2018 Volume 58 Issue 9 Pages 1679-1686
The effect of vacuum pressure and argon flow rate on hydrogen degassing of molten steel in a triple plug, 100 tonne vacuum arc degasser has been examined using a three phase Eulerian CFD-mass transfer coupled model. The model takes into account the interaction between the slag, steel and argon phases over a 20-minute degassing period. Increasing the argon flowrate from 13–29 Nm3hr−1 produces a 10% increase in the hydrogen removal ratio, generating a faster melt velocity and larger slag eye. This also results in the maximum shear stress on the ladle walls increasing by a factor of 2.2 and the shear stress integrated across the wall increasing by a factor of 3.75, thus contributing to enhance refractory erosion. Within the same flowrate range the volume of entrained slag also increases by a factor of 1.4, which may result in increased nitrogen/oxygen pickup. Reducing the vacuum pressure maintains a low equilibrium hydrogen concentration and allows more efficient hydrogen removal, with a 38% reduction in the removal ratio between 102−104 Pa.