑐0⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯√��=��B�2(��)2�0

(15)where ϵ is the permittivity of the electrolyte solution, k

B is the Boltzmann constant, T is the electron temperature, Z is the integer valence number, e is the elementary charge, and c

0 is the ionic density.

Figure 4. Schematic diagram of an electro-osmotic flow in a microchannel with negative surface charge. (82) Reproduced with permission from ref (82). Copyright 2012 Woodhead Publishing.

When an electric field is applied perpendicular to the EDL, viscous drag is generated due to the movement of excess ions in the EDL. Electro-osmotic forces can be attributed to the externally applied electric potential (ϕ) and the zeta potential, the system wall induced potential by charged walls (ψ). As illustrated in Figure 4, the majority of ions in the bulk phase have a uniform velocity profile, except for a shear rate condition confined within an extremely thin Stern layer. Therefore, EOF displays a unique characteristic of a “near flat” or plug flow velocity profile, different from the parabolic flow typically induced by pressure-driven microfluidic flow (Hagen–Poiseuille flow). The plug-shaped velocity profile of the EOF possesses a high shear rate above the Stern layer.Overall, the EOF velocity magnitude is typically proportional to the Debye Length (λ

D), zeta potential, and magnitude of the externally applied electric field, while a more viscous liquid reduces the EOF velocity.

4.2. Modeling on Electro-osmotic Viscoelastic Fluid Flow

4.2.1. Theoretical Basis of EOF Mechanisms

The EOF of an incompressible viscoelastic fluid is commonly governed by the continuity and incompressible N–S equations, as shown in eqs 7 and 8, where the stress tensor and the electrostatic force term are coupled. The electro-osmotic body force term F, representing the body force exerted by the externally applied electric force, is defined as 

𝐹⇀=𝑝𝐸𝐸⇀�⇀=���⇀, where ρ

E and 

𝐸⇀�⇀ are the net electric charge density and the applied external electric field, respectively.Numerous models are established to theoretically study the externally applied electric potential and the system wall induced potential by charged walls. The following Laplace equation, expressed as eq 16, is generally adapted and solved to calculate the externally applied potential (ϕ).

∇2𝜙=0∇2�=0

(16)Ion diffusion under applied electric fields, together with mass transport resulting from convection and diffusion, transports ionic solutions in bulk flow under electrokinetic processes. The Nernst–Planck equation can describe these transport methods, including convection, diffusion, and electro-diffusion. Therefore, the Nernst–Planck equation is used to determine the distribution of the ions within the electrolyte. The electric potential induced by the charged channel walls follows the Poisson–Nernst–Plank (PNP) equation, which can be written as eq 17.

∇·[𝐷𝑖∇𝑛𝑖−𝑢⇀𝑛𝑖+𝑛𝑖𝐷𝑖𝑧𝑖𝑒𝑘𝑏𝑇∇(𝜙+𝜓)]=0∇·[��∇��−�⇀��+����������∇(�+�)]=0

(17)where D

in

i, and z

i are the diffusion coefficient, ionic concentration, and ionic valence of the ionic species I, respectively. However, due to the high nonlinearity and numerical stiffness introduced by different lengths and time scales from the PNP equations, the Poisson–Boltzmann (PB) model is often considered the major simplified method of the PNP equation to characterize the potential distribution of the EDL region in microchannels. In the PB model, it is assumed that the ionic species in the fluid follow the Boltzmann distribution. This model is typically valid for steady-state problems where charge transport can be considered negligible, the EDLs do not overlap with each other, and the intrinsic potentials are low. It provides a simplified representation of the potential distribution in the EDL region. The PB equation governing the EDL electric potential distribution is described as

∇2𝜓=(2𝑒𝑧𝑛0𝜀𝜀0)sinh(𝑧𝑒𝜓𝑘b𝑇)∇2�=(2���0��0)⁡sinh(����b�)

(18)where n

0 is the ion bulk concentration, z is the ionic valence, and ε

0 is the electric permittivity in the vacuum. Under low electric potential conditions, an even further simplified model to illustrate the EOF phenomena is the Debye–Hückel (DH) model. The DH model is derived by obtaining a charge density term by expanding the exponential term of the Boltzmann equation in a Taylor series.

4.2.2. EOF Modeling for Viscoelastic Fluids

Many studies through numerical modeling were performed to obtain a deeper understanding of the effect exhibited by externally applied electric fields on viscoelastic flow in microchannels under various geometrical designs. Bello et al. 

(83) found that methylcellulose solution, a non-Newtonian polymer solution, resulted in stronger electro-osmotic mobility in experiments when compared to the predictions by the Helmholtz–Smoluchowski equation, which is commonly used to define the velocity of EOF of a Newtonian fluid. Being one of the pioneers to identify the discrepancies between the EOF of Newtonian and non-Newtonian fluids, Bello et al. attributed such discrepancies to the presence of a very high shear rate in the EDL, resulting in a change in the orientation of the polymer molecules. Park and Lee 

(84) utilized the FVM to solve the PB equation for the characterization of the electric field induced force. In the study, the concept of fractional calculus for the Oldroyd-B model was adapted to illustrate the elastic and memory effects of viscoelastic fluids in a straight microchannel They observed that fluid elasticity and increased ratio of viscoelastic fluid contribution to overall fluid viscosity had a significant impact on the volumetric flow rate and sensitivity of velocity to electric field strength compared to Newtonian fluids. Afonso et al. 

(85) derived an analytical expression for EOF of viscoelastic fluid between parallel plates using the DH model to account for a zeta potential condition below 25 mV. The study established the understanding of the electro-osmotic viscoelastic fluid flow under low zeta potential conditions. Apart from the electrokinetic forces, pressure forces can also be coupled with EOF to generate a unique fluid flow behavior within the microchannel. Sousa et al. 

(86) analytically studied the flow of a standard viscoelastic solution by combining the pressure gradient force with an externally applied electric force. It was found that, at a near wall skimming layer and the outer layer away from the wall, macromolecules migrating away from surface walls in viscoelastic fluids are observed. In the study, the Phan-Thien Tanner (PTT) constitutive model is utilized to characterize the viscoelastic properties of the solution. The approach is found to be valid when the EDL is much thinner than the skimming layer under an enhanced flow rate. Zhao and Yang 

(87) solved the PB equation and Carreau model for the characterization of the EOF mechanism and non-Newtonian fluid respectively through the FEM. The numerical results depict that, different from the EOF of Newtonian fluids, non-Newtonian fluids led to an increase of electro-osmotic mobility for shear thinning fluids but the opposite for shear thickening fluids.Like other fluid transport driving forces, EOF within unique geometrical layouts also portrays unique transport phenomena. Pimenta and Alves 

(88) utilized the FVM to perform numerical simulations of the EOF of viscoelastic fluids considering the PB equation and the Oldroyd-B model, in a cross-slot and flow-focusing microdevices. It was found that electroelastic instabilities are formed due to the development of large stresses inside the EDL with streamlined curvature at geometry corners. Bezerra et al. 

(89) used the FDM to numerically analyze the vortex formation and flow instability from an electro-osmotic non-Newtonian fluid flow in a microchannel with a nozzle geometry and parallel wall geometry setting. The PNP equation is utilized to characterize the charge motion in the EOF and the PTT model for non-Newtonian flow characterization. A constriction geometry is commonly utilized in blood flow adapted in LOC systems due to the change in blood flow behavior under narrow dimensions in a microchannel. Ji et al. 

(90) recently studied the EOF of viscoelastic fluid in a constriction microchannel connected by two relatively big reservoirs on both ends (as seen in Figure 5) filled with the polyacrylamide polymer solution, a viscoelastic fluid, and an incompressible monovalent binary electrolyte solution KCl.

Figure 5. Schematic diagram of a negatively charged constriction microchannel connected to two reservoirs at both ends. An electro-osmotic flow is induced in the system by the induced potential difference between the anode and cathode. (90) Reproduced with permission from ref (90). Copyright 2021 The Authors, under the terms of the Creative Commons (CC BY 4.0) License https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

In studying the EOF of viscoelastic fluids, the Oldroyd-B model is often utilized to characterize the polymeric stress tensor and the deformation rate of the fluid. The Oldroyd-B model is expressed as follows:

𝜏=𝜂p𝜆(𝐜−𝐈)�=�p�(�−�)

(19)where η

p, λ, c, and I represent the polymer dynamic viscosity, polymer relaxation time, symmetric conformation tensor of the polymer molecules, and the identity matrix, respectively.A log-conformation tensor approach is taken to prevent convergence difficulty induced by the viscoelastic properties. The conformation tensor (c) in the polymeric stress tensor term is redefined by a new tensor (Θ) based on the natural logarithm of the c. The new tensor is defined as

Θ=ln(𝐜)=𝐑ln(𝚲)𝐑Θ=ln(�)=�⁡ln(�)�

(20)in which Λ is the diagonal matrix and R is the orthogonal matrix.Under the new conformation tensor, the induced EOF of a viscoelastic fluid is governed by the continuity and N–S equations adapting the Oldroyd-B model, which is expressed as

∂𝚯∂𝑡+𝐮·∇𝚯=𝛀Θ−ΘΩ+2𝐁+1𝜆(eΘ−𝐈)∂�∂�+�·∇�=�Θ−ΘΩ+2�+1�(eΘ−�)

(21)where Ω and B represent the anti-symmetric matrix and the symmetric traceless matrix of the decomposition of the velocity gradient tensor ∇u, respectively. The conformation tensor can be recovered by c = exp(Θ). The PB model and Laplace equation are utilized to characterize the charged channel wall induced potential and the externally applied potential.The governing equations are numerically solved through the FVM by RheoTool, 

(42) an open-source viscoelastic EOF solver on the OpenFOAM platform. A SIMPLEC (Semi-Implicit Method for Pressure Linked Equations-Consistent) algorithm was applied to solve the velocity-pressure coupling. The pressure field and velocity field were computed by the PCG (Preconditioned Conjugate Gradient) solver and the PBiCG (Preconditioned Biconjugate Gradient) solver, respectively.Ranging magnitudes of an applied electric field or fluid concentration induce both different streamlines and velocity magnitudes at various locations and times of the microchannel. In the study performed by Ji et al., 

(90) notable fluctuation of streamlines and vortex formation is formed at the upper stream entrance of the constriction as shown in Figure 6(a) and (b), respectively, due to the increase of electrokinetic effect, which is seen as a result of the increase in polymeric stress (τ

xx). 

(90) The contraction geometry enhances the EOF velocity within the constriction channel under high E

app condition (600 V/cm). Such phenomena can be attributed to the dependence of electro-osmotic viscoelastic fluid flow on the system wall surface and bulk fluid properties. 

(91)

Figure 6. Schematic diagram of vortex formation and streamlines of EOF depicting flow instability at (a) 1.71 s and (b) 1.75 s. Spatial distribution of the elastic normal stress at (c) high Eapp condition. Streamline of an electro-osmotic flow under Eapp of 600 V/cm (90) for (d) non-Newtonian and (e) Newtonian fluid through a constriction geometry. Reproduced with permission from ref (90). Copyright 2021 The Authors, under the terms of the Creative Commons (CC BY 4.0) License https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

As elastic normal stress exceeds the local shear stress, flow instability and vortex formation occur. The induced elastic stress under EOF not only enhances the instability of the flow but often generates an irregular secondary flow leading to strong disturbance. 

(92) It is also vital to consider the effect of the constriction layout of microchannels on the alteration of the field strength within the system. The contraction geometry enhances a larger electric field strength compared with other locations of the channel outside the constriction region, resulting in a higher velocity gradient and stronger extension on the polymer within the viscoelastic solution. Following the high shear flow condition, a higher magnitude of stretch for polymer molecules in viscoelastic fluids exhibits larger elastic stresses and enhancement of vortex formation at the region. 

(93)As shown in Figure 6(c), significant elastic normal stress occurs at the inlet of the constriction microchannel. Such occurrence of a polymeric flow can be attributed to the dominating elongational flow, giving rise to high deformation of the polymers within the viscoelastic fluid flow, resulting in higher elastic stress from the polymers. Such phenomena at the entrance result in the difference in velocity streamline as circled in Figure 6(d) compared to that of the Newtonian fluid at the constriction entrance in Figure 6(e). 

(90) The difference between the Newtonian and polymer solution at the exit, as circled in Figure 6(d) and (e), can be attributed to the extrudate swell effect of polymers 

(94) within the viscoelastic fluid flow. The extrudate swell effect illustrates that, as polymers emerge from the constriction exit, they tend to contract in the flow direction and grow in the normal direction, resulting in an extrudate diameter greater than the channel size. The deformation of polymers within the polymeric flow at both the entrance and exit of the contraction channel facilitates the change in shear stress conditions of the flow, leading to the alteration in streamlines of flows for each region.

4.3. EOF Applications in LOC Systems

4.3.1. Mixing in LOC Systems

Rather than relying on the micromixing controlled by molecular diffusion under low Reynolds number conditions, active mixers actively leverage convective instability and vortex formation induced by electro-osmotic flows from alternating current (AC) or direct current (DC) electric fields. Such adaptation is recognized as significant breakthroughs for promotion of fluid mixing in chemical and biological applications such as drug delivery, medical diagnostics, chemical synthesis, and so on. 

(95)Many researchers proposed novel designs of electro-osmosis micromixers coupled with numerical simulations in conjunction with experimental findings to increase their understanding of the role of flow instability and vortex formation in the mixing process under electrokinetic phenomena. Matsubara and Narumi 

(96) numerically modeled the mixing process in a microchannel with four electrodes on each side of the microchannel wall, which generated a disruption through unstable electro-osmotic vortices. It was found that particle mixing was sensitive to both the convection effect induced by the main and secondary vortex within the micromixer and the change in oscillation frequency caused by the supplied AC voltage when the Reynolds number was varied. Qaderi et al. 

(97) adapted the PNP equation to numerically study the effect of the geometry and zeta potential configuration of the microchannel on the mixing process with a combined electro-osmotic pressure driven flow. It was reported that the application of heterogeneous zeta potential configuration enhances the mixing efficiency by around 23% while the height of the hurdles increases the mixing efficiency at most 48.1%. Cho et al. 

(98) utilized the PB model and Laplace equation to numerically simulate the electro-osmotic non-Newtonian fluid mixing process within a wavy and block layout of microchannel walls. The Power Law model is adapted to describe the fluid rheological characteristic. It was found that shear-thinning fluids possess a higher volumetric flow rate, which could result in poorer mixing efficiency compared to that of Newtonian fluids. Numerous studies have revealed that flow instability and vortex generation, in particular secondary vortices produced by barriers or greater magnitudes of heterogeneous zeta potential distribution, enhance mixing by increasing bulk flow velocity and reducing flow distance.To better understand the mechanism of disturbance formed in the system due to externally applied forces, known as electrokinetic instability, literature often utilize the Rayleigh (Ra) number, 

(1) as described below:

𝑅𝑎𝑣=𝑢ev𝑢eo=(𝛾−1𝛾+1)2𝑊𝛿2𝐸el2𝐻2𝜁𝛿Ra�=�ev�eo=(�−1�+1)2��2�el2�2��

(22)where γ is the conductivity ratio of the two streams and can be written as 

𝛾=𝜎el,H𝜎el,L�=�el,H�el,L. The Ra number characterizes the ratio between electroviscous and electro-osmotic flow. A high Ra

v value often results in good mixing. It is evident that fluid properties such as the conductivity (σ) of the two streams play a key role in the formation of disturbances to enhance mixing in microsystems. At the same time, electrokinetic parameters like the zeta potential (ζ) in the Ra number is critical in the characterization of electro-osmotic velocity and a slip boundary condition at the microchannel wall.To understand the mixing result along the channel, the concentration field can be defined and simulated under the assumption of steady state conditions and constant diffusion coefficient for each of the working fluid within the system through the convection–diffusion equation as below:

∂𝑐𝒊∂𝑡+∇⇀(𝑐𝑖𝑢⇀−𝐷𝑖∇⇀𝑐𝒊)=0∂��∂�+∇⇀(���⇀−��∇⇀��)=0

(23)where c

i is the species concentration of species i and D

i is the diffusion coefficient of the corresponding species.The standard deviation of concentration (σ

sd) can be adapted to evaluate the mixing quality of the system. 

(97) The standard deviation for concentration at a specific portion of the channel may be calculated using the equation below:

𝜎sd=∫10(𝐶∗(𝑦∗)−𝐶m)2d𝑦∗∫10d𝑦∗⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯�sd=∫01(�*(�*)−�m)2d�*∫01d�*

(24)where C*(y*) and C

m are the non-dimensional concentration profile and the mean concentration at the portion, respectively. C* is the non-dimensional concentration and can be calculated as 

𝐶∗=𝐶𝐶ref�*=��ref, where C

ref is the reference concentration defined as the bulk solution concentration. The mean concentration profile can be calculated as 

𝐶m=∫10(𝐶∗(𝑦∗)d𝑦∗∫10d𝑦∗�m=∫01(�*(�*)d�*∫01d�*. With the standard deviation of concentration, the mixing efficiency 

(97) can then be calculated as below:

𝜀𝑥=1−𝜎sd𝜎sd,0��=1−�sd�sd,0

(25)where σ

sd,0 is the standard derivation of the case of no mixing. The value of the mixing efficiency is typically utilized in conjunction with the simulated flow field and concentration field to explore the effect of geometrical and electrokinetic parameters on the optimization of the mixing results.

5. Summary

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5.1. Conclusion

Viscoelastic fluids such as blood flow in LOC systems are an essential topic to proceed with diagnostic analysis and research through microdevices in the biomedical and pharmaceutical industries. The complex blood flow behavior is tightly controlled by the viscoelastic characteristics of blood such as the dynamic viscosity and the elastic property of RBCs under various shear rate conditions. Furthermore, the flow behaviors under varied driving forces promote an array of microfluidic transport phenomena that are critical to the management of blood flow and other adapted viscoelastic fluids in LOC systems. This review addressed the blood flow phenomena, the complicated interplay between shear rate and blood flow behaviors, and their numerical modeling under LOC systems through the lens of the viscoelasticity characteristic. Furthermore, a theoretical understanding of capillary forces and externally applied electric forces leads to an in-depth investigation of the relationship between blood flow patterns and the key parameters of the two driving forces, the latter of which is introduced through the lens of viscoelastic fluids, coupling numerical modeling to improve the knowledge of blood flow manipulation in LOC systems. The flow disturbances triggered by the EOF of viscoelastic fluids and their impact on blood flow patterns have been deeply investigated due to their important role and applications in LOC devices. Continuous advancements of various numerical modeling methods with experimental findings through more efficient and less computationally heavy methods have served as an encouraging sign of establishing more accurate illustrations of the mechanisms for multiphase blood and other viscoelastic fluid flow transport phenomena driven by various forces. Such progress is fundamental for the manipulation of unique transport phenomena, such as the generated disturbances, to optimize functionalities offered by microdevices in LOC systems.

The following section will provide further insights into the employment of studied blood transport phenomena to improve the functionality of micro devices adapting LOC technology. A discussion of the novel roles that external driving forces play in microfluidic flow behaviors is also provided. Limitations in the computational modeling of blood flow and electrokinetic phenomena in LOC systems will also be emphasized, which may provide valuable insights for future research endeavors. These discussions aim to provide guidance and opportunities for new paths in the ongoing development of LOC devices that adapt blood flow.

5.2. Future Directions

5.2.1. Electro-osmosis Mixing in LOC Systems

Despite substantial research, mixing results through flow instability and vortex formation phenomena induced by electro-osmotic mixing still deviate from the effective mixing results offered by chaotic mixing results such as those seen in turbulent flows. However, recent discoveries of a mixing phenomenon that is generally observed under turbulent flows are found within electro-osmosis micromixers under low Reynolds number conditions. Zhao 

(99) experimentally discovered a rapid mixing process in an AC applied micromixer, where the power spectrum of concentration under an applied voltage of 20 V

p-p induces a −5/3 slope within a frequency range. This value of the slope is considered as the O–C spectrum in macroflows, which is often visible under relatively high Re conditions, such as the Taylor microscale Reynolds number Re > 500 in turbulent flows. 

(100) However, the Re value in the studied system is less than 1 at the specific location and applied voltage. A secondary flow is also suggested to occur close to microchannel walls, being attributed to the increase of convective instability within the system.Despite the experimental phenomenon proposed by Zhao et al., 

(99) the range of effects induced by vital parameters of an EOF mixing system on the enhanced mixing results and mechanisms of disturbance generated by the turbulent-like flow instability is not further characterized. Such a gap in knowledge may hinder the adaptability and commercialization of the discovery of micromixers. One of the parameters for further evaluation is the conductivity gradient of the fluid flow. A relatively strong conductivity gradient (5000:1) was adopted in the system due to the conductive properties of the two fluids. The high conductivity gradients may contribute to the relatively large Rayleigh number and differences in EDL layer thickness, resulting in an unusual disturbance in laminar flow conditions and enhanced mixing results. However, high conductivity gradients are not always achievable by the working fluids due to diverse fluid properties. The reliance on turbulent-like phenomena and rapid mixing results in a large conductivity gradient should be established to prevent the limited application of fluids for the mixing system. In addition, the proposed system utilizes distinct zeta potential distributions at the top and bottom walls due to their difference in material choices, which may be attributed to the flow instability phenomena. Further studies should be made on varying zeta potential magnitude and distribution to evaluate their effect on the slip boundary conditions of the flow and the large shear rate condition close to the channel wall of EOF. Such a study can potentially offer an optimized condition in zeta potential magnitude through material choices and geometrical layout of the zeta potential for better mixing results and manipulation of mixing fluid dynamics. The two vital parameters mentioned above can be varied with the aid of numerical simulation to understand the effect of parameters on the interaction between electro-osmotic forces and electroviscous forces. At the same time, the relationship of developed streamlines of the simulated velocity and concentration field, following their relationship with the mixing results, under the impact of these key parameters can foster more insight into the range of impact that the two parameters have on the proposed phenomena and the microfluidic dynamic principles of disturbances.

In addition, many of the current investigations of electrokinetic mixers commonly emphasize the fluid dynamics of mixing for Newtonian fluids, while the utilization of biofluids, primarily viscoelastic fluids such as blood, and their distinctive response under shear forces in these novel mixing processes of LOC systems are significantly less studied. To develop more compatible microdevice designs and efficient mixing outcomes for the biomedical industry, it is necessary to fill the knowledge gaps in the literature on electro-osmotic mixing for biofluids, where properties of elasticity, dynamic viscosity, and intricate relationship with shear flow from the fluid are further considered.

5.2.2. Electro-osmosis Separation in LOC Systems

Particle separation in LOC devices, particularly in biological research and diagnostics, is another area where disturbances may play a significant role in optimization. 

(101) Plasma analysis in LOC systems under precise control of blood flow phenomena and blood/plasma separation procedures can detect vital information about infectious diseases from particular antibodies and foreign nucleic acids for medical treatments, diagnostics, and research, 

(102) offering more efficient results and simple operating procedures compared to that of the traditional centrifugation method for blood and plasma separation. However, the adaptability of LOC devices for blood and plasma separation is often hindered by microchannel clogging, where flow velocity and plasma yield from LOC devices is reduced due to occasional RBC migration and aggregation at the filtration entrance of microdevices. 

(103)It is important to note that the EOF induces flow instability close to microchannel walls, which may provide further solutions to clogging for the separation process of the LOC systems. Mohammadi et al. 

(104) offered an anti-clogging effect of RBCs at the blood and plasma separating device filtration entry, adjacent to the surface wall, through RBC disaggregation under high shear rate conditions generated by a forward and reverse EOF direction.

Further theoretical and numerical research can be conducted to characterize the effect of high shear rate conditions near microchannel walls toward the detachment of binding blood cells on surfaces and the reversibility of aggregation. Through numerical modeling with varying electrokinetic parameters to induce different degrees of disturbances or shear conditions at channel walls, it may be possible to optimize and better understand the process of disrupting the forces that bind cells to surface walls and aggregated cells at filtration pores. RBCs that migrate close to microchannel walls are often attracted by the adhesion force between the RBC and the solid surface originating from the van der Waals forces. Following RBC migration and attachment by adhesive forces adjacent to the microchannel walls as shown in Figure 7, the increase in viscosity at the region causes a lower shear condition and encourages RBC aggregation (cell–cell interaction), which clogs filtering pores or microchannels and reduces flow velocity at filtration region. Both the impact that shear forces and disturbances may induce on cell binding forces with surface walls and other cells leading to aggregation may suggest further characterization. Kinetic parameters such as activation energy and the rate-determining step for cell binding composition attachment and detachment should be considered for modeling the dynamics of RBCs and blood flows under external forces in LOC separation devices.

Figure 7. Schematic representations of clogging at a microchannel pore following the sequence of RBC migration, cell attachment to channel walls, and aggregation. (105) Reproduced with permission from ref (105). Copyright 2018 The Authors under the terms of the Creative Commons (CC BY 4.0) License https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

5.2.3. Relationship between External Forces and Microfluidic Systems

In blood flow, a thicker CFL suggests a lower blood viscosity, suggesting a complex relationship between shear stress and shear rate, affecting the blood viscosity and blood flow. Despite some experimental and numerical studies on electro-osmotic non-Newtonian fluid flow, limited literature has performed an in-depth investigation of the role that applied electric forces and other external forces could play in the process of CFL formation. Additional studies on how shear rates from external forces affect CFL formation and microfluidic flow dynamics can shed light on the mechanism of the contribution induced by external driving forces to the development of a separate phase of layer, similar to CFL, close to the microchannel walls and distinct from the surrounding fluid within the system, then influencing microfluidic flow dynamics.One of the mechanisms of phenomena to be explored is the formation of the Exclusion Zone (EZ) region following a “Self-Induced Flow” (SIF) phenomenon discovered by Li and Pollack, 

(106) as shown in Figure 8(a) and (b), respectively. A spontaneous sustained axial flow is observed when hydrophilic materials are immersed in water, resulting in the buildup of a negative layer of charges, defined as the EZ, after water molecules absorb infrared radiation (IR) energy and break down into H and OH

+.

Figure 8. Schematic representations of (a) the Exclusion Zone region and (b) the Self Induced Flow through visualization of microsphere movement within a microchannel. (106) Reproduced with permission from ref (106). Copyright 2020 The Authors under the terms of the Creative Commons (CC BY 4.0) License https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

Despite the finding of such a phenomenon, the specific mechanism and role of IR energy have yet to be defined for the process of EZ development. To further develop an understanding of the role of IR energy in such phenomena, a feasible study may be seen through the lens of the relationships between external forces and microfluidic flow. In the phenomena, the increase of SIF velocity under a rise of IR radiation resonant characteristics is shown in the participation of the external electric field near the microchannel walls under electro-osmotic viscoelastic fluid flow systems. The buildup of negative charges at the hydrophilic surfaces in EZ is analogous to the mechanism of electrical double layer formation. Indeed, research has initiated the exploration of the core mechanisms for EZ formation through the lens of the electrokinetic phenomena. 

(107) Such a similarity of the role of IR energy and the transport phenomena of SIF with electrokinetic phenomena paves the way for the definition of the unknown SIF phenomena and EZ formation. Furthermore, Li and Pollack 

(106) suggest whether CFL formation might contribute to a SIF of blood using solely IR radiation, a commonly available source of energy in nature, as an external driving force. The proposition may be proven feasible with the presence of the CFL region next to the negatively charged hydrophilic endothelial glycocalyx layer, coating the luminal side of blood vessels. 

(108) Further research can dive into the resonating characteristics between the formation of the CFL region next to the hydrophilic endothelial glycocalyx layer and that of the EZ formation close to hydrophilic microchannel walls. Indeed, an increase in IR energy is known to rapidly accelerate EZ formation and SIF velocity, depicting similarity to the increase in the magnitude of electric field forces and greater shear rates at microchannel walls affecting CFL formation and EOF velocity. Such correlation depicts a future direction in whether SIF blood flow can be observed and characterized theoretically further through the lens of the relationship between blood flow and shear forces exhibited by external energy.

The intricate link between the CFL and external forces, more specifically the externally applied electric field, can receive further attention to provide a more complete framework for the mechanisms between IR radiation and EZ formation. Such characterization may also contribute to a greater comprehension of the role IR can play in CFL formation next to the endothelial glycocalyx layer as well as its role as a driving force to propel blood flow, similar to the SIF, but without the commonly assumed pressure force from heart contraction as a source of driving force.

5.3. Challenges

Although there have been significant improvements in blood flow modeling under LOC systems over the past decade, there are still notable constraints that may require special attention for numerical simulation applications to benefit the adaptability of the designs and functionalities of LOC devices. Several points that require special attention are mentioned below:

1.The majority of CFD models operate under the relationship between the viscoelasticity of blood and the shear rate conditions of flow. The relative effect exhibited by the presence of highly populated RBCs in whole blood and their forces amongst the cells themselves under complex flows often remains unclearly defined. Furthermore, the full range of cell populations in whole blood requires a much more computational load for numerical modeling. Therefore, a vital goal for future research is to evaluate a reduced modeling method where the impact of cell–cell interaction on the viscoelastic property of blood is considered.
2.Current computational methods on hemodynamics rely on continuum models based upon non-Newtonian rheology at the macroscale rather than at molecular and cellular levels. Careful considerations should be made for the development of a constructive framework for the physical and temporal scales of micro/nanoscale systems to evaluate the intricate relationship between fluid driving forces, dynamic viscosity, and elasticity.
3.Viscoelastic fluids under the impact of externally applied electric forces often deviate from the assumptions of no-slip boundary conditions due to the unique flow conditions induced by externally applied forces. Furthermore, the mechanism of vortex formation and viscoelastic flow instability at laminar flow conditions should be better defined through the lens of the microfluidic flow phenomenon to optimize the prediction of viscoelastic flow across different geometrical layouts. Mathematical models and numerical methods are needed to better predict such disturbance caused by external forces and the viscoelasticity of fluids at such a small scale.
4.Under practical situations, zeta potential distribution at channel walls frequently deviates from the common assumption of a constant distribution because of manufacturing faults or inherent surface charges prior to the introduction of electrokinetic influence. These discrepancies frequently lead to inconsistent surface potential distribution, such as excess positive ions at relatively more negatively charged walls. Accordingly, unpredicted vortex formation and flow instability may occur. Therefore, careful consideration should be given to these discrepancies and how they could trigger the transport process and unexpected results of a microdevice.

Author Information

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  • Corresponding Authors
    • Zhe Chen – Department of Chemical Engineering, School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, State Key Laboratory of Metal Matrix Composites, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200240, P. R. China;  Email: zaccooky@sjtu.edu.cn
    • Bo Ouyang – Department of Chemical Engineering, School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, State Key Laboratory of Metal Matrix Composites, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200240, P. R. China;  Email: bouy93@sjtu.edu.cn
    • Zheng-Hong Luo – Department of Chemical Engineering, School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, State Key Laboratory of Metal Matrix Composites, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200240, P. R. China;  Orcidhttps://orcid.org/0000-0001-9011-6020; Email: luozh@sjtu.edu.cn
  • Authors
    • Bin-Jie Lai – Department of Chemical Engineering, School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, State Key Laboratory of Metal Matrix Composites, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200240, P. R. China;  Orcidhttps://orcid.org/0009-0002-8133-5381
    • Li-Tao Zhu – Department of Chemical Engineering, School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, State Key Laboratory of Metal Matrix Composites, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200240, P. R. China;  Orcidhttps://orcid.org/0000-0001-6514-8864
  • NotesThe authors declare no competing financial interest.

Acknowledgments

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This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 22238005) and the Postdoctoral Research Foundation of China (No. GZC20231576).

Vocabulary

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Microfluidicsthe field of technological and scientific study that investigates fluid flow in channels with dimensions between 1 and 1000 μm
Lab-on-a-Chip Technologythe field of research and technological development aimed at integrating the micro/nanofluidic characteristics to conduct laboratory processes on handheld devices
Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD)the method utilizing computational abilities to predict physical fluid flow behaviors mathematically through solving the governing equations of corresponding fluid flows
Shear Ratethe rate of change in velocity where one layer of fluid moves past the adjacent layer
Viscoelasticitythe property holding both elasticity and viscosity characteristics relying on the magnitude of applied shear stress and time-dependent strain
Electro-osmosisthe flow of fluid under an applied electric field when charged solid surface is in contact with the bulk fluid
Vortexthe rotating motion of a fluid revolving an axis line

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그림 0 - 임계값의 다양한 위치에서 슬라이딩 밸브를 통과하는 흐름의 개략도: a) 밸브 아래, b) 밸브의 하류 측에 접선, c) 밸브의 상류 측에 접선

수직 슬라이딩 밸브의 토출 계수에 대한 형상 및 임계 위치 변화의 영향 평가

Abstract

본 연구의 목적은 다양한 위치에서 임계값을 갖는 슬라이딩 밸브의 유량계수를 조사하는 것입니다. 이 목표를 달성하기 위해 슬라이딩 밸브 아래 임계값의 세 위치에서 2.5cm, 22cm 및 22cm의 서로 다른 너비의 반구형, 원통형, 피라미드형 및 직사각형 입방체의 기하학적 모양을 가진 임계값의 효과, 하류에 접하는 임계값 및 임계값 상부에 대한 접선 슬라이딩 밸브의 상류는 실험실에서 조사되었습니다.

문턱의 위치를 ​​조사한 결과 피라미드, 반원통형, 원통형, 직육면체의 기하학적 형태를 갖는 문턱은 폭 22cm의 문턱에 비해 슬라이딩 밸브 하류의 접선 상태에서 유량계수를 갖는 것으로 나타났습니다.

슬라이딩 밸브 아래의 임계값 위치, 22.22, 00/22, 20/22가 0.5% 증가했습니다. 베하트레브 상류의 접선 모드에서 언급된 값은 0.25, 22.22, 20.00 및 22.0%로 증가했습니다. 또한, 결과는 유량계수가 문턱의 위치뿐만 아니라 문턱의 기하학적 구조에 의해 영향을 받는다는 것을 보여주었습니다.

이와 같이 슬라이딩 밸브 아래의 문턱 위치에서는 최대 토출계수를 반구 형상의 문턱으로 지정하고, 슬라이딩 밸브의 하류와 상류의 접선 상태에서는 피라미드 문턱으로 지정하였습니다.

그림 0 - 임계값의 다양한 위치에서 슬라이딩 밸브를 통과하는 흐름의 개략도: a) 밸브 아래, b) 밸브의 하류 측에 접선, c) 밸브의 상류 측에 접선

References

Alhamid AA, “Coefficient of discharge for free flow sluice gate”, King Saud University-Engineering Sciences, 1999, 11 (1), 33-47.
Daneshfaraz R, Ghahramanzadeh A, Ghaderi A, Joudi AR, Abraham J, “Investigation of the effect of edge shape on characteristics of flow under vertical gates”, American Water Works Association, 2016, 108 (8), E425-E432.
Ferro V, “Simultaneous Flow over and under a gate”, Irrigation and Drainage engineering, 2000, 190-193.
Heidari M, Karami S, Adibrad M, “Investigation of Free Flow under the Radial Gate with the Sill”, Civil and Environmental Engineering, 2020, 50 (100), 9-19.
Rajaratnam N, Subramanya K, “Flow equation for the sluice gate. Irrigation and Drainage Division”, 1967, 93(3), 167-186

Fig. 9 From: An Investigation on Hydraulic Aspects of Rectangular Labyrinth Pool and Weir Fishway Using FLOW-3D

An Investigation on Hydraulic Aspects of Rectangular Labyrinth Pool and Weir Fishway Using FLOW-3D

Abstract

웨어의 두 가지 서로 다른 배열(즉, 직선형 웨어와 직사각형 미로 웨어)을 사용하여 웨어 모양, 웨어 간격, 웨어의 오리피스 존재, 흐름 영역에 대한 바닥 경사와 같은 기하학적 매개변수의 영향을 평가했습니다.

유량과 수심의 관계, 수심 평균 속도의 변화와 분포, 난류 특성, 어도에서의 에너지 소산. 흐름 조건에 미치는 영향을 조사하기 위해 FLOW-3D® 소프트웨어를 사용하여 전산 유체 역학 시뮬레이션을 수행했습니다.

수치 모델은 계산된 표면 프로파일과 속도를 문헌의 실험적으로 측정된 값과 비교하여 검증되었습니다. 수치 모델과 실험 데이터의 결과, 급락유동의 표면 프로파일과 표준화된 속도 프로파일에 대한 평균 제곱근 오차와 평균 절대 백분율 오차가 각각 0.014m와 3.11%로 나타나 수치 모델의 능력을 확인했습니다.

수영장과 둑의 흐름 특성을 예측합니다. 각 모델에 대해 L/B = 1.83(L: 웨어 거리, B: 수로 폭) 값에서 급락 흐름이 발생할 수 있고 L/B = 0.61에서 스트리밍 흐름이 발생할 수 있습니다. 직사각형 미로보 모델은 기존 모델보다 무차원 방류량(Q+)이 더 큽니다.

수중 흐름의 기존 보와 직사각형 미로 보의 경우 Q는 각각 1.56과 1.47h에 비례합니다(h: 보 위 수심). 기존 웨어의 풀 내 평균 깊이 속도는 직사각형 미로 웨어의 평균 깊이 속도보다 높습니다.

그러나 주어진 방류량, 바닥 경사 및 웨어 간격에 대해 난류 운동 에너지(TKE) 및 난류 강도(TI) 값은 기존 웨어에 비해 직사각형 미로 웨어에서 더 높습니다. 기존의 웨어는 직사각형 미로 웨어보다 에너지 소산이 더 낮습니다.

더 낮은 TKE 및 TI 값은 미로 웨어 상단, 웨어 하류 벽 모서리, 웨어 측벽과 채널 벽 사이에서 관찰되었습니다. 보와 바닥 경사면 사이의 거리가 증가함에 따라 평균 깊이 속도, 난류 운동 에너지의 평균값 및 난류 강도가 증가하고 수영장의 체적 에너지 소산이 감소했습니다.

둑에 개구부가 있으면 평균 깊이 속도와 TI 값이 증가하고 풀 내에서 가장 높은 TKE 범위가 감소하여 두 모델 모두에서 물고기를 위한 휴식 공간이 더 넓어지고(TKE가 낮아짐) 에너지 소산율이 감소했습니다.

Two different arrangements of the weir (i.e., straight weir and rectangular labyrinth weir) were used to evaluate the effects of geometric parameters such as weir shape, weir spacing, presence of an orifice at the weir, and bed slope on the flow regime and the relationship between discharge and depth, variation and distribution of depth-averaged velocity, turbulence characteristics, and energy dissipation at the fishway. Computational fluid dynamics simulations were performed using FLOW-3D® software to examine the effects on flow conditions. The numerical model was validated by comparing the calculated surface profiles and velocities with experimentally measured values from the literature. The results of the numerical model and experimental data showed that the root-mean-square error and mean absolute percentage error for the surface profiles and normalized velocity profiles of plunging flows were 0.014 m and 3.11%, respectively, confirming the ability of the numerical model to predict the flow characteristics of the pool and weir. A plunging flow can occur at values of L/B = 1.83 (L: distance of the weir, B: width of the channel) and streaming flow at L/B = 0.61 for each model. The rectangular labyrinth weir model has larger dimensionless discharge values (Q+) than the conventional model. For the conventional weir and the rectangular labyrinth weir at submerged flow, Q is proportional to 1.56 and 1.47h, respectively (h: the water depth above the weir). The average depth velocity in the pool of a conventional weir is higher than that of a rectangular labyrinth weir. However, for a given discharge, bed slope, and weir spacing, the turbulent kinetic energy (TKE) and turbulence intensity (TI) values are higher for a rectangular labyrinth weir compared to conventional weir. The conventional weir has lower energy dissipation than the rectangular labyrinth weir. Lower TKE and TI values were observed at the top of the labyrinth weir, at the corner of the wall downstream of the weir, and between the side walls of the weir and the channel wall. As the distance between the weirs and the bottom slope increased, the average depth velocity, the average value of turbulent kinetic energy and the turbulence intensity increased, and the volumetric energy dissipation in the pool decreased. The presence of an opening in the weir increased the average depth velocity and TI values and decreased the range of highest TKE within the pool, resulted in larger resting areas for fish (lower TKE), and decreased the energy dissipation rates in both models.

1 Introduction

Artificial barriers such as detour dams, weirs, and culverts in lakes and rivers prevent fish from migrating and completing the upstream and downstream movement cycle. This chain is related to the life stage of the fish, its location, and the type of migration. Several riverine fish species instinctively migrate upstream for spawning and other needs. Conversely, downstream migration is a characteristic of early life stages [1]. A fish ladder is a waterway that allows one or more fish species to cross a specific obstacle. These structures are constructed near detour dams and other transverse structures that have prevented such migration by allowing fish to overcome obstacles [2]. The flow pattern in fish ladders influences safe and comfortable passage for ascending fish. The flow’s strong turbulence can reduce the fish’s speed, injure them, and delay or prevent them from exiting the fish ladder. In adult fish, spawning migrations are usually complex, and delays are critical to reproductive success [3].

Various fish ladders/fishways include vertical slots, denil, rock ramps, and pool weirs [1]. The choice of fish ladder usually depends on many factors, including water elevation, space available for construction, and fish species. Pool and weir structures are among the most important fish ladders that help fish overcome obstacles in streams or rivers and swim upstream [1]. Because they are easy to construct and maintain, this type of fish ladder has received considerable attention from researchers and practitioners. Such a fish ladder consists of a sloping-floor channel with series of pools directly separated by a series of weirs [4]. These fish ladders, with or without underwater openings, are generally well-suited for slopes of 10% or less [12]. Within these pools, flow velocities are low and provide resting areas for fish after they enter the fish ladder. After resting in the pools, fish overcome these weirs by blasting or jumping over them [2]. There may also be an opening in the flooded portion of the weir through which the fish can swim instead of jumping over the weir. Design parameters such as the length of the pool, the height of the weir, the slope of the bottom, and the water discharge are the most important factors in determining the hydraulic structure of this type of fish ladder [3]. The flow over the weir depends on the flow depth at a given slope S0 and the pool length, either “plunging” or “streaming.” In plunging flow, the water column h over each weir creates a water jet that releases energy through turbulent mixing and diffusion mechanisms [5]. The dimensionless discharges for plunging (Q+) and streaming (Q*) flows are shown in Fig. 1, where Q is the total discharge, B is the width of the channel, w is the weir height, S0 is the slope of the bottom, h is the water depth above the weir, d is the flow depth, and g is the acceleration due to gravity. The maximum velocity occurs near the top of the weir for plunging flow. At the water’s surface, it drops to about half [6].

figure 1
Fig. 1

Extensive experimental studies have been conducted to investigate flow patterns for various physical geometries (i.e., bed slope, pool length, and weir height) [2]. Guiny et al. [7] modified the standard design by adding vertical slots, orifices, and weirs in fishways. The efficiency of the orifices and vertical slots was related to the velocities at their entrances. In the laboratory experiments of Yagci [8], the three-dimensional (3D) mean flow and turbulence structure of a pool weir fishway combined with an orifice and a slot is investigated. It is shown that the energy dissipation per unit volume and the discharge have a linear relationship.

Considering the beneficial characteristics reported in the limited studies of researchers on the labyrinth weir in the pool-weir-type fishway, and knowing that the characteristics of flow in pool-weir-type fishways are highly dependent on the geometry of the weir, an alternative design of the rectangular labyrinth weir instead of the straight weirs in the pool-weir-type fishway is investigated in this study [79]. Kim [10] conducted experiments to compare the hydraulic characteristics of three different weir types in a pool-weir-type fishway. The results show that a straight, rectangular weir with a notch is preferable to a zigzag or trapezoidal weir. Studies on natural fish passes show that pass ability can be improved by lengthening the weir’s crest [7]. Zhong et al. [11] investigated the semi-rigid weir’s hydraulic performance in the fishway’s flow field with a pool weir. The results showed that this type of fishway performed better with a lower invert slope and a smaller radius ratio but with a larger pool spacing.

Considering that an alternative method to study the flow characteristics in a fishway with a pool weir is based on numerical methods and modeling from computational fluid dynamics (CFD), which can easily change the geometry of the fishway for different flow fields, this study uses the powerful package CFD and the software FLOW-3D to evaluate the proposed weir design and compare it with the conventional one to extend the application of the fishway. The main objective of this study was to evaluate the hydraulic performance of the rectangular labyrinth pool and the weir with submerged openings in different hydraulic configurations. The primary objective of creating a new weir configuration for suitable flow patterns is evaluated based on the swimming capabilities of different fish species. Specifically, the following questions will be answered: (a) How do the various hydraulic and geometric parameters relate to the effects of water velocity and turbulence, expressed as turbulent kinetic energy (TKE) and turbulence intensity (TI) within the fishway, i.e., are conventional weirs more affected by hydraulics than rectangular labyrinth weirs? (b) Which weir configurations have the greatest effect on fish performance in the fishway? (c) In the presence of an orifice plate, does the performance of each weir configuration differ with different weir spacing, bed gradients, and flow regimes from that without an orifice plate?

2 Materials and Methods

2.1 Physical Model Configuration

This paper focuses on Ead et al. [6]’s laboratory experiments as a reference, testing ten pool weirs (Fig. 2). The experimental flume was 6 m long, 0.56 m wide, and 0.6 m high, with a bottom slope of 10%. Field measurements were made at steady flow with a maximum flow rate of 0.165 m3/s. Discharge was measured with magnetic flow meters in the inlets and water level with point meters (see Ead et al. [6]. for more details). Table 1 summarizes the experimental conditions considered for model calibration in this study.

figure 2
Fig. 2

Table 1 Experimental conditions considered for calibration

Full size table

2.2 Numerical Models

Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations were performed using FLOW-3D® v11.2 to validate a series of experimental liner pool weirs by Ead et al. [6] and to investigate the effects of the rectangular labyrinth pool weir with an orifice. The dimensions of the channel and data collection areas in the numerical models are the same as those of the laboratory model. Two types of pool weirs were considered: conventional and labyrinth. The proposed rectangular labyrinth pool weirs have a symmetrical cross section and are sized to fit within the experimental channel. The conventional pool weir model had a pool length of l = 0.685 and 0.342 m, a weir height of w = 0.141 m, a weir width of B = 0.56 m, and a channel slope of S0 = 5 and 10%. The rectangular labyrinth weirs have the same front width as the offset, i.e., a = b = c = 0.186 m. A square underwater opening with a width of 0.05 m and a depth of 0.05 m was created in the middle of the weir. The weir configuration considered in the present study is shown in Fig. 3.

figure 3
Fig. 3

2.3 Governing Equations

FLOW-3D® software solves the Navier–Stokes–Reynolds equations for three-dimensional analysis of incompressible flows using the fluid-volume method on a gridded domain. FLOW -3D® uses an advanced free surface flow tracking algorithm (TruVOF) developed by Hirt and Nichols [12], where fluid configurations are defined in terms of a VOF function F (xyzt). In this case, F (fluid fraction) represents the volume fraction occupied by the fluid: F = 1 in cells filled with fluid and F = 0 in cells without fluid (empty areas) [413]. The free surface area is at an intermediate value of F. (Typically, F = 0.5, but the user can specify a different intermediate value.) The equations in Cartesian coordinates (xyz) applicable to the model are as follows:

�f∂�∂�+∂(���x)∂�+∂(���y)∂�+∂(���z)∂�=�SOR

(1)

∂�∂�+1�f(��x∂�∂�+��y∂�∂�+��z∂�∂�)=−1�∂�∂�+�x+�x

(2)

∂�∂�+1�f(��x∂�∂�+��y∂�∂�+��z∂�∂�)=−1�∂�∂�+�y+�y

(3)

∂�∂�+1�f(��x∂�∂�+��y∂�∂�+��z∂�∂�)=−1�∂�∂�+�z+�z

(4)

where (uvw) are the velocity components, (AxAyAz) are the flow area components, (Gx, Gy, Gz) are the mass accelerations, and (fxfyfz) are the viscous accelerations in the directions (xyz), ρ is the fluid density, RSOR is the spring term, Vf is the volume fraction associated with the flow, and P is the pressure. The kε turbulence model (RNG) was used in this study to solve the turbulence of the flow field. This model is a modified version of the standard kε model that improves performance. The model is a two-equation model; the first equation (Eq. 5) expresses the turbulence’s energy, called turbulent kinetic energy (k) [14]. The second equation (Eq. 6) is the turbulent dissipation rate (ε), which determines the rate of dissipation of kinetic energy [15]. These equations are expressed as follows Dasineh et al. [4]:

∂(��)∂�+∂(����)∂��=∂∂��[������∂�∂��]+��−�ε

(5)

∂(�ε)∂�+∂(�ε��)∂��=∂∂��[�ε�eff∂ε∂��]+�1εε��k−�2ε�ε2�

(6)

In these equations, k is the turbulent kinetic energy, ε is the turbulent energy consumption rate, Gk is the generation of turbulent kinetic energy by the average velocity gradient, with empirical constants αε = αk = 1.39, C1ε = 1.42, and C2ε = 1.68, eff is the effective viscosity, μeff = μ + μt [15]. Here, μ is the hydrodynamic density coefficient, and μt is the turbulent density of the fluid.

2.4 Meshing and the Boundary Conditions in the Model Setup

The numerical area is divided into three mesh blocks in the X-direction. The meshes are divided into different sizes, a containing mesh block for the entire spatial domain and a nested block with refined cells for the domain of interest. Three different sizes were selected for each of the grid blocks. By comparing the accuracy of their results based on the experimental data, the reasonable mesh for the solution domain was finally selected. The convergence index method (GCI) evaluated the mesh sensitivity analysis. Based on this method, many researchers, such as Ahmadi et al. [16] and Ahmadi et al. [15], have studied the independence of numerical results from mesh size. Three different mesh sizes with a refinement ratio (r) of 1.33 were used to perform the convergence index method. The refinement ratio is the ratio between the larger and smaller mesh sizes (r = Gcoarse/Gfine). According to the recommendation of Celik et al. [17], the recommended number for the refinement ratio is 1.3, which gives acceptable results. Table 2 shows the characteristics of the three mesh sizes selected for mesh sensitivity analysis.Table 2 Characteristics of the meshes tested in the convergence analysis

Full size table

The results of u1 = umax (u1 = velocity component along the x1 axis and umax = maximum velocity of u1 in a section perpendicular to the invert of the fishway) at Q = 0.035 m3/s, × 1/l = 0.66, and Y1/b = 0 in the pool of conventional weir No. 4, obtained from the output results of the software, were used to evaluate the accuracy of the calculation range. As shown in Fig. 4x1 = the distance from a given weir in the x-direction, Y1 = the water depth measured in the y-direction, Y0 = the vertical distance in the Cartesian coordinate system, h = the water column at the crest, b = the distance between the two points of maximum velocity umax and zero velocity, and l = the pool length.

figure 4
Fig. 4

The apparent index of convergence (p) in the GCI method is calculated as follows:

�=ln⁡(�3−�2)(�2−�1)/ln⁡(�)

(7)

f1f2, and f3 are the hydraulic parameters obtained from the numerical simulation (f1 corresponds to the small mesh), and r is the refinement ratio. The following equation defines the convergence index of the fine mesh:

GCIfine=1.25|ε|��−1

(8)

Here, ε = (f2 − f1)/f1 is the relative error, and f2 and f3 are the values of hydraulic parameters considered for medium and small grids, respectively. GCI12 and GCI23 dimensionless indices can be calculated as:

GCI12=1.25|�2−�1�1|��−1

(9)

Then, the independence of the network is preserved. The convergence index of the network parameters obtained by Eqs. (7)–(9) for all three network variables is shown in Table 3. Since the GCI values for the smaller grid (GCI12) are lower compared to coarse grid (GCI23), it can be concluded that the independence of the grid is almost achieved. No further change in the grid size of the solution domain is required. The calculated values (GCI23/rpGCI12) are close to 1, which shows that the numerical results obtained are within the convergence range. As a result, the meshing of the solution domain consisting of a block mesh with a mesh size of 0.012 m and a block mesh within a larger block mesh with a mesh size of 0.009 m was selected as the optimal mesh (Fig. 5).Table 3 GCI calculation

Full size table

figure 5
Fig. 5

The boundary conditions applied to the area are shown in Fig. 6. The boundary condition of specific flow rate (volume flow rate-Q) was used for the inlet of the flow. For the downstream boundary, the flow output (outflow-O) condition did not affect the flow in the solution area. For the Zmax boundary, the specified pressure boundary condition was used along with the fluid fraction = 0 (P). This type of boundary condition considers free surface or atmospheric pressure conditions (Ghaderi et al. [19]). The wall boundary condition is defined for the bottom of the channel, which acts like a virtual wall without friction (W). The boundary between mesh blocks and walls were considered a symmetrical condition (S).

figure 6
Fig. 6

The convergence of the steady-state solutions was controlled during the simulations by monitoring the changes in discharge at the inlet boundary conditions. Figure 7 shows the time series plots of the discharge obtained from the Model A for the three main discharges from the numerical results. The 8 s to reach the flow equilibrium is suitable for the case of the fish ladder with pool and weir. Almost all discharge fluctuations in the models are insignificant in time, and the flow has reached relative stability. The computation time for the simulations was between 6 and 8 h using a personal computer with eight cores of a CPU (Intel Core i7-7700K @ 4.20 GHz and 16 GB RAM).

figure 7
Fig. 7

3 Results

3.1 Verification of Numerical Results

Quantitative outcomes, including free surface and normalized velocity profiles obtained using FLOW-3D software, were reviewed and compared with the results of Ead et al. [6]. The fourth pool was selected to present the results and compare the experiment and simulation. For each quantity, the percentage of mean absolute error (MAPE (%)) and root-mean-square error (RMSE) are calculated. Equations (10) and (11) show the method used to calculate the errors.

MAPE(%)100×1�∑1�|�exp−�num�exp|

(10)

RMSE(−)1�∑1�(�exp−�num)2

(11)

Here, Xexp is the value of the laboratory data, Xnum is the numerical data value, and n is the amount of data. As shown in Fig. 8, let x1 = distance from a given weir in the x-direction and Y1 = water depth in the y-direction from the bottom. The trend of the surface profiles for each of the numerical results is the same as that of the laboratory results. The surface profiles of the plunging flows drop after the flow enters and then rises to approach the next weir. The RMSE and MAPE error values for Model A are 0.014 m and 3.11%, respectively, indicating acceptable agreement between numerical and laboratory results. Figure 9 shows the velocity vectors and plunging flow from the numerical results, where x and y are horizontal and vertical to the flow direction, respectively. It can be seen that the jet in the fish ladder pool has a relatively high velocity. The two vortices, i.e., the enclosed vortex rotating clockwise behind the weir and the surface vortex rotating counterclockwise above the jet, are observed for the regime of incident flow. The point where the jet meets the fish passage bed is shown in the figure. The normalized velocity profiles upstream and downstream of the impact points are shown in Fig. 10. The figure shows that the numerical results agree well with the experimental data of Ead et al. [6].

figure 8
Fig. 8
figure 9
Fig. 9
figure 10
Fig. 10

3.2 Flow Regime and Discharge-Depth Relationship

Depending on the geometric shape of the fishway, including the distance of the weir, the slope of the bottom, the height of the weir, and the flow conditions, the flow regime in the fishway is divided into three categories: dipping, transitional, and flow regimes [4]. In the plunging flow regime, the flow enters the pool through the weir, impacts the bottom of the fishway, and forms a hydraulic jump causing two eddies [220]. In the streamwise flow regime, the surface of the flow passing over the weir is almost parallel to the bottom of the channel. The transitional regime has intermediate flow characteristics between the submerged and flow regimes. To predict the flow regime created in the fishway, Ead et al. [6] proposed two dimensionless parameters, Qt* and L/w, where Qt* is the dimensionless discharge, L is the distance between weirs, and w is the height of the weir:

��∗=���0���

(12)

Q is the total discharge, B is the width of the channel, S0 is the slope of the bed, and g is the gravity acceleration. Figure 11 shows different ranges for each flow regime based on the slope of the bed and the distance between the pools in this study. The results of Baki et al. [21], Ead et al. [6] and Dizabadi et al. [22] were used for this comparison. The distance between the pools affects the changes in the regime of the fish ladder. So, if you decrease the distance between weirs, the flow regime more likely becomes. This study determined all three flow regimes in a fish ladder. When the corresponding range of Qt* is less than 0.6, the flow regime can dip at values of L/B = 1.83. If the corresponding range of Qt* is greater than 0.5, transitional flow may occur at L/B = 1.22. On the other hand, when Qt* is greater than 1, streamwise flow can occur at values of L/B = 0.61. These observations agree well with the results of Baki et al. [21], Ead et al. [6] and Dizabadi et al. [22].

figure 11
Fig. 11

For plunging flows, another dimensionless discharge (Q+) versus h/w given by Ead et al. [6] was used for further evaluation:

�+=��ℎ�ℎ=23�d�

(13)

where h is the water depth above the weir, and Cd is the discharge coefficient. Figure 12a compares the numerical and experimental results of Ead et al. [6]. In this figure, Rehbock’s empirical equation is used to estimate the discharge coefficient of Ead et al. [6].

�d=0.57+0.075ℎ�

(14)

figure 12
Fig. 12

The numerical results for the conventional weir (Model A) and the rectangular labyrinth weir (Model B) of this study agree well with the laboratory results of Ead et al. [6]. When comparing models A and B, it is also found that a rectangular labyrinth weir has larger Q + values than the conventional weir as the length of the weir crest increases for a given channel width and fixed headwater elevation. In Fig. 12b, Models A and B’s flow depth plot shows the plunging flow regime. The power trend lines drawn through the data are the best-fit lines. The data shown in Fig. 12b are for different bed slopes and weir geometries. For the conventional weir and the rectangular labyrinth weir at submerged flow, Q can be assumed to be proportional to 1.56 and 1.47h, respectively. In the results of Ead et al. [6], Q is proportional to 1.5h. If we assume that the flow through the orifice is Qo and the total outflow is Q, the change in the ratio of Qo/Q to total outflow for models A and B can be shown in Fig. 13. For both models, the flow through the orifice decreases as the total flow increases. A logarithmic trend line was also found between the total outflow and the dimensionless ratio Qo/Q.

figure 13
Fig. 13

3.3 Depth-Averaged Velocity Distributions

To ensure that the target fish species can pass the fish ladder with maximum efficiency, the average velocity in the fish ladder should be low enough [4]. Therefore, the average velocity in depth should be as much as possible below the critical swimming velocities of the target fishes at a constant flow depth in the pool [20]. The contour plot of depth-averaged velocity was used instead of another direction, such as longitudinal velocity because fish are more sensitive to depth-averaged flow velocity than to its direction under different hydraulic conditions. Figure 14 shows the distribution of depth-averaged velocity in the pool for Models A and B in two cases with and without orifice plates. Model A’s velocity within the pool differs slightly in the spanwise direction. However, no significant variation in velocity was observed. The flow is gradually directed to the sides as it passes through the rectangular labyrinth weir. This increases the velocity at the sides of the channel. Therefore, the high-velocity zone is located at the sides. The low velocity is in the downstream apex of the weir. This area may be suitable for swimming target fish. The presence of an opening in the weir increases the flow velocity at the opening and in the pool’s center, especially in Model A. The flow velocity increase caused by the models’ opening varied from 7.7 to 12.48%. Figure 15 illustrates the effect of the inverted slope on the averaged depth velocity distribution in the pool at low and high discharge. At constant discharge, flow velocity increases with increasing bed slope. In general, high flow velocity was found in the weir toe sidewall and the weir and channel sidewalls.

figure 14
Fig. 14
figure 15
Fig. 15

On the other hand, for a constant bed slope, the high-velocity area of the pool increases due to the increase in runoff. For both bed slopes and different discharges, the most appropriate path for fish to travel from upstream to downstream is through the middle of the cross section and along the top of the rectangular labyrinth weirs. The maximum dominant velocities for Model B at S0 = 5% were 0.83 and 1.01 m/s; at S0 = 10%, they were 1.12 and 1.61 m/s at low and high flows, respectively. The low mean velocities for the same distance and S0 = 5 and 10% were 0.17 and 0.26 m/s, respectively.

Figure 16 shows the contour of the averaged depth velocity for various distances from the weir at low and high discharge. The contour plot shows a large variation in velocity within short distances from the weir. At L/B = 0.61, velocities are low upstream and downstream of the top of the weir. The high velocities occur in the side walls of the weir and the channel. At L/B = 1.22, the low-velocity zone displaces the higher velocity in most of the pool. Higher velocities were found only on the sides of the channel. As the discharge increases, the velocity zone in the pool becomes wider. At L/B = 1.83, there is an area of higher velocities only upstream of the crest and on the sides of the weir. At high discharge, the prevailing maximum velocities for L/B = 0.61, 1.22, and 1.83 were 1.46, 1.65, and 1.84 m/s, respectively. As the distance between weirs increases, the range of maximum velocity increases.

figure 16
Fig. 16

On the other hand, the low mean velocity for these distances was 0.27, 0.44, and 0.72 m/s, respectively. Thus, the low-velocity zone decreases with increasing distance between weirs. Figure 17 shows the pattern distribution of streamlines along with the velocity contour at various distances from the weir for Q = 0.05 m3/s. A stream-like flow is generally formed in the pool at a small distance between weirs (L/B = 0.61). The rotation cell under the jet forms clockwise between the two weirs. At the distances between the spillways (L/B = 1.22), the transition regime of the flow is formed. The transition regime occurs when or shortly after the weir is flooded. The rotation cell under the jet is clockwise smaller than the flow regime and larger than the submergence regime. At a distance L/B = 1.83, a plunging flow is formed so that the plunging jet dips into the pool and extends downstream to the center of the pool. The clockwise rotation of the cell is bounded by the dipping jet of the weir and is located between the bottom and the side walls of the weir and the channel.

figure 17
Fig. 17

Figure 18 shows the average depth velocity bar graph for each weir at different bed slopes and with and without orifice plates. As the distance between weirs increases, all models’ average depth velocity increases. As the slope of the bottom increases and an orifice plate is present, the average depth velocity in the pool increases. In addition, the average pool depth velocity increases as the discharge increases. Among the models, Model A’s average depth velocity is higher than Model B’s. The variation in velocity ranged from 8.11 to 12.24% for the models without an orifice plate and from 10.26 to 16.87% for the models with an orifice plate.

figure 18
Fig. 18

3.4 Turbulence Characteristics

The turbulent kinetic energy is one of the important parameters reflecting the turbulent properties of the flow field [23]. When the k value is high, more energy and a longer transit time are required to migrate the target species. The turbulent kinetic energy is defined as follows:

�=12(�x′2+�y′2+�z′2)

(15)

where uxuy, and uz are fluctuating velocities in the xy, and z directions, respectively. An illustration of the TKE and the effects of the geometric arrangement of the weir and the presence of an opening in the weir is shown in Fig. 19. For a given bed slope, in Model A, the highest TKE values are uniformly distributed in the weir’s upstream portion in the channel’s cross section. In contrast, for the rectangular labyrinth weir (Model B), the highest TKE values are concentrated on the sides of the pool between the crest of the weir and the channel wall. The highest TKE value in Models A and B is 0.224 and 0.278 J/kg, respectively, at the highest bottom slope (S0 = 10%). In the downstream portion of the conventional weir and within the crest of the weir and the walls of the rectangular labyrinth, there was a much lower TKE value that provided the best conditions for fish to recover in the pool between the weirs. The average of the lowest TKE for bottom slopes of 5 and 10% in Model A is 0.041 and 0.056 J/kg, and for Model B, is 0.047 and 0.064 J/kg. The presence of an opening in the weirs reduces the area of the highest TKE within the pool. It also increases the resting areas for fish (lower TKE). The highest TKE at the highest bottom slope in Models A and B with an orifice is 0.208 and 0.191 J/kg, respectively.

figure 19
Fig. 19

Figure 20 shows the effect of slope on the longitudinal distribution of TKE in the pools. TKE values significantly increase for a given discharge with an increasing bottom slope. Thus, for a low bed slope (S0 = 5%), a large pool area has expanded with average values of 0.131 and 0.168 J/kg for low and high discharge, respectively. For a bed slope of S0 = 10%, the average TKE values are 0.176 and 0.234 J/kg. Furthermore, as the discharge increases, the area with high TKE values within the pool increases. Lower TKE values are observed at the apex of the labyrinth weir, at the corner of the wall downstream of the weir, and between the side walls of the weir and the channel wall for both bottom slopes. The effect of distance between weirs on TKE is shown in Fig. 21. Low TKE values were observed at low discharge and short distances between weirs. Low TKE values are located at the top of the rectangular labyrinth weir and the downstream corner of the weir wall. There is a maximum value of TKE at the large distances between weirs, L/B = 1.83, along the center line of the pool, where the dip jet meets the bottom of the bed. At high discharge, the maximum TKE value for the distance L/B = 0.61, 1.22, and 1.83 was 0.246, 0.322, and 0.417 J/kg, respectively. In addition, the maximum TKE range increases with the distance between weirs.

figure 20
Fig. 20
figure 21
Fig. 21

For TKE size, the average value (TKEave) is plotted against q in Fig. 22. For all models, the TKE values increase with increasing q. For example, in models A and B with L/B = 0.61 and a slope of 10%, the TKE value increases by 41.66 and 86.95%, respectively, as q increases from 0.1 to 0.27 m2/s. The TKE values in Model B are higher than Model A for a given discharge, bed slope, and weir distance. The TKEave in Model B is higher compared to Model A, ranging from 31.46 to 57.94%. The presence of an orifice in the weir reduces the TKE values in both weirs. The intensity of the reduction is greater in Model B. For example, in Models A and B with L/B = 0.61 and q = 0.1 m2/s, an orifice reduces TKEave values by 60.35 and 19.04%, respectively. For each model, increasing the bed slope increases the TKEave values in the pool. For example, for Model B with q = 0.18 m2/s, increasing the bed slope from 5 to 10% increases the TKEave value by 14.34%. Increasing the distance between weirs increases the TKEave values in the pool. For example, in Model B with S0 = 10% and q = 0.3 m2/s, the TKEave in the pool increases by 34.22% if you increase the distance between weirs from L/B = 0.61 to L/B = 0.183.

figure 22
Fig. 22

Cotel et al. [24] suggested that turbulence intensity (TI) is a suitable parameter for studying fish swimming performance. Figure 23 shows the plot of TI and the effects of the geometric arrangement of the weir and the presence of an orifice. In Model A, the highest TI values are found upstream of the weirs and are evenly distributed across the cross section of the channel. The TI values increase as you move upstream to downstream in the pool. For the rectangular labyrinth weir, the highest TI values were concentrated on the sides of the pool, between the top of the weir and the side wall of the channel, and along the top of the weir. Downstream of the conventional weir, within the apex of the weir, and at the corners of the walls of the rectangular labyrinth weir, the percentage of TI was low. At the highest discharge, the average range of TI in Models A and B was 24–45% and 15–62%, respectively. The diversity of TI is greater in the rectangular labyrinth weir than the conventional weir. Fish swimming performance is reduced due to higher turbulence intensity. However, fish species may prefer different disturbance intensities depending on their swimming abilities; for example, Salmo trutta prefers a disturbance intensity of 18–53% [25]. Kupferschmidt and Zhu [26] found a higher range of TI for fishways, such as natural rock weirs, of 40–60%. The presence of an orifice in the weir increases TI values within the pool, especially along the middle portion of the cross section of the fishway. With an orifice in the weir, the average range of TI in Models A and B was 28–59% and 22–73%, respectively.

figure 23
Fig. 23

The effect of bed slope on TI variation is shown in Fig. 24. TI increases in different pool areas as the bed slope increases for a given discharge. For a low bed slope (S0 = 5%), a large pool area has increased from 38 to 63% and from 56 to 71% for low and high discharge, respectively. For a bed slope of S0 = 10%, the average values of TI are 45–67% and 61–73% for low and high discharge, respectively. Therefore, as runoff increases, the area with high TI values within the pool increases. A lower TI is observed for both bottom slopes in the corner of the wall, downstream of the crest walls, and between the side walls in the weir and channel. Figure 25 compares weir spacing with the distribution of TI values within the pool. The TI values are low at low flows and short distances between weirs. A maximum value of TI occurs at long spacing and where the plunging stream impinges on the bed and the area around the bed. TI ranges from 36 to 57%, 58–72%, and 47–76% for the highest flow in a wide pool area for L/B = 0.61, 1.22, and 1.83, respectively.

figure 24
Fig. 24
figure 25
Fig. 25

The average value of turbulence intensity (TIave) is plotted against q in Fig. 26. The increase in TI values with the increase in q values is seen in all models. For example, the average values of TI for Models A and B at L/B = 0.61 and slope of 10% increased from 23.9 to 33.5% and from 42 to 51.8%, respectively, with the increase in q from 0.1 to 0.27 m2/s. For a given discharge, a given gradient, and a given spacing of weirs, the TIave is higher in Model B than Model A. The presence of an orifice in the weirs increases the TI values in both types. For example, in Models A and B with L/B = 0.61 and q = 0.1 m2/s, the presence of an orifice increases TIave from 23.9 to 37.1% and from 42 to 48.8%, respectively. For each model, TIave in the pool increases with increasing bed slope. For Model B with q = 0.18 m2/s, TIave increases from 37.5 to 45.8% when you increase the invert slope from 5 to 10%. Increasing the distance between weirs increases the TIave in the pool. In Model B with S0 = 10% and q = 0.3 m2/s, the TIave in the pool increases from 51.8 to 63.7% as the distance between weirs increases from L/B = 0.61 to L/B = 0.183.

figure 26
Fig. 26

3.5 Energy Dissipation

To facilitate the passage of various target species through the pool of fishways, it is necessary to pay attention to the energy dissipation of the flow and to keep the flow velocity in the pool slow. The average volumetric energy dissipation (k) in the pool is calculated using the following basic formula:

�=����0��

(16)

where ρ is the water density, and H is the average water depth of the pool. The change in k versus Q for all models at two bottom slopes, S0 = 5%, and S0 = 10%, is shown in Fig. 27. Like the results of Yagci [8] and Kupferschmidt and Zhu [26], at a constant bottom slope, the energy dissipation in the pool increases with increasing discharge. The trend of change in k as a function of Q from the present study at a bottom gradient of S0 = 5% is also consistent with the results of Kupferschmidt and Zhu [26] for the fishway with rock weir. The only difference between the results is the geometry of the fishway and the combination of boulders instead of a solid wall. Comparison of the models shows that the conventional model has lower energy dissipation than the rectangular labyrinth for a given discharge. Also, increasing the distance between weirs decreases the volumetric energy dissipation for each model with the same bed slope. Increasing the slope of the bottom leads to an increase in volumetric energy dissipation, and an opening in the weir leads to a decrease in volumetric energy dissipation for both models. Therefore, as a guideline for volumetric energy dissipation, if the value within the pool is too high, the increased distance of the weir, the decreased slope of the bed, or the creation of an opening in the weir would decrease the volumetric dissipation rate.

figure 27
Fig. 27

To evaluate the energy dissipation inside the pool, the general method of energy difference in two sections can use:

ε=�1−�2�1

(17)

where ε is the energy dissipation rate, and E1 and E2 are the specific energies in Sects. 1 and 2, respectively. The distance between Sects. 1 and 2 is the same. (L is the distance between two upstream and downstream weirs.) Figure 28 shows the changes in ε relative to q (flow per unit width). The rectangular labyrinth weir (Model B) has a higher energy dissipation rate than the conventional weir (Model A) at a constant bottom gradient. For example, at S0 = 5%, L/B = 0.61, and q = 0.08 m3/s.m, the energy dissipation rate in Model A (conventional weir) was 0.261. In Model B (rectangular labyrinth weir), however, it was 0.338 (22.75% increase). For each model, the energy dissipation rate within the pool increases as the slope of the bottom increases. For Model B with L/B = 1.83 and q = 0.178 m3/s.m, the energy dissipation rate at S0 = 5% and 10% is 0.305 and 0.358, respectively (14.8% increase). Figure 29 shows an orifice’s effect on the pools’ energy dissipation rate. With an orifice in the weir, both models’ energy dissipation rates decreased. Thus, the reduction in energy dissipation rate varied from 7.32 to 9.48% for Model A and from 8.46 to 10.57 for Model B.

figure 28
Fig. 28
figure 29
Fig. 29

4 Discussion

This study consisted of entirely of numerical analysis. Although this study was limited to two weirs, the hydraulic performance and flow characteristics in a pooled fishway are highlighted by the rectangular labyrinth weir and its comparison with the conventional straight weir. The study compared the numerical simulations with laboratory experiments in terms of surface profiles, velocity vectors, and flow characteristics in a fish ladder pool. The results indicate agreement between the numerical and laboratory data, supporting the reliability of the numerical model in capturing the observed phenomena.

When the configuration of the weir changes to a rectangular labyrinth weir, the flow characteristics, the maximum and minimum area, and even the location of each hydraulic parameter change compared to a conventional weir. In the rectangular labyrinth weir, the flow is gradually directed to the sides as it passes the weir. This increases the velocity at the sides of the channel [21]. Therefore, the high-velocity area is located on the sides. In the downstream apex of the weir, the flow velocity is low, and this area may be suitable for swimming target fish. However, no significant change in velocity was observed at the conventional weir within the fish ladder. This resulted in an average increase in TKE of 32% and an average increase in TI of about 17% compared to conventional weirs.

In addition, there is a slight difference in the flow regime for both weir configurations. In addition, the rectangular labyrinth weir has a higher energy dissipation rate for a given discharge and constant bottom slope than the conventional weir. By reducing the distance between the weirs, this becomes even more intense. Finally, the presence of an orifice in both configurations of the weir increased the flow velocity at the orifice and in the middle of the pool, reducing the highest TKE value and increasing the values of TI within the pool of the fish ladder. This resulted in a reduction in volumetric energy dissipation for both weir configurations.

The results of this study will help the reader understand the direct effects of the governing geometric parameters on the hydraulic characteristics of a fishway with a pool and weir. However, due to the limited configurations of the study, further investigation is needed to evaluate the position of the weir’s crest on the flow direction and the difference in flow characteristics when combining boulders instead of a solid wall for this type of labyrinth weir [26]. In addition, hydraulic engineers and biologists must work together to design an effective fishway with rectangular labyrinth configurations. The migration habits of the target species should be considered when designing the most appropriate design [27]. Parametric studies and field observations are recommended to determine the perfect design criteria.

The current study focused on comparing a rectangular labyrinth weir with a conventional straight weir. Further research can explore other weir configurations, such as variations in crest position, different shapes of labyrinth weirs, or the use of boulders instead of solid walls. This would help understand the influence of different geometric parameters on hydraulic characteristics.

5 Conclusions

A new layout of the weir was evaluated, namely a rectangular labyrinth weir compared to a straight weir in a pool and weir system. The differences between the weirs were highlighted, particularly how variations in the geometry of the structures, such as the shape of the weir, the spacing of the weir, the presence of an opening at the weir, and the slope of the bottom, affect the hydraulics within the structures. The main findings of this study are as follows:

  • The calculated dimensionless discharge (Qt*) confirmed three different flow regimes: when the corresponding range of Qt* is smaller than 0.6, the regime of plunging flow occurs for values of L/B = 1.83. (L: distance of the weir; B: channel width). When the corresponding range of Qt* is greater than 0.5, transitional flow occurs at L/B = 1.22. On the other hand, if Qt* is greater than 1, the streaming flow is at values of L/B = 0.61.
  • For the conventional weir and the rectangular labyrinth weir with the plunging flow, it can be assumed that the discharge (Q) is proportional to 1.56 and 1.47h, respectively (h: water depth above the weir). This information is useful for estimating the discharge based on water depth in practical applications.
  • In the rectangular labyrinth weir, the high-velocity zone is located on the side walls between the top of the weir and the channel wall. A high-velocity variation within short distances of the weir. Low velocity occurs within the downstream apex of the weir. This area may be suitable for swimming target fish.
  • As the distance between weirs increased, the zone of maximum velocity increased. However, the zone of low speed decreased. The prevailing maximum velocity for a rectangular labyrinth weir at L/B = 0.61, 1.22, and 1.83 was 1.46, 1.65, and 1.84 m/s, respectively. The low mean velocities for these distances were 0.27, 0.44, and 0.72 m/s, respectively. This finding highlights the importance of weir spacing in determining the flow characteristics within the fishway.
  • The presence of an orifice in the weir increased the flow velocity at the orifice and in the middle of the pool, especially in a conventional weir. The increase ranged from 7.7 to 12.48%.
  • For a given bottom slope, in a conventional weir, the highest values of turbulent kinetic energy (TKE) are uniformly distributed in the upstream part of the weir in the cross section of the channel. In contrast, for the rectangular labyrinth weir, the highest TKE values were concentrated on the sides of the pool between the crest of the weir and the channel wall. The highest TKE value for the conventional and the rectangular labyrinth weir was 0.224 and 0.278 J/kg, respectively, at the highest bottom slope (S0 = 10%).
  • For a given discharge, bottom slope, and weir spacing, the average values of TI are higher for the rectangular labyrinth weir than for the conventional weir. At the highest discharge, the average range of turbulence intensity (TI) for the conventional and rectangular labyrinth weirs was between 24 and 45% and 15% and 62%, respectively. This reveals that the rectangular labyrinth weir may generate more turbulent flow conditions within the fishway.
  • For a given discharge and constant bottom slope, the rectangular labyrinth weir has a higher energy dissipation rate than the conventional weir (22.75 and 34.86%).
  • Increasing the distance between weirs decreased volumetric energy dissipation. However, increasing the gradient increased volumetric energy dissipation. The presence of an opening in the weir resulted in a decrease in volumetric energy dissipation for both model types.

Availability of data and materials

Data is contained within the article.

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비선형 파력의 영향에 따른 잔해 언덕 방파제 형상의 효과에 대한 수치 분석

비선형 파력의 영향에 따른 잔해 언덕 방파제 형상의 효과에 대한 수치 분석

Numerical Analysis of the Effects of Rubble Mound Breakwater Geometry Under the Effect of Nonlinear Wave Force

Arabian Journal for Science and EngineeringAims and scopeSubmit manuscript

Cite this article

Abstract

Assessing the interaction of waves and porous offshore structures such as rubble mound breakwaters plays a critical role in designing such structures optimally. This study focused on the effect of the geometric parameters of a sloped rubble mound breakwater, including the shape of the armour, method of its arrangement, and the breakwater slope. Thus, three main design criteria, including the wave reflection coefficient (Kr), transmission coefficient (Kt), and depreciation wave energy coefficient (Kd), are discussed. Based on the results, a decrease in wavelength reduced the Kr and increased the Kt and Kd. The rubble mound breakwater with the Coreloc armour layer could exhibit the lowest Kr compared to other armour geometries. In addition, a decrease in the breakwater slope reduced the Kr and Kd by 3.4 and 1.25%, respectively. In addition, a decrease in the breakwater slope from 33 to 25° increased the wave breaking height by 6.1% on average. Further, a decrease in the breakwater slope reduced the intensity of turbulence depreciation. Finally, the armour geometry and arrangement of armour layers on the breakwater with its different slopes affect the wave behaviour and interaction between the wave and breakwater. Thus, layering on the breakwater and the correct use of the geometric shapes of the armour should be considered when designing such structures.

파도와 잔해 더미 방파제와 같은 다공성 해양 구조물의 상호 작용을 평가하는 것은 이러한 구조물을 최적으로 설계하는 데 중요한 역할을 합니다. 본 연구는 경사진 잔해 둔덕 방파제의 기하학적 매개변수의 효과에 초점을 맞추었는데, 여기에는 갑옷의 형태, 배치 방법, 방파제 경사 등이 포함된다. 따라서 파동 반사 계수(Kr), 투과 계수(Kt) 및 감가상각파 에너지 계수(Kd)에 대해 논의합니다. 결과에 따르면 파장이 감소하면 K가 감소합니다.r그리고 K를 증가시켰습니다t 및 Kd. Coreloc 장갑 층이 있는 잔해 언덕 방파제는 가장 낮은 K를 나타낼 수 있습니다.r 다른 갑옷 형상과 비교했습니다. 또한 방파제 경사가 감소하여 K가 감소했습니다.r 및 Kd 각각 3.4%, 1.25% 증가했다. 또한 방파제 경사가 33°에서 25°로 감소하여 파도 파쇄 높이가 평균 6.1% 증가했습니다. 또한, 방파제 경사의 감소는 난류 감가상각의 강도를 감소시켰다. 마지막으로, 경사가 다른 방파제의 장갑 형상과 장갑 층의 배열은 파도 거동과 파도와 방파제 사이의 상호 작용에 영향을 미칩니다. 따라서 이러한 구조를 설계 할 때 방파제에 층을 쌓고 갑옷의 기하학적 모양을 올바르게 사용하는 것을 고려해야합니다.

Keywords

  • Rubble mound breakwater
  • Computational fluid dynamics
  • Armour layer
  • Wave reflection coefficient
  • Wave transmission coefficient
  • Wave energy dissipation coefficient

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Open Channels Flow에서의 콘크리트 캔버스 거동 연구

Study of Concrete Canvas Behavior in Open Channels Flow

Document Type : Research Paper

Authors

1 Imam Hosein Uni

2 Researcher of Imam Hossein University, Faculty of Engineering and Passive Defense

3 Ivanki University, Iran.

 10.22124/JCR.2023.24324.1618

Abstract

개방 수로의 심한 수력 구배는 침전으로 인한 심각한 침식과 문제를 일으킵니다. 패브릭 콘크리트는 기존의 콘크리트 표면을 대체할 수 있는 높은 실행 속도를 가진 독특한 제품입니다. 이 제품의 기계적 저항 매개변수에 따르면 부식 요인에 대한 우수한 내구성 외에도 직물 콘크리트의 응용 분야 중 하나는 운하 및 수로 암거 표면에 사용하는 것입니다. 이 연구에서는 먼저 사다리꼴 단면의 개방 채널 흐름을 직선 경로 상태의 3가지 공통 채널 형상, 굴곡 및 편차가 있는 경로, 마지막으로 채널 하단의 높이가 변경된 채널 경로를 포함하는 9가지 시나리오에서 시뮬레이션합니다. 각 주에서 flow-3d 소프트웨어를 사용한 흐름 난류 모델링과 함께 3개의 서로 다른 흐름 체제가 조사되었습니다.

FLOW-3D 소프트웨어를 사용한 유동 난류 모델링과 함께 다양한 유동 체제가 조사되었습니다. ABAQUS 소프트웨어를 사용하여 패브릭 콘크리트 구성요소와 연결 영역을 모델링하고, 콘크리트 표면과 취약한 연결 영역에 동일한 힘을 가하여 생성된 응력의 양을 확인했습니다. 결과는 생성된 응력이 직물 콘크리트의 인장 및 압축 응력 용량에 비해 매우 낮다는 것을 보여줍니다. 흐름과 콘크리트의 수력 연구를 검증하기 위해 관련 실험실 결과가 사용되었습니다.

Severe hydraulic gradients in open channels cause severe bed erosion and problems caused by sedimentation. Fabric concrete is a unique product with high execution speed that can replace traditional concrete surfaces. According to the mechanical resistance parameters of this product, in addition to its good durability against corrosive factors, one of the applications of fabric concrete is its use on the surface of canals and water course culverts. In this research, first, the flow of open channels in trapezoidal section is simulated under 9 scenarios, which include 3 common channel geometries in the state of a straight path, a path with bends and deviations, and finally, a channel path with a change in height at the bottom of the channel. In each of the states, 3 different flow regimes have been investigated along with flow turbulence modeling using flow-3d software.

Different flow regimes have been investigated along with flow turbulence modeling using flow-3d software. Using ABAQUS software, fabric concrete components and their connection areas have been modeled, and by applying forces equated to the concrete surface and vulnerable connection areas, the amount of created stresses has been checked. The results show that the created stresses are very low compared to the tensile and compressive stress capacity of fabric concrete. In order to validate the hydraulic studies of flow and concrete, the relevant laboratory results have been used.

Keywords

Main Subjects

Figure 4. Rectangular stepped spillway with (a) three baffle arrangement (b) five baffle arrangement

Prediction of Energy Dissipation over Stepped Spillwaywith Baffles Using Machine Learning Techniques

Saurabh Pujari*
, Vijay Kaushik, S. Anbu Kumar
Department of Civil Engineering, Delhi Technological University, India
Received February 23, 2023; Revised April 25, 2023; Accepted June 11, 2023
Cite This Paper in the Following Citation Styles
(a): [1] Saurabh Pujari, Vijay Kaushik, S. Anbu Kumar , “Prediction of Energy Dissipation over Stepped Spillway with
Baffles Using Machine Learning Techniques,” Civil Engineering and Architecture, Vol. 11, No. 5, pp. 2377 – 2391, 2023.
DOI: 10.13189/cea.2023.110510.
(b): Saurabh Pujari, Vijay Kaushik, S. Anbu Kumar (2023). Prediction of Energy Dissipation over Stepped Spillway with
Baffles Using Machine Learning Techniques. Civil Engineering and Architecture, 11(5), 2377 – 2391. DOI:
10.13189/cea.2023.110510.
Copyright©2023 by authors, all rights reserved. Authors agree that this article remains permanently open access under
the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0 International License

Abstract

In river engineering, the stepped spillway of a dam is an important component that may be used in various ways. It is necessary to conduct research dealing with flood control in order to investigate the method, in which energy is lost along the tiered spillways. In the past, several research projects on stepped spillways without baffles have been carried out utilizing a range of research approaches. In the present study, machine learning techniques such as Support Vector Machine (SVM) and Regression Tree (RT) are used to analyze the energy dissipation on rectangular stepped spillways that make use of baffles in a variety of configurations and at a range of channel slopes. The results of many experiments indicate that the amount of energy that is lost increases with the number of baffles that are present in flat channels with slopes and rises. In order to evaluate the efficiency and usefulness of the suggested model, the statistical indices that were developed for the experimental research are used to validate the models that were created for the study. The findings indicate that the suggested SVM model properly predicted the amount of energy that was dissipated when contrasted with RT and the method that had been developed in the past. This study verifies the use of machine learning techniques in this industry, and it is unique in that it anticipates energy dissipation along stepped spillways utilizing baffle designs. In addition, this work validates the use of machine learning methods in this field.

Keywords

Rectangular Stepped Spillways, Baffle Arrangements, Channel Slope, Support Vector Machine (SVM), Regression Tree (RT)

Introduction

To regulate water flows downstream of a dam, a spillway structure is employed, with stepped spillways preventing water from overflowing and causing damage to the dam. These spillways consist of a channel with built-in steps or drops. Flow patterns observed include nappe flow, transition flow, and skimming flow [1]. Numerous scholars have looked at the energy dissipation in stepped spillways [2-4]. Boes and Hager [5] looked at the benefits of stepped spillways, such as their simplicity of construction, less danger of cavitation, and smaller stilling basins at downstream dam toes owing to considerable energy loss along the chute. Hazzab and Chafic [7] conducted an experimental study on energy dissipation in stepped spillways and reported on flow configurations. Additionally, the Manksvill dam spillway was examined using a 1:25 scale physical wooden model [6]. For moderately inclined stepped channels, Stefan and Chanson [8] explored air-water flow measurements. Daniel [9] discussed how the existence of steps and step heights affect stepped spillways’ ability to dissipate energy. A comparison of the smooth invert chute flow with the self aerated stepped spillway. The energy dissipation in stepped spillways was investigated using various methods. Katourany [10] compared experimental findings to conventional USBR outcomes to examine the effects of different baffle widths, spacing between baffle rows, and step heights of baffled aprons. Salmasi et al. [11] assessed the energy dissipation of through-flow and over-flow in gabion stepped spillways, discovering that gabion spillways with pervious surfaces dissipated energy more efficiently than those with concrete walls. Other forms of stepped spillways, such as inclined steps and steps with end sills, were also quantitatively studied for energy dissipation [12]. Saedi and Asareh [13] examined how the number of drop stairs affected energy dissipation in stepped drops and suggested using stepped drops to increase energy dissipation by providing flow path roughness. Al-Husseini [14] found that decreasing the number of steps and downstream slopes led to an increase in flow energy dissipation, and that the use of cascade spillways reduced energy dissipation compared to the original step spillway. MARS and ANN methods were used to estimate energy dissipation in flow across stepped spillways under skimming flow conditions, with both models proving reliable [15]. Frederic et al. [16] evaluated the energy dissipation effectiveness and stability of the Mekin Dam spillway by confirming that flow did not result in transitional flow and by calculating safety factors at various intervals. A numerical model was developed to validate a physical model examining the impact of geometrical parameters on the dissipation rate in flows through stepped spillways [17]. The regulation of the rates of dissipation is studied using a particular kind of fuzzy inference system (FIS). The findings are compared with a predefined numerical database to determine the predicted energy dissipation under various circumstances. The findings show that the suggested FIS may be a useful tool for the operational management of dissipator structures while taking various geometric characteristics into account. Nasralla [18] studied the four phases of the spillway and conducted eighteen runs to enhance energy dissipation through the contraction-stepped spillway. The study considered alternative baffle placements, heights, and widths. The results showed that downstream baffles on the stepped spillway of the stilling basin improve energy dissipation. Using the Flow 3D software, Ikinciogullari [19] quantitatively analyzed the energy dissipation capabilities of trapezoidal stepped spillways using four distinct models and three different discharges. The findings showed that trapezoidal stepped spillways are up to 30% more efficient in dissipating energy than traditional stepped spillways. In previous works, only a few machine learning algorithms were used to forecast energy dissipation across a rectangular stepped spillway without baffles. Therefore, this study used machine learning approaches such as Support Vector Machine (SVM) and Regression Tree (RT) to predict energy dissipation across a rectangular stepped spillway with varied rectangular-shaped baffle configurations at different channel slopes. The study compared these models using statistical analysis to assess their efficiency in predicting energy dissipation over rectangular stepped spillways with baffles. 2. Materials and Methods 2.1. Experimental Setup The experiments were carried out at the Hydraulics laboratory of Delhi Technological University. The tests were performed in a rectangular tilting flume of 8m long, 0.30m wide and 0.40m deep which has a facility to make it horizontal and sloping as well (shown in Figure 1). The flume consists of an inlet section, an outlet section, and a collecting tank at the downstream end which is used to measure the discharge. Figure 2 depicts the model of a rectangular stepped spillway prepared using an acrylic sheet having a width of 0.30m, a height of 0.20m and a base length of 0.40m. A total of four steps were designed with a step height of 0.05m, the step length is 0.10m and rectangular-shaped baffles of length 0.10m and height of 0.05m were arranged in different manner. Figure 3 represents the different baffle arrangements used in the experimental work. At first, the experiment was conducted for no baffle condition. Thereafter the experiment was conducted for the first arrangement of three baffles, in which two baffles were placed at a distance of 0.10m from the toe of the spillway and a distance of 0.10m was maintained between the first two baffles and the third baffle was placed between the first two baffles at a distance of 0.20m from the toe of the spillway (figure 4a). After that, the experiment was conducted for the third arrangement of baffles which consists of five baffles, two more baffles were introduced at a distance of 0.30m from the toe of the spillway and a distance of 0.10m was maintained between them (figure 4b). The baffles used in the experiment were rectangular shaped which had a height of 0.05m and length of 0.10m. The experiments were conducted for five different discharges 2 l/s, 4 l/s, 6 l/s, 8 l/s and 10 l/s. For the purpose of determining the head values both upstream and downstream of the spillway model, a point gauge with a precision of 0.1mm was used. In order to determine the average velocities of the upstream and downstream portions, respectively, a pitot static tube was used in conjunction with a digital manometer.

Figure 1. Rectangular tilting flume
Figure 2. Dimensions of classical stepped spillway
Figure 3. Arrangements of baffles in classical stepped spillway
Figure 4. Rectangular stepped spillway with (a) three baffle arrangement (b) five baffle arrangement
Schematic view of the experimental set-up

Short-time numerical simulation of ultrasonically assisted electrochemical removal of strontium from water

  • September 2023

DOI:10.30955/gnc2023.00436

  • Conference: 18th International Conference on Environmental Science and Technology CEST2023, 30 August to 2 September 2023, Athens, Greece
  • At: Athens, Greece

Authors:

Katarina Licht

  • University of Zagreb Faculty of Civil Engineering
Ivan Halkijevic at University of Zagreb

Ivan Halkijevic

Hana Posavcic at University of Zagreb

Hana Posavcic

Goran Loncar at University of Zagreb

Goran Loncar

Abstract and Figures

3D numerical simulations and measurements on an electrochemical reactor were used to analyze the efficiency of strontium removal from water, with and without simultaneous ultrasound treatment. Ultrasound was generated using 4 ultrasonic transducers with an operating frequency of 25 kHz. The reactor used 8 aluminum electrodes arranged in two blocks. Strontium ions in water are modeled as particles characterized by a charge of 3.2•10-19 C and a diameter of 1.2•10-8 m. The numerical model was created in Flow-3D software using the basic hydrodynamic module, electrostatic module, and general moving objects module. The performance of the studied reactor variants by numerical simulations is defined by the ratio of the number of model strontium particles permanently retained on the electrodes at the end of the simulation period to the initial number of particles in the water. For the laboratory reactor, the effect of strontium removal is defined by the ratio of the homogeneous strontium concentration in the water at the end and at the beginning of the experiments. The results show that the use of ultrasound increases the effect of strontium removal from 10.3% to 11.2% after 180 seconds of water treatment. The results of numerical simulations agree with the results of measurements on a reactor with the same geometrical characteristics.

Keywords:

numerical model, electrochemical reactor, strontium

1. Introduction

Strontium (Sr) is a naturally occurring element found in many sedimentary rocks and some calcite minerals. Significant anthropogenic sources include industrial activities, fertilizers, and nuclear fallout (Scott et al., 2020). Sr concentrations greater than 1.5 mg L-1 in water can cause strontium rickets and other health problems in humans, especially in children (Epa et al., n.d.; Peng et al., 2021; Scott et al., 2020). Elevated Sr concentrations have been reported in drinking water worldwide, with concentrations as high as 52 mg L-1 in groundwater in the northern USA (Luczaj and Masarik, 2015; Peng et al., 2021; Scott et al., 2020). One of the possible remediation technologies for Sr is an electrochemical process (Kamaraj and Vasudevan, 2015). These processes are based on in-situ coagulant formation through the application of electric current to metal electrodes. The process consists of dissolution of the sacrificial anode, formation of hydroxide ions and hydrogen at the cathode, electrolyte reactions at the electrode surface, adsorption of coagulants on colloidal impurities and electrodes, and removal of the resulting flocs by precipitation or flotation (Mollah et al., 2001). One of the main drawbacks of the process is the polarization and passivation of the electrodes, which can be minimized by combining it with ultrasonication (Dong et al., 2016; Ince, 2018; Moradi et al., 2021). Ultrasonic cavitation can result in solute thermolysis and the formation of reactive species such as hydroxyl radicals and hydrogen peroxide (Mohapatra and Kirpalani, 2019). It also increases the mass transfer rates of solutes and enhances the surface properties of solid particles (Fu et al., 2016; Ziylan et al., 2013). The aim of this research is to evaluate the efficiency of the electrochemical (EC) batch reactor with and without the additional use of ultrasound (US), which is intended for the purification of water mainly contaminated with an increased concentration of Sr. The results of the 3D numerical simulations are verified by measurements in the laboratory EC reactor.

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Predicting solid-state phase transformations during metal additive manufacturing: A case study on electron-beam powder bed fusion of Inconel-738

Predicting solid-state phase transformations during metal additive manufacturing: A case study on electron-beam powder bed fusion of Inconel-738

금속 적층 제조 중 고체 상 변형 예측: Inconel-738의 전자빔 분말층 융합에 대한 사례 연구

Nana Kwabena Adomako a, Nima Haghdadi a, James F.L. Dingle bc, Ernst Kozeschnik d, Xiaozhou Liao bc, Simon P. Ringer bc, Sophie Primig a

Abstract

Metal additive manufacturing (AM) has now become the perhaps most desirable technique for producing complex shaped engineering parts. However, to truly take advantage of its capabilities, advanced control of AM microstructures and properties is required, and this is often enabled via modeling. The current work presents a computational modeling approach to studying the solid-state phase transformation kinetics and the microstructural evolution during AM. Our approach combines thermal and thermo-kinetic modelling. A semi-analytical heat transfer model is employed to simulate the thermal history throughout AM builds. Thermal profiles of individual layers are then used as input for the MatCalc thermo-kinetic software. The microstructural evolution (e.g., fractions, morphology, and composition of individual phases) for any region of interest throughout the build is predicted by MatCalc. The simulation is applied to an IN738 part produced by electron beam powder bed fusion to provide insights into how γ′ precipitates evolve during thermal cycling. Our simulations show qualitative agreement with our experimental results in predicting the size distribution of γ′ along the build height, its multimodal size character, as well as the volume fraction of MC carbides. Our findings indicate that our method is suitable for a range of AM processes and alloys, to predict and engineer their microstructures and properties.

Graphical Abstract

ga1

Keywords

Additive manufacturing, Simulation, Thermal cycles, γ′ phase, IN738

1. Introduction

Additive manufacturing (AM) is an advanced manufacturing method that enables engineering parts with intricate shapes to be fabricated with high efficiency and minimal materials waste. AM involves building up 3D components layer-by-layer from feedstocks such as powder [1]. Various alloys, including steel, Ti, Al, and Ni-based superalloys, have been produced using different AM techniques. These techniques include directed energy deposition (DED), electron- and laser powder bed fusion (E-PBF and L-PBF), and have found applications in a variety of industries such as aerospace and power generation [2][3][4]. Despite the growing interest, certain challenges limit broader applications of AM fabricated components in these industries and others. One of such limitations is obtaining a suitable and reproducible microstructure that offers the desired mechanical properties consistently. In fact, the AM as-built microstructure is highly complex and considerably distinctive from its conventionally processed counterparts owing to the complicated thermal cycles arising from the deposition of several layers upon each other [5][6].

Several studies have reported that the solid-state phases and solidification microstructure of AM processed alloys such as CMSX-4, CoCr [7][8], Ti-6Al-4V [9][10][11]IN738 [6]304L stainless steel [12], and IN718 [13][14] exhibit considerable variations along the build direction. For instance, references [9][10] have reported that there is a variation in the distribution of α and β phases along the build direction in Ti-alloys. Similarly, the microstructure of an L-PBF fabricated martensitic steel exhibits variations in the fraction of martensite [15]. Furthermore, some of the present authors and others [6][16][17][18][19][20] have recently reviewed and reported that there is a difference in the morphology and fraction of nanoscale precipitates as a function of build height in Ni-based superalloys. These non-uniformities in the as-built microstructure result in an undesired heterogeneity in mechanical and other important properties such as corrosion and oxidation [19][21][22][23]. To obtain the desired microstructure and properties, additional processing treatments are utilized, but this incurs extra costs and may lead to precipitation of detrimental phases and grain coarsening. Therefore, a through-process understanding of the microstructure evolution under repeated heating and cooling is now needed to further advance 3D printed microstructure and property control.

It is now commonly understood that the microstructure evolution during printing is complex, and most AM studies concentrate on the microstructure and mechanical properties of the final build only. Post-printing studies of microstructure characteristics at room temperature miss crucial information on how they evolve. In-situ measurements and modelling approaches are required to better understand the complex microstructural evolution under repeated heating and cooling. Most in-situ measurements in AM focus on monitoring the microstructural changes, such as phase transformations and melt pool dynamics during fabrication using X-ray scattering and high-speed X-ray imaging [24][25][26][27]. For example, Zhao et al. [25] measured the rate of solidification and described the α/β phase transformation during L-PBF of Ti-6Al-4V in-situ. Also, Wahlmann et al. [21] recently used an L-PBF machine coupled with X-ray scattering to investigate the changes in CMSX-4 phase during successive melting processes. Although these techniques provide significant understanding of the basic principles of AM, they are not widely accessible. This is due to the great cost of the instrument, competitive application process, and complexities in terms of the experimental set-up, data collection, and analysis [26][28].

Computational modeling techniques are promising and more widely accessible tools that enable advanced understanding, prediction, and engineering of microstructures and properties during AM. So far, the majority of computational studies have concentrated on physics based process models for metal AM, with the goal of predicting the temperature profile, heat transfer, powder dynamics, and defect formation (e.g., porosity) [29][30]. In recent times, there have been efforts in modeling of the AM microstructure evolution using approaches such as phase-field [31], Monte Carlo (MC) [32], and cellular automata (CA) [33], coupled with finite element simulations for temperature profiles. However, these techniques are often restricted to simulating the evolution of solidification microstructures (e.g., grain and dendrite structure) and defects (e.g., porosity). For example, Zinovieva et al. [33] predicted the grain structure of L-PBF Ti-6Al-4V using finite difference and cellular automata methods. However, studies on the computational modelling of the solid-state phase transformations, which largely determine the resulting properties, remain limited. This can be attributed to the multi-component and multi-phase nature of most engineering alloys in AM, along with the complex transformation kinetics during thermal cycling. This kind of research involves predictions of the thermal cycle in AM builds, and connecting it to essential thermodynamic and kinetic data as inputs for the model. Based on the information provided, the thermokinetic model predicts the history of solid-state phase microstructure evolution during deposition as output. For example, a multi-phase, multi-component mean-field model has been developed to simulate the intermetallic precipitation kinetics in IN718 [34] and IN625 [35] during AM. Also, Basoalto et al. [36] employed a computational framework to examine the contrasting distributions of process-induced microvoids and precipitates in two Ni-based superalloys, namely IN718 and CM247LC. Furthermore, McNamara et al. [37] established a computational model based on the Johnson-Mehl-Avrami model for non-isothermal conditions to predict solid-state phase transformation kinetics in L-PBF IN718 and DED Ti-6Al-4V. These models successfully predicted the size and volume fraction of individual phases and captured the repeated nucleation and dissolution of precipitates that occur during AM.

In the current study, we propose a modeling approach with appreciably short computational time to investigate the detailed microstructural evolution during metal AM. This may include obtaining more detailed information on the morphologies of phases, such as size distribution, phase fraction, dissolution and nucleation kinetics, as well as chemistry during thermal cycling and final cooling to room temperature. We utilize the combination of the MatCalc thermo-kinetic simulator and a semi-analytical heat conduction model. MatCalc is a software suite for simulation of phase transformations, microstructure evolution and certain mechanical properties in engineering alloys. It has successfully been employed to simulate solid-state phase transformations in Ni-based superalloys [38][39], steels [40], and Al alloys [41] during complex thermo-mechanical processes. MatCalc uses the classical nucleation theory as well as the so-called Svoboda-Fischer-Fratzl-Kozeschnik (SFFK) growth model as the basis for simulating precipitation kinetics [42]. Although MatCalc was originally developed for conventional thermo-mechanical processes, we will show that it is also applicable for AM if the detailed time-temperature profile of the AM build is known. The semi-analytical heat transfer code developed by Stump and Plotkowski [43] is used to simulate these profile throughout the AM build.

1.1. Application to IN738

Inconel-738 (IN738) is a precipitation hardening Ni-based superalloy mainly employed in high-temperature components, e.g. in gas turbines and aero-engines owing to its exceptional mechanical properties at temperatures up to 980 °C, coupled with high resistance to oxidation and corrosion [44]. Its superior high-temperature strength (∼1090 MPa tensile strength) is provided by the L12 ordered Ni3(Al,Ti) γ′ phase that precipitates in a face-centered cubic (FCC) γ matrix [45][46]. Despite offering great properties, IN738, like most superalloys with high γ′ fractions, is challenging to process owing to its propensity to hot cracking [47][48]. Further, machining of such alloys is challenging because of their high strength and work-hardening rates. It is therefore difficult to fabricate complex INC738 parts using traditional manufacturing techniques like casting, welding, and forging.

The emergence of AM has now made it possible to fabricate such parts from IN738 and other superalloys. Some of the current authors’ recent research successfully applied E-PBF to fabricate defect-free IN738 containing γ′ throughout the build [16][17]. The precipitated γ′ were heterogeneously distributed. In particular, Haghdadi et al. [16] studied the origin of the multimodal size distribution of γ′, while Lim et al. [17] investigated the gradient in γ′ character with build height and its correlation to mechanical properties. Based on these results, the present study aims to extend the understanding of the complex and site-specific microstructural evolution in E-PBF IN738 by using a computational modelling approach. New experimental evidence (e.g., micrographs not published previously) is presented here to support the computational results.

2. Materials and Methods

2.1. Materials preparation

IN738 Ni-based superalloy (59.61Ni-8.48Co-7.00Al-17.47Cr-3.96Ti-1.01Mo-0.81W-0.56Ta-0.49Nb-0.47C-0.09Zr-0.05B, at%) gas-atomized powder was used as feedstock. The powders, with average size of 60 ± 7 µm, were manufactured by Praxair and distributed by Astro Alloys Inc. An Arcam Q10 machine by GE Additive with an acceleration voltage of 60 kV was used to fabricate a 15 × 15 × 25 mm3 block (XYZ, Z: build direction) on a 316 stainless steel substrate. The block was 3D-printed using a ‘random’ spot melt pattern. The random spot melt pattern involves randomly selecting points in any given layer, with an equal chance of each point being melted. Each spot melt experienced a dwell time of 0.3 ms, and the layer thickness was 50 µm. Some of the current authors have previously characterized the microstructure of the very same and similar builds in more detail [16][17]. A preheat temperature of ∼1000 °C was set and kept during printing to reduce temperature gradients and, in turn, thermal stresses [49][50][51]. Following printing, the build was separated from the substrate through electrical discharge machining. It should be noted that this sample was simultaneously printed with the one used in [17] during the same build process and on the same build plate, under identical conditions.

2.2. Microstructural characterization

The printed sample was longitudinally cut in the direction of the build using a Struers Accutom-50, ground, and then polished to 0.25 µm suspension via standard techniques. The polished x-z surface was electropolished and etched using Struers A2 solution (perchloric acid in ethanol). Specimens for image analysis were polished using a 0.06 µm colloidal silica. Microstructure analyses were carried out across the height of the build using optical microscopy (OM) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) with focus on the microstructure evolution (γ′ precipitates) in individual layers. The position of each layer being analyzed was determined by multiplying the layer number by the layer thickness (50 µm). It should be noted that the position of the first layer starts where the thermal profile is tracked (in this case, 2 mm from the bottom). SEM images were acquired using a JEOL 7001 field emission microscope. The brightness and contrast settings, acceleration voltage of 15 kV, working distance of 10 mm, and other SEM imaging parameters were all held constant for analysis of the entire build. The ImageJ software was used for automated image analysis to determine the phase fraction and size of γ′ precipitates and carbides. A 2-pixel radius Gaussian blur, following a greyscale thresholding and watershed segmentation was used [52]. Primary γ′ sizes (>50 nm), were measured using equivalent spherical diameters. The phase fractions were considered equal to the measured area fraction. Secondary γ′ particles (<50 nm) were not considered here. The γ′ size in the following refers to the diameter of a precipitate.

2.3. Hardness testing

A Struers DuraScan tester was utilized for Vickers hardness mapping on a polished x-z surface, from top to bottom under a maximum load of 100 mN and 10 s dwell time. 30 micro-indentations were performed per row. According to the ASTM standard [53], the indentations were sufficiently distant (∼500 µm) to assure that strain-hardened areas did not interfere with one another.

2.4. Computational simulation of E-PBF IN738 build

2.4.1. Thermal profile modeling

The thermal history was generated using the semi-analytical heat transfer code (also known as the 3DThesis code) developed by Stump and Plotkowski [43]. This code is an open-source C++ program which provides a way to quickly simulate the conductive heat transfer found in welding and AM. The key use case for the code is the simulation of larger domains than is practicable with Computational Fluid Dynamics/Finite Element Analysis programs like FLOW-3D AM. Although simulating conductive heat transfer will not be an appropriate simplification for some investigations (for example the modelling of keyholding or pore formation), the 3DThesis code does provide fast estimates of temperature, thermal gradient, and solidification rate which can be useful for elucidating microstructure formation across entire layers of an AM build. The mathematics involved in the code is as follows:

In transient thermal conduction during welding and AM, with uniform and constant thermophysical properties and without considering fluid convection and latent heat effects, energy conservation can be expressed as:(1)��∂�∂�=�∇2�+�̇where � is density, � specific heat, � temperature, � time, � thermal conductivity, and �̇ a volumetric heat source. By assuming a semi-infinite domain, Eq. 1 can be analytically solved. The solution for temperature at a given time (t) using a volumetric Gaussian heat source is presented as:(2)��,�,�,�−�0=33�����32∫0�1������exp−3�′�′2��+�′�′2��+�′�′2����′(3)and��=12��−�′+��2for�=�,�,�(4)and�′�′=�−���′Where � is the vector �,�,� and �� is the location of the heat source.

The numerical integration scheme used is an adaptive Gaussian quadrature method based on the following nondimensionalization:(5)�=��xy2�,�′=��xy2�′,�=��xy,�=��xy,�=��xy,�=���xy

A more detailed explanation of the mathematics can be found in reference [43].

The main source of the thermal cycling present within a powder-bed fusion process is the fusion of subsequent layers. Therefore, regions near the top of a build are expected to undergo fewer thermal cycles than those closer to the bottom. For this purpose, data from the single scan’s thermal influence on multiple layers was spliced to represent the thermal cycles experienced at a single location caused by multiple subsequent layers being fused.

The cross-sectional area simulated by this model was kept constant at 1 × 1 mm2, and the depth was dependent on the build location modelled with MatCalc. For a build location 2 mm from the bottom, the maximum number of layers to simulate is 460. Fig. 1a shows a stitched overview OM image of the entire build indicating the region where this thermal cycle is simulated and tracked. To increase similarity with the conditions of the physical build, each thermal history was constructed from the results of two simulations generated with different versions of a random scan path. The parameters used for these thermal simulations can be found in Table 1. It should be noted that the main purpose of the thermal profile modelling was to demonstrate how the conditions at different locations of the build change relative to each other. Accurately predicting the absolute temperature during the build would require validation via a temperature sensor measurement during the build process which is beyond the scope of the study. Nonetheless, to establish the viability of the heat source as a suitable approximation for this study, an additional sensitivity analysis was conducted. This analysis focused on the influence of energy input on γ′ precipitation behavior, the central aim of this paper. This was achieved by employing varying beam absorption energies (0.76, 0.82 – the values utilized in the simulation, and 0.9). The direct impact of beam absorption efficiency on energy input into the material was investigated. Specifically, the initial 20 layers of the build were simulated and subsequently compared to experimental data derived from SEM. While phase fractions were found to be consistent across all conditions, disparities emerged in the mean size of γ′ precipitates. An absorption efficiency of 0.76 yielded a mean size of approximately 70 nm. Conversely, absorption efficiencies of 0.82 and 0.9 exhibited remarkably similar mean sizes of around 130 nm, aligning closely with the outcomes of the experiments.

Fig. 1

Table 1. A list of parameters used in thermal simulation of E-PBF.

ParameterValue
Spatial resolution5 µm
Time step0.5 s
Beam diameter200 µm
Beam penetration depth1 µm
Beam power1200 W
Beam absorption efficiency0.82
Thermal conductivity25.37 W/(m⋅K)
Chamber temperature1000 °C
Specific heat711.756 J/(kg⋅K)
Density8110 kg/m3

2.4.2. Thermo-kinetic simulation

The numerical analyses of the evolution of precipitates was performed using MatCalc version 6.04 (rel 0.011). The thermodynamic (‘mc_ni.tdb’, version 2.034) and diffusion (‘mc_ni.ddb’, version 2.007) databases were used. MatCalc’s basic principles are elaborated as follows:

The nucleation kinetics of precipitates are computed using a computational technique based on a classical nucleation theory [54] that has been modified for systems with multiple components [42][55]. Accordingly, the transient nucleation rate (�), which expresses the rate at which nuclei are formed per unit volume and time, is calculated as:(6)�=�0��*∙�xp−�*�∙�∙exp−��where �0 denotes the number of active nucleation sites, �* the rate of atomic attachment, � the Boltzmann constant, � the temperature, �* the critical energy for nucleus formation, τ the incubation time, and t the time. � (Zeldovich factor) takes into consideration that thermal excitation destabilizes the nucleus as opposed to its inactive state [54]. Z is defined as follows:(7)�=−12�kT∂2∆�∂�2�*12where ∆� is the overall change in free energy due to the formation of a nucleus and n is the nucleus’ number of atoms. ∆�’s derivative is evaluated at n* (critical nucleus size). �* accounts for the long-range diffusion of atoms required for nucleation, provided that the matrix’ and precipitates’ composition differ. Svoboda et al. [42] developed an appropriate multi-component equation for �*, which is given by:(8)�*=4��*2�4�∑�=1��ki−�0�2�0��0�−1where �* denotes the critical radius for nucleation, � represents atomic distance, and � is the molar volume. �ki and �0� represent the concentration of elements in the precipitate and matrix, respectively. The parameter �0� denotes the rate of diffusion of the ith element within the matrix. The expression for the incubation time � is expressed as [54]:(9)�=12�*�2

and �*, which represents the critical energy for nucleation:(10)�*=16�3�3∆�vol2where � is the interfacial energy, and ∆Gvol the change in the volume free energy. The critical nucleus’ composition is similar to the γ′ phase’s equilibrium composition at the same temperature. � is computed based on the precipitate and matrix compositions, using a generalized nearest neighbor broken bond model, with the assumption of interfaces being planar, sharp, and coherent [56][57][58].

In Eq. 7, it is worth noting that �* represents the fundamental variable in the nucleation theory. It contains �3/∆�vol2 and is in the exponent of the nucleation rate. Therefore, even small variations in γ and/or ∆�vol can result in notable changes in �, especially if �* is in the order of �∙�. This is demonstrated in [38] for UDIMET 720 Li during continuous cooling, where these quantities change steadily during precipitation due to their dependence on matrix’ and precipitate’s temperature and composition. In the current work, these changes will be even more significant as the system is exposed to multiple cycles of rapid cooling and heating.

Once nucleated, the growth of a precipitate is assessed using the radius and composition evolution equations developed by Svoboda et al. [42] with a mean-field method that employs the thermodynamic extremal principle. The expression for the total Gibbs free energy of a thermodynamic system G, which consists of n components and m precipitates, is given as follows:(11)�=∑���0��0�+∑�=1�4���33��+∑�=1��ki�ki+∑�=1�4���2��.

The chemical potential of component � in the matrix is denoted as �0�(�=1,…,�), while the chemical potential of component � in the precipitate is represented by �ki(�=1,…,�,�=1,…,�). These chemical potentials are defined as functions of the concentrations �ki(�=1,…,�,�=1,…,�). The interface energy density is denoted as �, and �� incorporates the effects of elastic energy and plastic work resulting from the volume change of each precipitate.

Eq. (12) establishes that the total free energy of the system in its current state relies on the independent state variables: the sizes (radii) of the precipitates �� and the concentrations of each component �ki. The remaining variables can be determined by applying the law of mass conservation to each component �. This can be represented by the equation:(12)��=�0�+∑�=1�4���33�ki,

Furthermore, the global mass conservation can be expressed by equation:(13)�=∑�=1���When a thermodynamic system transitions to a more stable state, the energy difference between the initial and final stages is dissipated. This model considers three distinct forms of dissipation effects [42]. These include dissipations caused by the movement of interfaces, diffusion within the precipitate and diffusion within the matrix.

Consequently, �̇� (growth rate) and �̇ki (chemical composition’s rate of change) of the precipitate with index � are derived from the linear system of equation system:(14)�ij��=��where �� symbolizes the rates �̇� and �̇ki [42]. Index i contains variables for precipitate radius, chemical composition, and stoichiometric boundary conditions suggested by the precipitate’s crystal structure. Eq. (10) is computed separately for every precipitate �. For a more detailed description of the formulae for the coefficients �ij and �� employed in this work please refer to [59].

The MatCalc software was used to perform the numerical time integration of �̇� and �̇ki of precipitates based on the classical numerical method by Kampmann and Wagner [60]. Detailed information on this method can be found in [61]. Using this computational method, calculations for E-PBF thermal cycles (cyclic heating and cooling) were computed and compared to experimental data. The simulation took approximately 2–4 hrs to complete on a standard laptop.

3. Results

3.1. Microstructure

Fig. 1 displays a stitched overview image and selected SEM micrographs of various γ′ morphologies and carbides after observations of the X-Z surface of the build from the top to 2 mm above the bottom. Fig. 2 depicts a graph that charts the average size and phase fraction of the primary γ′, as it changes with distance from the top to the bottom of the build. The SEM micrographs show widespread primary γ′ precipitation throughout the entire build, with the size increasing in the top to bottom direction. Particularly, at the topmost height, representing the 460th layer (Z = 22.95 mm), as seen in Fig. 1b, the average size of γ′ is 110 ± 4 nm, exhibiting spherical shapes. This is representative of the microstructure after it solidifies and cools to room temperature, without experiencing additional thermal cycles. The γ′ size slightly increases to 147 ± 6 nm below this layer and remains constant until 0.4 mm (∼453rd layer) from the top. At this position, the microstructure still closely resembles that of the 460th layer. After the 453rd layer, the γ′ size grows rapidly to ∼503 ± 19 nm until reaching the 437th layer (1.2 mm from top). The γ′ particles here have a cuboidal shape, and a small fraction is coarser than 600 nm. γ′ continue to grow steadily from this position to the bottom (23 mm from the top). A small fraction of γ′ is > 800 nm.

Fig. 2

Besides primary γ′, secondary γ′ with sizes ranging from 5 to 50 nm were also found. These secondary γ′ precipitates, as seen in Fig. 1f, were present only in the bottom and middle regions. A detailed analysis of the multimodal size distribution of γ′ can be found in [16]. There is no significant variation in the phase fraction of the γ′ along the build. The phase fraction is ∼ 52%, as displayed in Fig. 2. It is worth mentioning that the total phase fraction of γ′ was estimated based on the primary γ′ phase fraction because of the small size of secondary γ′. Spherical MC carbides with sizes ranging from 50 to 400 nm and a phase fraction of 0.8% were also observed throughout the build. The carbides are the light grey precipitates in Fig. 1g. The light grey shade of carbides in the SEM images is due to their composition and crystal structure [52]. These carbides are not visible in Fig. 1b-e because they were dissolved during electro-etching carried out after electropolishing. In Fig. 1g, however, the sample was examined directly after electropolishing, without electro-etching.

Table 2 shows the nominal and measured composition of γ′ precipitates throughout the build by atom probe microscopy as determined in our previous study [17]. No build height-dependent composition difference was observed in either of the γ′ precipitate populations. However, there was a slight disparity between the composition of primary and secondary γ′. Among the main γ′ forming elements, the primary γ′ has a high Ti concentration while secondary γ′ has a high Al concentration. A detailed description of the atom distribution maps and the proxigrams of the constituent elements of γ′ throughout the build can be found in [17].

Table 2. Bulk IN738 composition determined using inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectroscopy (ICP-AES). Compositions of γ, primary γ′, and secondary γ′ at various locations in the build measured by APT. This information is reproduced from data in Ref. [17] with permission.

at%NiCrCoAlMoWTiNbCBZrTaOthers
Bulk59.1217.478.487.001.010.813.960.490.470.050.090.560.46
γ matrix
Top50.4832.9111.591.941.390.820.440.80.030.030.020.24
Mid50.3732.6111.931.791.540.890.440.10.030.020.020.010.23
Bot48.1034.5712.082.141.430.880.480.080.040.030.010.12
Primary γ′
Top72.172.513.4412.710.250.397.780.560.030.020.050.08
Mid71.602.573.2813.550.420.687.040.730.010.030.040.04
Bot72.342.473.8612.500.260.447.460.500.050.020.020.030.04
Secondary γ′
Mid70.424.203.2314.190.631.035.340.790.030.040.040.05
Bot69.914.063.6814.320.811.045.220.650.050.100.020.11

3.2. Hardness

Fig. 3a shows the Vickers hardness mapping performed along the entire X-Z surface, while Fig. 3b shows the plot of average hardness at different build heights. This hardness distribution is consistent with the γ′ precipitate size gradient across the build direction in Fig. 1Fig. 2. The maximum hardness of ∼530 HV1 is found at ∼0.5 mm away from the top surface (Z = 22.5), where γ′ particles exhibit the smallest observed size in Fig. 2b. Further down the build (∼ 2 mm from the top), the hardness drops to the 440–490 HV1 range. This represents the region where γ′ begins to coarsen. The hardness drops further to 380–430 HV1 at the bottom of the build.

Fig. 3

3.3. Modeling of the microstructural evolution during E-PBF

3.3.1. Thermal profile modeling

Fig. 4 shows the simulated thermal profile of the E-PBF build at a location of 23 mm from the top of the build, using a semi-analytical heat conduction model. This profile consists of the time taken to deposit 460 layers until final cooling, as shown in Fig. 4a. Fig. 4b-d show the magnified regions of Fig. 4a and reveal the first 20 layers from the top, a single layer (first layer from the top), and the time taken for the build to cool after the last layer deposition, respectively.

Fig. 4

The peak temperatures experienced by previous layers decrease progressively as the number of layers increases but never fall below the build preheat temperature (1000 °C). Our simulated thermal cycle may not completely capture the complexity of the actual thermal cycle utilized in the E-PBF build. For instance, the top layer (Fig. 4c), also representing the first deposit’s thermal profile without additional cycles (from powder heating, melting, to solidification), recorded the highest peak temperature of 1390 °C. Although this temperature is above the melting range of the alloy (1230–1360 °C) [62], we believe a much higher temperature was produced by the electron beam to melt the powder. Nevertheless, the solidification temperature and dynamics are outside the scope of this study as our focus is on the solid-state phase transformations during deposition. It takes ∼25 s for each layer to be deposited and cooled to the build temperature. The interlayer dwell time is 125 s. The time taken for the build to cool to room temperature (RT) after final layer deposition is ∼4.7 hrs (17,000 s).

3.3.2. MatCalc simulation

During the MatCalc simulation, the matrix phase is defined as γ. γ′, and MC carbide are included as possible precipitates. The domain of these precipitates is set to be the matrix (γ), and nucleation is assumed to be homogenous. In homogeneous nucleation, all atoms of the unit volume are assumed to be potential nucleation sitesTable 3 shows the computational parameters used in the simulation. All other parameters were set at default values as recommended in the version 6.04.0011 of MatCalc. The values for the interfacial energies are automatically calculated according to the generalized nearest neighbor broken bond model and is one of the most outstanding features in MatCalc [56][57][58]. It should be noted that the elastic misfit strain was not included in the calculation. The output of MatCalc includes phase fraction, size, nucleation rate, and composition of the precipitates. The phase fraction in MatCalc is the volume fraction. Although the experimental phase fraction is the measured area fraction, it is relatively similar to the volume fraction. This is because of the generally larger precipitate size and similar morphology at the various locations along the build [63]. A reliable phase fraction comparison between experiment and simulation can therefore be made.

Table 3. Computational parameters used in the simulation.

Precipitation domainγ
Nucleation site γ′Bulk (homogenous)
Nucleation site MC carbideBulk (Homogenous)
Precipitates class size250
Regular solution critical temperature γ′2500 K[64]
Calculated interfacial energyγ′ = 0.080–0.140 J/m2 and MC carbide = 0.410–0.430 J/m2
3.3.2.1. Precipitate phase fraction

Fig. 5a shows the simulated phase fraction of γ′ and MC carbide during thermal cycling. Fig. 5b is a magnified view of 5a showing the simulated phase fraction at the center points of the top 70 layers, whereas Fig. 5c corresponds to the first two layers from the top. As mentioned earlier, the top layer (460th layer) represents the microstructure after solidification. The microstructure of the layers below is determined by the number of thermal cycles, which increases with distance to the top. For example, layers 459, 458, 457, up to layer 1 (region of interest) experience 1, 2, 3 and 459 thermal cycles, respectively. In the top layer in Fig. 5c, the volume fraction of γ′ and carbides increases with temperature. For γ′, it decreases to zero when the temperature is above the solvus temperature after a few seconds. Carbides, however, remain constant in their volume fraction reaching equilibrium (phase fraction ∼ 0.9%) in a short time. The topmost layer can be compared to the first deposit, and the peak in temperature symbolizes the stage where the electron beam heats the powder until melting. This means γ′ and carbide precipitation might have started in the powder particles during heating from the build temperature and electron beam until the onset of melting, where γ′ dissolves, but carbides remain stable [28].

Fig. 5

During cooling after deposition, γ′ reprecipitates at a temperature of 1085 °C, which is below its solvus temperature. As cooling progresses, the phase fraction increases steadily to ∼27% and remains constant at 1000 °C (elevated build temperature). The calculated equilibrium fraction of phases by MatCalc is used to show the complex precipitation characteristics in this alloy. Fig. 6 shows that MC carbides form during solidification at 1320 °C, followed by γ′, which precipitate when the solidified layer cools to 1140 °C. This indicates that all deposited layers might contain a negligible amount of these precipitates before subsequent layer deposition, while being at the 1000 °C build temperature or during cooling to RT. The phase diagram also shows that the equilibrium fraction of the γ′ increases as temperature decreases. For instance, at 1000, 900, and 800 °C, the phase fractions are ∼30%, 38%, and 42%, respectively.

Fig. 6

Deposition of subsequent layers causes previous layers to undergo phase transformations as they are exposed to several thermal cycles with different peak temperatures. In Fig. 5c, as the subsequent layer is being deposited, γ′ in the previous layer (459th layer) begins to dissolve as the temperature crosses the solvus temperature. This is witnessed by the reduction of the γ′ phase fraction. This graph also shows how this phase dissolves during heating. However, the phase fraction of MC carbide remains stable at high temperatures and no dissolution is seen during thermal cycling. Upon cooling, the γ′ that was dissolved during heating reprecipitates with a surge in the phase fraction until 1000 °C, after which it remains constant. This microstructure is similar to the solidification microstructure (layer 460), with a similar γ′ phase fraction (∼27%).

The complete dissolution and reprecipitation of γ′ continue for several cycles until the 50th layer from the top (layer 411), where the phase fraction does not reach zero during heating to the peak temperature (see Fig. 5d). This indicates the ‘partial’ dissolution of γ′, which continues progressively with additional layers. It should be noted that the peak temperatures for layers that underwent complete dissolution were much higher (1170–1300 °C) than the γ′ solvus.

The dissolution and reprecipitation of γ′ during thermal cycling are further confirmed in Fig. 7, which summarizes the nucleation rate, phase fraction, and concentration of major elements that form γ′ in the matrix. Fig. 7b magnifies a single layer (3rd layer from top) within the full dissolution region in Fig. 7a to help identify the nucleation and growth mechanisms. From Fig. 7b, γ′ nucleation begins during cooling whereby the nucleation rate increases to reach a maximum value of approximately 1 × 1020 m−3s−1. This fast kinetics implies that some rearrangement of atoms is required for γ′ precipitates to form in the matrix [65][66]. The matrix at this stage is in a non-equilibrium condition. Its composition is similar to the nominal composition and remains unchanged. The phase fraction remains insignificant at this stage although nucleation has started. The nucleation rate starts declining upon reaching the peak value. Simultaneously, diffusion-controlled growth of existing nuclei occurs, depleting the matrix of γ′ forming elements (Al and Ti). Thus, from (7)(11), ∆�vol continuously decreases until nucleation ceases. The growth of nuclei is witnessed by the increase in phase fraction until a constant level is reached at 27% upon cooling to and holding at build temperature. This nucleation event is repeated several times.

Fig. 7

At the onset of partial dissolution, the nucleation rate jumps to 1 × 1021 m−3s−1, and then reduces sharply at the middle stage of partial dissolution. The nucleation rate reaches 0 at a later stage. Supplementary Fig. S1 shows a magnified view of the nucleation rate, phase fraction, and thermal profile, underpinning this trend. The jump in nucleation rate at the onset is followed by a progressive reduction in the solute content of the matrix. The peak temperatures (∼1130–1160 °C) are lower than those in complete dissolution regions but still above or close to the γ′ solvus. The maximum phase fraction (∼27%) is similar to that of the complete dissolution regions. At the middle stage, the reduction in nucleation rate is accompanied by a sharp drop in the matrix composition. The γ′ fraction drops to ∼24%, where the peak temperatures of the layers are just below or at γ′ solvus. The phase fraction then increases progressively through the later stage of partial dissolution to ∼30% towards the end of thermal cycling. The matrix solute content continues to drop although no nucleation event is seen. The peak temperatures are then far below the γ′ solvus. It should be noted that the matrix concentration after complete dissolution remains constant. Upon cooling to RT after final layer deposition, the nucleation rate increases again, indicating new nucleation events. The phase fraction reaches ∼40%, with a further depletion of the matrix in major γ′ forming elements.

3.3.2.2. γ′ size distribution

Fig. 8 shows histograms of the γ′ precipitate size distributions (PSD) along the build height during deposition. These PSDs are predicted at the end of each layer of interest just before final cooling to room temperature, to separate the role of thermal cycles from final cooling on the evolution of γ′. The PSD for the top layer (layer 460) is shown in Fig. 8a (last solidified region with solidification microstructure). The γ′ size ranges from 120 to 230 nm and is similar to the 44 layers below (2.2 mm from the top).

Fig. 8

Further down the build, γ′ begins to coarsen after layer 417 (44th layer from top). Fig. 8c shows the PSD after the 44th layer, where the γ′ size exhibits two peaks at ∼120–230 and ∼300 nm, with most of the population being in the former range. This is the onset of partial dissolution where simultaneously with the reprecipitation and growth of fresh γ′, the undissolved γ′ grows rapidly through diffusive transport of atoms to the precipitates. This is shown in Fig. 8c, where the precipitate class sizes between 250 and 350 represent the growth of undissolved γ′. Although this continues in the 416th layer, the phase fractions plot indicates that the onset of partial dissolution begins after the 411th layer. This implies that partial dissolution started early, but the fraction of undissolved γ′ was too low to impact the phase fraction. The reprecipitated γ′ are mostly in the 100–220 nm class range and similar to those observed during full dissolution.

As the number of layers increases, coarsening intensifies with continued growth of more undissolved γ′, and reprecipitation and growth of partially dissolved ones. Fig. 8d, e, and f show this sequence. Further down the build, coarsening progresses rapidly, as shown in Figs. 8d, 8e, and 8f. The γ′ size ranges from 120 to 1100 nm, with the peaks at 160, 180, and 220 nm in Figs. 8d, 8e, and 8f, respectively. Coarsening continues until nucleation ends during dissolution, where only the already formed γ′ precipitates continue to grow during further thermal cycling. The γ′ size at this point is much larger, as observed in layers 361 and 261, and continues to increase steadily towards the bottom (layer 1). Two populations in the ranges of ∼380–700 and ∼750–1100 nm, respectively, can be seen. The steady growth of γ′ towards the bottom is confirmed by the gradual decrease in the concentration of solute elements in the matrix (Fig. 7a). It should be noted that for each layer, the γ′ class with the largest size originates from continuous growth of the earliest set of the undissolved precipitates.

Fig. 9Fig. 10 and supplementary Figs. S2 and S3 show the γ′ size evolution during heating and cooling of a single layer in the full dissolution region, and early, middle stages, and later stages of partial dissolution, respectively. In all, the size of γ′ reduces during layer heating. Depending on the peak temperature of the layer which varies with build height, γ′ are either fully or partially dissolved as mentioned earlier. Upon cooling, the dissolved γ′ reprecipitate.

Fig. 9
Fig. 10

In Fig. 9, those layers that underwent complete dissolution (top layers) were held above γ′ solvus temperature for longer. In Fig. 10, layers at the early stage of partial dissolution spend less time in the γ′ solvus temperature region during heating, leading to incomplete dissolution. In such conditions, smaller precipitates are fully dissolved while larger ones shrink [67]. Layers in the middle stages of partial dissolution have peak temperatures just below or at γ′ solvus, not sufficient to achieve significant γ′ dissolution. As seen in supplementary Fig. S2, only a few smaller γ′ are dissolved back into the matrix during heating, i.e., growth of precipitates is more significant than dissolution. This explains the sharp decrease in concentration of Al and Ti in the matrix in this layer.

The previous sections indicate various phenomena such as an increase in phase fraction, further depletion of matrix composition, and new nucleation bursts during cooling. Analysis of the PSD after the final cooling of the build to room temperature allows a direct comparison to post-printing microstructural characterization. Fig. 11 shows the γ′ size distribution of layer 1 (460th layer from the top) after final cooling to room temperature. Precipitation of secondary γ′ is observed, leading to the multimodal size distribution of secondary and primary γ′. The secondary γ′ size falls within the 10–80 nm range. As expected, a further growth of the existing primary γ′ is also observed during cooling.

Fig. 11
3.3.2.3. γ′ chemistry after deposition

Fig. 12 shows the concentration of the major elements that form γ′ (Al, Ti, and Ni) in the primary and secondary γ′ at the bottom of the build, as calculated by MatCalc. The secondary γ′ has a higher Al content (13.5–14.5 at% Al), compared to 13 at% Al in the primary γ′. Additionally, within the secondary γ′, the smallest particles (∼10 nm) have higher Al contents than larger ones (∼70 nm). In contrast, for the primary γ′, there is no significant variation in the Al content as a function of their size. The Ni concentration in secondary γ′ (71.1–72 at%) is also higher in comparison to the primary γ′ (70 at%). The smallest secondary γ′ (∼10 nm) have higher Ni contents than larger ones (∼70 nm), whereas there is no substantial change in the Ni content of primary γ′, based on their size. As expected, Ti shows an opposite size-dependent variation. It ranges from ∼ 7.7–8.7 at% Ti in secondary γ′ to ∼9.2 at% in primary γ′. Similarly, within the secondary γ′, the smallest (∼10 nm) have lower Al contents than the larger ones (∼70 nm). No significant variation is observed for Ti content in primary γ′.

Fig. 12

4. Discussion

A combined modelling method is utilized to study the microstructural evolution during E-PBF of IN738. The presented results are discussed by examining the precipitation and dissolution mechanism of γ′ during thermal cycling. This is followed by a discussion on the phase fraction and size evolution of γ′ during thermal cycling and after final cooling. A brief discussion on carbide morphology is also made. Finally, a comparison is made between the simulation and experimental results to assess their agreement.

4.1. γ′ morphology as a function of build height

4.1.1. Nucleation of γ′

The fast precipitation kinetics of the γ′ phase enables formation of γ′ upon quenching from higher temperatures (above solvus) during thermal cycling [66]. In Fig. 7b, for a single layer in the full dissolution region, during cooling, the initial increase in nucleation rate signifies the first formation of nuclei. The slight increase in nucleation rate during partial dissolution, despite a decrease in the concentration of γ′ forming elements, may be explained by the nucleation kinetics. During partial dissolution and as the precipitates shrink, it is assumed that the regions at the vicinity of partially dissolved precipitates are enriched in γ′ forming elements [68][69]. This differs from the full dissolution region, in which case the chemical composition is evenly distributed in the matrix. Several authors have attributed the solute supersaturation of the matrix around primary γ′ to partial dissolution during isothermal ageing [69][70][71][72]. The enhanced supersaturation in the regions close to the precipitates results in a much higher driving force for nucleation, leading to a higher nucleation rate upon cooling. This phenomenon can be closely related to the several nucleation bursts upon continuous cooling of Ni-based superalloys, where second nucleation bursts exhibit higher nucleation rates [38][68][73][74].

At middle stages of partial dissolution, the reduction in the nucleation rate indicates that the existing composition and low supersaturation did not trigger nucleation as the matrix was closer to the equilibrium state. The end of a nucleation burst means that the supersaturation of Al and Ti has reached a low level, incapable of providing sufficient driving force during cooling to or holding at 1000 °C for further nucleation [73]. Earlier studies on Ni-based superalloys have reported the same phenomenon during ageing or continuous cooling from the solvus temperature to RT [38][73][74].

4.1.2. Dissolution of γ′ during thermal cycling

γ′ dissolution kinetics during heating are fast when compared to nucleation due to exponential increase in phase transformation and diffusion activities with temperature [65]. As shown in Fig. 9Fig. 10, and supplementary Figs. S2 and S3, the reduction in γ′ phase fraction and size during heating indicates γ′ dissolution. This is also revealed in Fig. 5 where phase fraction decreases upon heating. The extent of γ′ dissolution mostly depends on the temperature, time spent above γ′ solvus, and precipitate size [75][76][77]. Smaller γ′ precipitates are first to be dissolved [67][77][78]. This is mainly because more solute elements need to be transported away from large γ′ precipitates than from smaller ones [79]. Also, a high temperature above γ′ solvus temperature leads to a faster dissolution rate [80]. The equilibrium solvus temperature of γ′ in IN738 in our MatCalc simulation (Fig. 6) and as reported by Ojo et al. [47] is 1140 °C and 1130–1180 °C, respectively. This means the peak temperature experienced by previous layers decreases progressively from γ′ supersolvus to subsolvus, near-solvus, and far from solvus as the number of subsequent layers increases. Based on the above, it can be inferred that the degree of dissolution of γ′ contributes to the gradient in precipitate distribution.

Although the peak temperatures during later stages of partial dissolution are much lower than the equilibrium γ′ solvus, γ′ dissolution still occurs but at a significantly lower rate (supplementary Fig. S3). Wahlmann et al. [28] also reported a similar case where they observed the rapid dissolution of γ′ in CMSX-4 during fast heating and cooling cycles at temperatures below the γ′ solvus. They attributed this to the γ′ phase transformation process taking place in conditions far from the equilibrium. While the same reasoning may be valid for our study, we further believe that the greater surface area to volume ratio of the small γ′ precipitates contributed to this. This ratio means a larger area is available for solute atoms to diffuse into the matrix even at temperatures much below the solvus [81].

4.2. γ′ phase fraction and size evolution

4.2.1. During thermal cycling

In the first layer, the steep increase in γ′ phase fraction during heating (Fig. 5), which also represents γ′ precipitation in the powder before melting, has qualitatively been validated in [28]. The maximum phase fraction of 27% during the first few layers of thermal cycling indicates that IN738 theoretically could reach the equilibrium state (∼30%), but the short interlayer time at the build temperature counteracts this. The drop in phase fraction at middle stages of partial dissolution is due to the low number of γ′ nucleation sites [73]. It has been reported that a reduction of γ′ nucleation sites leads to a delay in obtaining the final volume fraction as more time is required for γ′ precipitates to grow and reach equilibrium [82]. This explains why even upon holding for 150 s before subsequent layer deposition, the phase fraction does not increase to those values that were observed in the previous full γ′ dissolution regions. Towards the end of deposition, the increase in phase fraction to the equilibrium value of 30% is as a result of the longer holding at build temperature or close to it [83].

During thermal cycling, γ′ particles begin to grow immediately after they first precipitate upon cooling. This is reflected in the rapid increase in phase fraction and size during cooling in Fig. 5 and supplementary Fig. S2, respectively. The rapid growth is due to the fast diffusion of solute elements at high temperatures [84]. The similar size of γ′ for the first 44 layers from the top can be attributed to the fact that all layers underwent complete dissolution and hence, experienced the same nucleation event and growth during deposition. This corresponds with the findings by Balikci et al. [85], who reported that the degree of γ′ precipitation in IN738LC does not change when a solution heat treatment is conducted above a certain critical temperature.

The increase in coarsening rate (Fig. 8) during thermal cycling can first be ascribed to the high peak temperature of the layers [86]. The coarsening rate of γ′ is known to increase rapidly with temperature due to the exponential growth of diffusion activity. Also, the simultaneous dissolution with coarsening could be another reason for the high coarsening rate, as γ′ coarsening is a diffusion-driven process where large particles grow by consuming smaller ones [78][84][86][87]. The steady growth of γ′ towards the bottom of the build is due to the much lower layer peak temperature, which is almost close to the build temperature, and reduced dissolution activity, as is seen in the much lower solute concentration in γ′ compared to those in the full and partial dissolution regions.

4.2.2. During cooling

The much higher phase fraction of ∼40% upon cooling signifies the tendency of γ′ to reach equilibrium at lower temperatures (Fig. 4). This is due to the precipitation of secondary γ′ and a further increase in the size of existing primary γ′, which leads to a multimodal size distribution of γ′ after cooling [38][73][88][89][90]. The reason for secondary γ′ formation during cooling is as follows: As cooling progresses, it becomes increasingly challenging to redistribute solute elements in the matrix owing to their lower mobility [38][73]. A higher supersaturation level in regions away from or free of the existing γ′ precipitates is achieved, making them suitable sites for additional nucleation bursts. More cooling leads to the growth of these secondary γ′ precipitates, but as the temperature and in turn, the solute diffusivity is low, growth remains slow.

4.3. Carbides

MC carbides in IN738 are known to have a significant impact on the high-temperature strength. They can also act as effective hardening particles and improve the creep resistance [91]. Precipitation of MC carbides in IN738 and several other superalloys is known to occur during solidification or thermal treatments (e.g., hot isostatic pressing) [92]. In our case, this means that the MC carbides within the E-PBF build formed because of the thermal exposure from the E-PBF thermal cycle in addition to initial solidification. Our simulation confirms this as MC carbides appear during layer heating (Fig. 5). The constant and stable phase fraction of MC carbides during thermal cycling can be attributed to their high melting point (∼1360 °C) and the short holding time at peak temperatures [75][93][94]. The solvus temperature for most MC carbides exceeds most of the peak temperatures observed in our simulation, and carbide dissolution kinetics at temperatures above the solvus are known to be comparably slow [95]. The stable phase fraction and random distribution of MC carbides signifies the slight influence on the gradient in hardness.

4.4. Comparison of simulations and experiments

4.4.1. Precipitate phase fraction and morphology as a function of build height

A qualitative agreement is observed for the phase fraction of carbides, i.e. ∼0.8% in the experiment and ∼0.9% in the simulation. The phase fraction of γ′ differs, with the experiment reporting a value of ∼51% and the simulation, 40%. Despite this, the size distribution of primary γ′ along the build shows remarkable consistency between experimental and computational analyses. It is worth noting that the primary γ′ morphology in the experimental analysis is observed in the as-fabricated state, whereas the simulation (Fig. 8) captures it during deposition process. The primary γ′ size in the experiment is expected to experience additional growth during the cooling phase. Regardless, both show similar trends in primary γ′ size increments from the top to the bottom of the build. The larger primary γ’ size in the simulation versus the experiment can be attributed to the fact that experimental and simulation results are based on 2D and 3D data, respectively. The absence of stereological considerations [96] in our analysis could have led to an underestimation of the precipitate sizes from SEM measurements. The early starts of coarsening (8th layer) in the experiment compared to the simulation (45th layer) can be attributed to a higher actual γ′ solvus temperature than considered in our simulation [47]. The solvus temperature of γ′ in a Ni-based superalloy is mainly determined by the detailed composition. A high amount of Cr and Co are known to reduce the solvus temperature, whereas Ta and Mo will increase it [97][98][99]. The elemental composition from our experimental work was used for the simulation except for Ta. It should be noted that Ta is not included in the thermodynamic database in MatCalc used, and this may have reduced the solvus temperature. This could also explain the relatively higher γ′ phase fraction in the experiment than in simulation, as a higher γ′ solvus temperature will cause more γ′ to precipitate and grow early during cooling [99][100].

Another possible cause of this deviation can be attributed to the extent of γ′ dissolution, which is mainly determined by the peak temperature. It can be speculated that individual peak temperatures at different layers in the simulation may have been over-predicted. However, one needs to consider that the true thermal profile is likely more complicated in the actual E-PBF process [101]. For example, the current model assumes that the thermophysical properties of the material are temperature-independent, which is not realistic. Many materials, including IN738, exhibit temperature-dependent properties such as thermal conductivityspecific heat capacity, and density [102]. This means that heat transfer simulations may underestimate or overestimate the temperature gradients and cooling rates within the powder bed and the solidified part. Additionally, the model does not account for the reduced thermal diffusivity through unmelted powder, where gas separating the powder acts as insulation, impeding the heat flow [1]. In E-PBF, the unmelted powder regions with trapped gas have lower thermal diffusivity compared to the fully melted regions, leading to localized temperature variations, and altered solidification behavior. These limitations can impact the predictions, particularly in relation to the carbide dissolution, as the peak temperatures may be underestimated.

While acknowledging these limitations, it is worth emphasizing that achieving a detailed and accurate representation of each layer’s heat source would impose tough computational challenges. Given the substantial layer count in E-PBF, our decision to employ a semi-analytical approximation strikes a balance between computational feasibility and the capture of essential trends in thermal profiles across diverse build layers. In future work, a dual-calibration strategy is proposed to further reduce simulation-experiment disparities. By refining temperature-independent thermophysical property approximations and absorptivity in the heat source model, and by optimizing interfacial energy descriptions in the kinetic model, the predictive precision could be enhanced. Further refining the simulation controls, such as adjusting the precipitate class size may enhance quantitative comparisons between modeling outcomes and experimental data in future work.

4.4.2. Multimodal size distribution of γ′ and concentration

Another interesting feature that sees qualitative agreement between the simulation and the experiment is the multimodal size distribution of γ′. The formation of secondary γ′ particles in the experiment and most E-PBF Ni-based superalloys is suggested to occur at low temperatures, during final cooling to RT [16][73][90]. However, so far, this conclusion has been based on findings from various continuous cooling experiments, as the study of the evolution during AM would require an in-situ approach. Our simulation unambiguously confirms this in an AM context by providing evidence for secondary γ′ precipitation during slow cooling to RT. Additionally, it is possible to speculate that the chemical segregation occurring during solidification, due to the preferential partitioning of certain elements between the solid and liquid phases, can contribute to the multimodal size distribution during deposition [51]. This is because chemical segregation can result in variations in the local composition of superalloys, which subsequently affects the nucleation and growth of γ′. Regions with higher concentrations of alloying elements will encourage the formation of larger γ′ particles, while regions with lower concentrations may favor the nucleation of smaller precipitates. However, it is important to acknowledge that the elevated temperature during the E-PBF process will largely homogenize these compositional differences [103][104].

A good correlation is also shown in the composition of major γ′ forming elements (Al and Ti) in primary and secondary γ′. Both experiment and simulation show an increasing trend for Al content and a decreasing trend for Ti content from primary to secondary γ′. The slight composition differences between primary and secondary γ′ particles are due to the different diffusivity of γ′ stabilizers at different thermal conditions [105][106]. As the formation of multimodal γ′ particles with different sizes occurs over a broad temperature range, the phase chemistry of γ′ will be highly size dependent. The changes in the chemistry of various γ′ (primary, secondary, and tertiary) have received significant attention since they have a direct influence on the performance [68][105][107][108][109]. Chen et al. [108][109], reported a high Al content in the smallest γ′ precipitates compared to the largest, while Ti showed an opposite trend during continuous cooling in a RR1000 Ni-based superalloy. This was attributed to the temperature and cooling rate at which the γ′ precipitates were formed. The smallest precipitates formed last, at the lowest temperature and cooling rate. A comparable observation is evident in the present investigation, where the secondary γ′ forms at a low temperature and cooling rate in comparison to the primary. The temperature dependence of γ′ chemical composition is further evidenced in supplementary Fig. S4, which shows the equilibrium chemical composition of γ′ as a function of temperature.

5. Conclusions

A correlative modelling approach capable of predicting solid-state phase transformations kinetics in metal AM was developed. This approach involves computational simulations with a semi-analytical heat transfer model and the MatCalc thermo-kinetic software. The method was used to predict the phase transformation kinetics and detailed morphology and chemistry of γ′ and MC during E-PBF of IN738 Ni-based superalloy. The main conclusions are:

  • 1.The computational simulations are in qualitative agreement with the experimental observations. This is particularly true for the γ′ size distribution along the build height, the multimodal size distribution of particles, and the phase fraction of MC carbides.
  • 2.The deviations between simulation and experiment in terms of γ′ phase fraction and location in the build are most likely attributed to a higher γ′ solvus temperature during the experiment than in the simulation, which is argued to be related to the absence of Ta in the MatCalc database.
  • 3.The dissolution and precipitation of γ′ occur fast and under non-equilibrium conditions. The level of γ′ dissolution determines the gradient in γ′ size distribution along the build. After thermal cycling, the final cooling to room temperature has further significant impacts on the final γ′ size, morphology, and distribution.
  • 4.A negligible amount of γ′ forms in the first deposited layer before subsequent layer deposition, and a small amount of γ′ may also form in the powder induced by the 1000 °C elevated build temperature before melting.

Our findings confirm the suitability of MatCalc to predict the microstructural evolution at various positions throughout a build in a Ni-based superalloy during E-PBF. It also showcases the suitability of a tool which was originally developed for traditional thermo-mechanical processing of alloys to the new additive manufacturing context. Our simulation capabilities are likely extendable to other alloy systems that undergo solid-state phase transformations implemented in MatCalc (various steels, Ni-based superalloys, and Al-alloys amongst others) as well as other AM processes such as L-DED and L-PBF which have different thermal cycle characteristics. New tools to predict the microstructural evolution and properties during metal AM are important as they provide new insights into the complexities of AM. This will enable control and design of AM microstructures towards advanced materials properties and performances.

CRediT authorship contribution statement

Primig Sophie: Writing – review & editing, Supervision, Resources, Project administration, Funding acquisition, Conceptualization. Adomako Nana Kwabena: Writing – original draft, Writing – review & editing, Visualization, Software, Investigation, Formal analysis, Conceptualization. Haghdadi Nima: Writing – review & editing, Supervision, Project administration, Methodology, Conceptualization. Dingle James F.L.: Methodology, Conceptualization, Software, Writing – review & editing, Visualization. Kozeschnik Ernst: Writing – review & editing, Software, Methodology. Liao Xiaozhou: Writing – review & editing, Project administration, Funding acquisition. Ringer Simon P: Writing – review & editing, Project administration, Funding acquisition.

Declaration of Competing Interest

The authors declare that they have no known competing financial interests or personal relationships that could have appeared to influence the work reported in this paper.

Acknowledgements

This research was sponsored by the Department of Industry, Innovation, and Science under the auspices of the AUSMURI program – which is a part of the Commonwealth’s Next Generation Technologies Fund. The authors acknowledge the facilities and the scientific and technical assistance at the Electron Microscope Unit (EMU) within the Mark Wainwright Analytical Centre (MWAC) at UNSW Sydney and Microscopy Australia. Nana Adomako is supported by a UNSW Scientia PhD scholarship. Michael Haines’ (UNSW Sydney) contribution to the revised version of the original manuscript is thankfully acknowledged.

Appendix A. Supplementary material

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Supplementary material.

Data Availability

Data will be made available on request.

References