A phase-field field model of binary alloy solidification has been developed, which can be used to describe a great number of phenomena. This model differs from traditional sharp-interface models, and is particularly easy to implement on high speed vector (CRAY) and massively parallel computers (TMC).
Particular processes under investigation include solute segregation patterns during supersaturated dendritic growth, late stage growth of microstructure (Ostwald ripening), directional solidification, effects of noise (nucleation theory), and tests of microscopic solvability theories. The successes so far lead us to believe that these techniques will be important in helping industrial metallurgists predict and understand the properties and behavior of alloys under a vast variety of experimental conditions.
Implementation of this model has currently been limited to two dimensions and high supersaturations, but more sophisticated algorithms, and faster computers are being investigated.