2000 Volume 40 Issue 11 Pages 1105-1114
The purpose of this study is to develop a mathematical model to analyze the fluid flow phenomena of molten steel in the tundish during its filling stage and subsequent initial casting operation in the continuous casting process of steel. The ultimate goal is to assure smooth initial casting operation without nozzle clogging by avoiding high deposition rate of inclusion on any of the tundish outlets during tundish filling and subsequent initial casting operation.
The mathematical model is developed based on a computational fluid dynamics technique, named SOLA-MAC, and the k– ε two-equation turbulence model. SOLA-MAC technique has the ability to handle the flow problem encountered in tundish filling, which is a transient flow problem with highly distorted free surfaces and the locations of the free surfaces are to be determined by theory. A fluid particle method is also employed in this study to analyze the distribution of inclusions in the molten steel and the extent of inclusion contamination in various strands of the continuous casting tundish. A water model that is one-fourth the scale of an actual billet continuous caster is also constructed in this study. Water model experiments are conducted to verify the accuracy and reliability of the mathematical model.
The developed model is first tested on the water model to calculate the flow pattern of water in the tundish during the very early stage of filling operation. The simulated filling patterns are compared to the water model experiments. Good consistency is observed. The model is then tested on an actual billet continuous caster with four strands to simulate the fluid flow phenomena of molten steel in the tundish during the filling and subsequent initial casting operations. Inclusion distribution and the extents of inclusion contamination among the outlets of the various strands in the tundish are also analyzed. The simulated results show that for the left half of tundish, inclusion contamination in #2 strand is significantly more severe then that in #1 strand. This is confirmed by the actual experience on the shop floor of that particular billet caster that #2 strand experiences more difficulty in clogging problem during the initial casting operation than #1 strand does.