A phase field model for segregation and precipitation induced by irradiation in alloys

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A phase field model is introduced to model the evolution of multicomponent alloys under irradiation, including radiation-induced segregation and precipitation. The thermodynamic and kinetic components of this model are derived using a mean-field model. The mobility coefficient and the contribution of chemical heterogeneity to free energy are rescaled by the cell size used in the phase field model, yielding microstructural evolutions that are independent of the cell size. A new treatment is proposed for point defect clusters, using a mixed discrete-continuous approach to capture the stochastic character of defect cluster production in displacement cascades, while retaining the efficient modeling of the fate of these clusters using diffusion equations. The model is tested on unary and binary alloy systems using two-dimensional simulations. In a unary system, the evolution of point defects under irradiation is studied in the presence of defect clusters, either pre-existing ones or those created by irradiation, and compared with rate theory calculations. Binary alloys with zero and positive heats of mixing are then studied to investigate the effect of point defect clustering on radiation-induced segregation and precipitation in undersaturated solid solutions. Lastly, irradiation conditions and alloy parameters leading to irradiation-induced homogeneous precipitation are investigated. The results are discussed in the context of experimental results reported for Ni-Si and Al-Zn undersaturated solid solutions subjected to irradiation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number035008
JournalModelling and Simulation in Materials Science and Engineering
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 18 2015


  • Alloys
  • Irradiation
  • Phase field
  • Precipitation
  • Segregation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Computer Science Applications


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