We introduced a continuum method for modeling of intermediate phase growth and numerically simulated three common experimental situations relevant to the physical metallurgy of soldering: growth of intermetallic compound layer from an unlimited amount of liquid and solid solders and growth of the compound from limited amounts of liquid solder. We found qualitative agreements with the experimental regimes of growth in all cases. For instance, the layer expands in both directions with respect to the base line when it grows from solid solder, and grows into the copper phase when the solder is molten. The quantitative agreement with the sharp-interface approximation was also achieved in these cases. In the cases of limited amounts of liquid solder we found the point of turnaround when the compound/solder boundary changed the direction of its motion. Although such behavior had been previously observed experimentally, the simulations revealed important information: the turnaround occurs approximately at the time of complete saturation of solder with copper. This result allows us to conclude that coarsening of the intermetallic compound structure starts only after the solder is practically saturated with copper.
Umantsev, Alexander, "Modeling of Intermediate Phase Growth" (2007). Chemistry and Physics Faculty Working Papers. 11.