Abstract A three-dimensional global model was used to obtain the solution of a thermal field within the entire furnace during a unidirectional solidification process of multicrystalline silicon with a square crucible. Then the thermal stress distribution in the silicon ingot was solved. Based on the solution of thermal stress, relaxation of stress and multiplication of dislocations were performed by using the Haasen–Alexander–Sumino model (HAS model). The influence of crucible constraint on stress levels and dislocations was investigated. It was found that the crucible constraint had significant influence on the thermal stresses and dislocations in the ingot. The results indicated that it is important to reduce the crucible constraint in order to relax thermal stresses and reduce dislocations in a silicon ingot during the solidification process.