Volume 58 (2018) Issue 2 Pages 201-210
Surface defects are recurrent problems during Continuous Casting of steel due to the introduction of new grades that are often difficult to cast, as well as the everlasting pursuit for higher quality and improved yield. Accordingly, numerical modelling has become a ubiquitous tool to analyse the formation mechanisms of such defects. However, industrial application of simulations is often hampered by oversimplifications and omissions of important process details such as variations in material properties, specific casting practices or shortcomings regarding fundamental metallurgical concepts. The present manuscript seeks to create awareness on these issues by visiting key notions such as slag infiltration, interfacial resistance and Lubrication Index. This is done from a conceptual point of view based on industrial observations and numerical modelling experiences. The latter allows a re-formulation of outdated concepts and misconceptions regarding the influence of fluid flow, heat transfer and solidification on lubrication and defect formation. Additionally, the manuscript addresses common challenges and constraints that occur during industrial implementation of numerical models such as the lack of high-temperature material data for slags. Finally, the manuscript provides examples of improvements on product quality and process stability that can be achieved through a holistic approach which combines modelling with laboratory tests, experiences from operators and direct plant measurements.