Vimal Ramanuj

Graduation Semester and Year




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Mechanical Engineering


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

First Advisor

Albert Y. Tong


Droplet deposition is a process of extensive relevance to the microfabrication industry. Various bonding and film deposition methods utilize single or multiple droplet impingements on a substrate with subsequent splat formation through simultaneous spreading and solidification. Splat morphology and solidification characteristics play vital roles in determining the final outcome. Experimental methods have limited reach in studying such phenomena owing to the extremely small time and length scales involved. Fundamental understanding of the governing principles of fluid flow, heat transfer and phase change provide effective means of studying such processes through computational techniques. The present study aims at numerically modeling and analyzing the phenomenon of splat formation and phase change in an alloy droplet deposition process. Phase change in alloys occurs non-isothermally and its formulation poses mathematical challenges. A highly non-linear flow field in conjunction with multiple interfaces and convection-diffusion governed phase transition are some of the highlighting features involved in the numerical formulation. Moreover, the non-equilibrium solidification behavior in eutectic systems is of prime concern. The peculiar phenomenon requires special treatments in terms of modeling solid phase species diffusion, liquid phase enrichment during solute partitioning and isothermal eutectic transformation. The flow field is solved using a two-step projection algorithm coupled with enhanced interface modeling schemes. The free surface tracking and reconstruction is achieved through two approaches: VOF-PLIC and CLSVOF to achieve optimum interface accuracy with minimal computational resources. The energy equation is written in terms of enthalpy with an additional source term to account for the phase change. The solidification phenomenon is modeled using a coupled temperature-solute scheme that reflects the microscopic effects arising due to dendritic growth taking place in rapidly solidifying domains. Solid phase diffusion theories proposed in the literature are incorporated in the solute conservation equation through a back diffusion parameter till the eutectic composition; beyond which a special treatment is proposed. A simplified homogeneous mushy region model has also been outline. Both models are employed to reproduce analytical results under limiting conditions and also experimentally verified. The primary objective of the present work is to examine the splat morphology, solidification behavior and microstructural characteristics under varying operational parameters. A simplified homogeneous mushy region model is first applied to study the role of convection in an SS304 droplet deposition with substrate remelting. The results are compared with experimental findings reported in the literature and a good agreement is observed. Furthermore, a hypoeutectic Sn-Pb alloy droplet deposition is studied using a comprehensive coupled temperature solute model that accounts for the non-equilibrium solidification occurring in eutectic type of alloys. Particular focus is laid on the limitations of a homogeneous mushy region assumption, role of species composition in governing solidification, estimation of the microstructural properties and eutectic formation.


Multiphase, VOF, PLIC, Eutectic, Phase diagram, Back diffusion, Non-equilibrium solidification, Droplet deposition, Mushy Region, Enthalpy-porosity technique


Aerospace Engineering | Engineering | Mechanical Engineering


Degree granted by The University of Texas at Arlington