Solidification analysis of a centrifugal atomizer using the Al-32.7wt% Cu alloy
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A centrifugal atomizer (spinning disk variety) was designed and constructed for the production of spherical metal powders, 100-1000 microns in diameter in an inert atmosphere. Initial atomization experiments revealed the need for a better understanding of how the liquid metal was atomized and how the liquid droplets solidified. To investigate particle atomization, Ag was atomized in air and the process recorded on high-speed film. To investigate particle solidification, Al-32.7wt.% Cu was atomized under inert atmosphere and the subsequent particles were examined microscopically to determine solidification structure and rate;This dissertation details the experimental procedures used in producing the Al-Cu eutectic alloy particles, examination of the particle microstructures, and determination of the solidification characteristics (e.g., solidification rate) of various phases. Finally, correlations are proposed between the operation of the centrifugal atomizer and the observed solidification spacings;This research was supported in part by the Office of Basic Energy Science, USDOE. The Ames laboratory is operated by Iowa State University for the U.S. Department of Energy under contract number W-7405-Eng-82.