2013 Volume 53 Issue 4 Pages 622-628
Control of melt flow in steelmaking processes is important for technology optimization and product quality. To overcome the difficulty of making measurements in actual steelmaking vessels (furnace, ladle, tundish, or mold), both physical modeling (water models) and CFD simulations have been used extensively for melt flow visualization. However, it is not easy to interpret the results of either type of model study, because it is difficult to determine which flow pattern is best by only visual inspection. In this article, a new approach is proposed for the analysis of the melt flow in metallurgical vessels after obtaining residence time distributions from CFD simulation or physical experiments (RTDCFD or RTDmodel). In this analysis the melt flow is assumed to be in a combined reactor (CR) system consisting of a combination of three basic unit reactors: “plug flow”, “perfect mixer”, and “recirculated volume”. An inverse simulation is used to define the volumes of the unit reactors and the melt flow rate between them by fitting the RTDCR curve to the RTDCFD or RTDmodel curves. The effectiveness of the suggested approach is demonstrated for tundish applications; however, it could also be used for melt flow analysis in other steelmaking processes.