Abstract:Coarsening within the mushy zone during continuous directional solidification experiments was studied on an Al-30 wt pct Cu alloy. High brilliance synchrotron X-radiation microscopy allowed images to be taken in-situ during solidification. Transient conditions were present during directional solidification. Under these conditions, solute-rich settling liquid flow affects the dendritic array and thus coarsening. Coarsening was studied by following the secondary dendrite arm spacing (SDAS) of a developing dendrite at different local solidification times according to the mush depth and instant interface velocity. Solute enrichment and liquid flow cause deceleration and acceleration of the solidification front, which in turn influences both the mush depth and local growth and coarsening due to variations in solutal gradients and thus local undercooling. In addition, spacing between neighboring dendrites (i.e., primary dendrite arm spacing), which determines permeability within the mushy zone, affects the development of high-order branches.