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Finite Element Solution Of Surface-Tension Driven Flows In Laser Surface-Melting

Ravindran, K. and Srinivasan, J and Marathe, AG (1995) Finite Element Solution Of Surface-Tension Driven Flows In Laser Surface-Melting. In: Mechanics Research Communications, 22 (3). pp. 297-304.

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Lasers are very efficient in heating localized regions and hence they find a wide application in surface treatment processes. The surface of a material can be selectively modified to give superior wear and corrosion resistance. In laser surface-melting and welding problems, the high temperature gradient prevailing in the free surface induces a surface-tension gradient which is the dominant driving force for convection (known as thermo-capillary or Marangoni convection). It has been reported that the surface-tension driven convection plays a dominant role in determining the melt pool shape. In most of the earlier works on laser-melting and related problems, the finite difference method (FDM) has been used to solve the Navier Stokes equations [1]. Since the Reynolds number is quite high in these cases, upwinding has been used. Though upwinding gives physically realistic solutions even on a coarse grid, the results are inaccurate. McLay and Carey have solved the thermo-capillary flow in welding problems by an implicit finite element method [2]. They used the conventional Galerkin finite element method (FEM) which requires that the pressure be interpolated by one order lower than velocity (mixed interpolation). This restricts the choice of elements to certain higher order elements which need numerical integration for evaluation of element matrices. The implicit algorithm yields a system of nonlinear, unsymmetric equations which are not positive definite. Computations would be possible only with large mainframe computers.Sluzalec [3] has modeled the pulsed laser-melting problem by an explicit method (FEM). He has used the six-node triangular element with mixed interpolation. Since he has considered the buoyancy induced flow only, the velocity values are small. In the present work, an equal order explicit FEM is used to compute the thermo-capillary flow in the laser surface-melting problem. As this method permits equal order interpolation, there is no restriction in the choice of elements. Even linear elements such as the three-node triangular elements can be used. As the governing equations are solved in a sequential manner, the computer memory requirement is less. The finite element formulation is discussed in this paper along with typical numerical results.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publication: Mechanics Research Communications
Publisher: Elsavier
Additional Information: Copyright of this article belongs to Elsavier.
Department/Centre: Division of Mechanical Sciences > Mechanical Engineering
Date Deposited: 24 Mar 2009 05:55
Last Modified: 19 Sep 2010 05:29
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/19549

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