Indexed on: 30 May '10Published on: 30 May '10Published in: Physics - Materials Science
We use three-dimensional phase-field simulations to investigate the dynamics of the two-phase composite patterns formed upon during solidification of eutectic alloys. Besides the spatially periodic lamellar and rod patterns that have been widely studied, we find that there is a large number of additional steady-state patterns which exhibit stable defects. The defect density can be so high that the pattern is completely disordered, and that the distinction between lamellar and rod patterns is blurred. As a consequence, the transition from lamellae to rods is not sharp, but extends over a finite range of compositions and exhibits strong hysteresis. Our findings are in good agreement with experiments.