Understanding the evolution of a solidification front is important in the study of solidification processes. Mathematically, self-similar solutions exist to the Stefan problem when the liquid domain is assumed semi-infinite, and such solutions have been extensively studied in the literature. However, in the case where the liquid region is finite and sufficiently small, such of solutions no longer hold, as in this case two solidification fronts will move toward each other and interact. We present an asymptotic analysis for the two-front Stefan problem with a small amount of constitutional supercooling and compare the asymptotic results with numerical simulations. We finally discuss ongoing work on the same problem near the time when the two fronts are close to colliding.

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Silicon is produced from quartz rock in electrode-heated furnaces by using carbon as a reduction agent. We present a model of the heat and mass transfer in an experimental pilot furnace and perform an asymptotic analysis of this model. First, by prescribing a steady state temperature profile in the furnace we explore the leading order reactions in different spatial regions. We next utilise the dominant behaviour when temperature is prescribed to reduce the full model to two coupled partial differential equations for the time-variable temperature profile within the furnace and the concentration of solid quartz. These equations account for diffusion, an endothermic reaction, and the external heating input to the system. A moving boundary is found and the behaviour on either side of this boundary explored in the asymptotic limit of small diffusion. We note how the simplifications derived may be useful for industrial furnace operation.