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Exploring Solidification Concepts Through Organic Crystalline Analogs Welding Organic Crystalline Materials

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2001 Annual Conference


Albuquerque, New Mexico

Publication Date

June 24, 2001

Start Date

June 24, 2001

End Date

June 27, 2001



Page Count


Page Numbers

6.494.1 - 6.494.6

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Paper Authors

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Daniel Walsh

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract


Session 2526


Daniel W. Walsh California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo


This paper describes the development and use of an organic weld simulator to improve students understanding of epitaxial nucleation, competitive growth, interfacial stability and solidification. The system allows students to directly and synchronously observe solidification at low temperatures. The system takes advantage of the transparency and low melting temperature of several organic compounds to provide students with rare insight into the solidification event, epitaxy, competitive growth and the breakdown of interfacial stability during solidification. Moreover, the apparatus allows the students to manipulate critical process parameters and observe the effects on the solidification process and the inter-phase interface on a real-time basis.

I. Introduction

Solidification processing and other manufacturing processes based on epitaxial nucleation and growth are critical to a number of technologies. Arguably, they support much of the metals industry, underpinning transportation and transport, infrastructure, and many other sectors. In addition, our current communications, electronics and computing industries – the keys to our information age and the basis for our development of the “knowledge” economy of the 21st century rely on epitaxial processing. Clearly, from ships to chips, our economy relies on an ability to manipulate process parameters to produce desirable structures at inter-phase interfaces – in large welds or in minute electronic or electro – mechanical systems.

The study of nucleation, growth and interfacial stability often lacks immediacy. Akin to the lonely paleontologist, students of materials scan the "fossil" remains of long-past-solidified weld pools to gain clues about the nature of the solidification event. Similarly, akin to the forensic pathologist, students of chemical vapor deposition (CVD) or molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) attempt to understand these processes by examining inert pieces of prefabricated and vivisected samples.

Proceedings of the 2001 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright  2001, American Society for Engineering Education

Walsh, D. (2001, June), Exploring Solidification Concepts Through Organic Crystalline Analogs Welding Organic Crystalline Materials Paper presented at 2001 Annual Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico.

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