Diffusional evolution of precipitates in elastic media using the extended finite element and the level set methods

Ravindra Duddu*, David L. Chopp, Peter Voorhees, Brian Moran

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


A sharp-interface numerical formulation using an Eulerian description aimed at modeling diffusional evolution of precipitates produced by phase transformations in elastic media, is presented. The extended finite element method (XFEM) is used to solve the field equations and the level set method is used to evolve the precipitate-matrix interface. This new formulation is capable of handling microstructures with arbitrarily shaped particles and capturing their topological transitions without needing the mesh to conform with the precipitate-matrix interface. The XFEM makes it possible to model the precipitate and the matrix to be both elastically anisotropic and inhomogeneous with ease. The interface evolution velocity is evaluated using a domain integral scheme [1] that is consistent with the sharp interface. Numerical examples modeling two distinct phases of particle evolution, growth (dendritic evolution) and equilibration (Ostwald ripening) are presented. To overcome the issue of grid anisotropy in growth simulations, a random grid rotation scheme is implemented in conjunction with a bicubic spline interpolation scheme. Growing shapes are dendritic while equilibrium shapes are squarish and in this respect our simulation results are in agreement with those presented in the literature [2-4].

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1249-1264
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Computational Physics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Feb 20 2011


  • Anisotropy
  • Dendritic evolution
  • Grid rotation
  • Level sets
  • Phase transformation
  • XFEM

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Numerical Analysis
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)
  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computational Mathematics
  • Applied Mathematics


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