Gradient and size effects on spinodal and miscibility gaps

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Department of Civil, Environmental, and Geospatial Engineering


A thermodynamically consistent model of strain gradient elastodiffusion is developed. Its formulation is based on the enhancement of a robust theory of gradient elasticity, known as GRADELA, to account for a Cahn–Hilliard type of diffusion. Linear stability analysis is employed to determine the influence of concentration and strain gradients on the spinodal decomposition. For finite domains, spherically symmetric conditions are considered, and size effects on spinodal and miscibility gaps are discussed. The theoretical predictions are in agreement with the experimental trends, i.e., both gaps shrink as the grain diameter decreases and they are completely eliminated for crystals smaller than a critical size.

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Continuum Mechanics and Thermodynamics