The phase field approach is a powerful computational technique to simulate morphological and microstructural evolution at the mesoscale. Spheroidization is a frequently observed morphological change of mesoscale heterogeneous structures during annealing. In this study, we used the diffuse interface phase field method to investigate the interfacial diffusion-driven spheroidization of cylindrical rod structures in a composite comprised of two mutually insoluble phases in a two-dimensional case. Perturbation of rod radius along a cylinder's axis has long been known to cause the necessary chemical potential gradient that drives spheroidization of the rod by Lord Rayleigh's instability theory. This theory indicates that a radius perturbation wavelength larger than the initial rod circumference would lead to cylindrical spheroidization. We investigated the effect of perturbation wavelength, interfacial energy, volume diffusion, phase composition, and interfacial percentage on the kinetics of spheroidization. The results match well with both the Rayleigh's instability criterion and experimental observations.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/alan_russell/31/