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Metals 2016, 6(3), 53; doi:10.3390/met6030053

Experimental and Numerical Simulations of the Solidification Process in Continuous Casting of Slab

State Key Laboratory of Advanced Special Steel, Shanghai University, Shanghai 200072, China
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Academic Editor: Hugo F. Lopez
Received: 23 December 2015 / Revised: 22 February 2016 / Accepted: 23 February 2016 / Published: 4 March 2016
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Abstract

Thermal simulation equipment (TSE) was recently developed to simulate the solidification process in the industrial continuous casting of slab. The grain growth, solid-liquid interface movement, and columnar-to-equiaxed transition (CET) in the continuous casting process can be reproduced using this equipment. The current study is focused on the effects of different cooling rates and superheat conditions on the grain growth in the solidification process of chromium-saving ferritic stainless steel (B425). The temperature distribution and microstructure evolution are simulated by a Cellular Automaton-Finite Element (CAFE) model. The experimental results demonstrate that the temperature gradient and the grain growth rate of the sample can be effectively controlled by the equipment. It is observed from optical micrographs of the microstructure that the average equiaxed grain ratio increases when the superheat temperature decreases. The average equiaxed grain ratio is approximately 26% and 42% under superheat conditions of 40 °C and 30 °C, respectively, and no apparent columnar grain generation in the samples occurs under superheat conditions of 10 °C and 20 °C, as the result of a large thermal resistance at the copper-sample interface and low superheat inside the sample. A lower cooling rate results in a higher equiaxed crystal ratio in the sample. As the cooling rate decreases, the equiaxed crystal ratio becomes 14%, 23%, and 42%. Comparing the simulation results with the experimental observations, a reasonable qualitative agreement is achieved for the chilled layer thickness, grain morphology, and CET in the sample. Thus, the CAFE model in the current study can accurately predict the grain growth under different superheating and cooling rate conditions. View Full-Text
Keywords: thermal experimental device; numerical simulation; grain growth; CAFE model thermal experimental device; numerical simulation; grain growth; CAFE model
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MDPI and ACS Style

Bai, L.; Wang, B.; Zhong, H.; Ni, J.; Zhai, Q.; Zhang, J. Experimental and Numerical Simulations of the Solidification Process in Continuous Casting of Slab. Metals 2016, 6, 53.

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