2004 Volume 44 Issue 3 Pages 537-546
A two dimensional Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) model was developed to simulate the fluid flow and heat transfer of the molten steel in a ladle during the holding time, with gas purging from the bottom. Transient analysis of the temperature and the velocity distribution of the liquid steel during ladle standing and subsequent gas stirring was conducted, by employing a pressure-based fully-implicit finite volume approach. Stratification, which can adversely affect the quality of steel products, was seen to develop due to natural convection. Therefore, particular attention was paid to study the effect of bottom gas stirring in minimizing the thermal stratification. This was accomplished by introducing a novel approach of coupling the effects of natural convection and axisymmetric bottom gas injection. Various parametric studies was undertaken to examine the effects of standing time, gas flow rate and geometry of the ladle on the resultant thermal field. It was observed that bottom purging situation induces a strong recirculatory flow in the molten steel bath, with an increase in the order of turbulence giving rise to thermal homogenization. The results indicate that the thermal stratification can be effectively eliminated by a relatively gentle agitation. Homogenization takes place at a faster rate with an increase in the amount of bottom gas flow. The effect of ladle size was found to be inconsequential, in comparison to other parameters.