Shear flow, phase change and matched asymptotic expansions: pattern formation in mushy layers

Peer Reviewed

Neufeld JA, & Wettlaufer JS

Physica D 240, pages 140–149, 2011, 10.1016/j.physd.2010.10.007.

In many scientific and engineering problems the solidification of an alloy leads to a highly convoluted crystalline matrix modeled as a thermodynamically controlled reactive porous medium called a mushy layer. We analyze the interaction of an external shear flow with a solidifying mushy layer through a corrugated mush–liquid interface. We find that the external flow can drive forced convective motions within the mushy layer resulting in the formation of a pattern of dissolution and solidification features transverse to the overall flow. Here we seek to lay bare the underlying processes through a systematic comparison of matched asymptotic expansions and numerical solutions. The success of our modeling effort draws substantially upon understanding gleaned from the fluid mechanics of boundary layers and the theory of multi-component solidification. The results have a broad range of implications in geophysics
and materials science.

Keywords: Phase change, Mushy layer, Ice
Categories: Antarctic, Arctic, Natural Science