Special Issue "Continuous Casting"

A special issue of Metals (ISSN 2075-4701).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2018)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Michael Vynnycky

Department of Materials Science and Engineering, The Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Brinellvägen 23, 100 44 Stockholm, Sweden
Website | E-Mail
Interests: casting of metals; fluid mechanics; continuous casting

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Continuous casting is a process whereby molten metal is solidified into a semi-finished billet, bloom, or slab for subsequent rolling in finishing mills; it is the most frequently used process to cast not only steel, but also aluminum and copper alloys. Since its widespread introduction for steel in the 1950s, it has evolved to achieve improved yield, quality, productivity and cost efficiency. It allows lower-cost production of metal sections with better quality, due to the inherently lower costs of continuous, standardized production of a product, as well as providing increased control over the process through automation. Nevertheless, challenges remain and new ones appear, as ways are sought to minimize casting defects and to cast alloys that could originally only be cast via other means. For this Special Issue in Metals, we welcome reviews and articles in all aspects of experimental work and theoretical modelling related to the ongoing development of the continuous casting processes.

Dr. Michael Vynnycky  
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • Continuous casting
  • Casting defects
  • Experiments
  • Theoretical modelling

Published Papers (15 papers)

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Editorial

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Open AccessEditorial
Continuous Casting
Metals 2019, 9(6), 643; https://doi.org/10.3390/met9060643
Received: 29 May 2019 / Accepted: 31 May 2019 / Published: 3 June 2019
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Abstract
Continuous casting is a process whereby molten metal is solidified into a semi-finished billet, bloom, or slab for subsequent rolling in finishing mills; it is the most frequently used process to cast not only steel, but also aluminum and copper alloys [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Continuous Casting)
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Research

Jump to: Editorial, Review

Open AccessArticle
Mold-Level Prediction for Continuous Casting Using VMD–SVR
Metals 2019, 9(4), 458; https://doi.org/10.3390/met9040458
Received: 5 March 2019 / Revised: 17 April 2019 / Accepted: 17 April 2019 / Published: 18 April 2019
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Abstract
In the continuous-casting process, mold-level control is one of the most important factors that ensures the quality of high-efficiency continuous casting slabs. In traditional mold-level prediction control, the mold-level prediction accuracy is low, and the calculation cost is high. In order to improve [...] Read more.
In the continuous-casting process, mold-level control is one of the most important factors that ensures the quality of high-efficiency continuous casting slabs. In traditional mold-level prediction control, the mold-level prediction accuracy is low, and the calculation cost is high. In order to improve the prediction accuracy for mold-level prediction, an adaptive hybrid prediction algorithm is proposed. This new algorithm is the combination of empirical mode decomposition (EMD), variational mode decomposition (VMD), and support vector regression (SVR), and it effectively overcomes the impact of noise on the original signal. Firstly, the intrinsic mode functions (IMFs) of the mold-level signal are obtained by the adaptive EMD, and the key parameter of the VMD is obtained by the correlation analysis between the IMFs. VMD is performed based on the key parameter to obtain several IMFs, and the noise IMFs are denoised by wavelet threshold denoising (WTD). Then, SVR is used to predict each denoised component to obtain the predicted IMF. Finally, the predicted mold-level signal is reconstructed by the predicted IMFs. In addition, compared with WTD–SVR and EMD–SVR, VMD–SVR has a competitive advantage against the above three methods in terms of robustness. This new method provides a new idea for mold-level prediction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Continuous Casting)
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Open AccessArticle
Research and Application of a Rolling Gap Prediction Model in Continuous Casting
Metals 2019, 9(3), 380; https://doi.org/10.3390/met9030380
Received: 6 March 2019 / Revised: 23 March 2019 / Accepted: 23 March 2019 / Published: 25 March 2019
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Abstract
Control of the roll gap of the caster segment is one of the key parameters for ensuring the quality of a slab in continuous casting. In order to improve the precision and timeliness of the roll gap value control, we proposed a rolling [...] Read more.
Control of the roll gap of the caster segment is one of the key parameters for ensuring the quality of a slab in continuous casting. In order to improve the precision and timeliness of the roll gap value control, we proposed a rolling gap value prediction (RGVP) method based on the continuous casting process parameters. The process parameters collected from the continuous casting production site were first dimension-reduced using principal component analysis (PCA); 15 process parameters were chosen for reduction. Second, a support vector machine (SVM) model using particle swarm optimization (PSO) was proposed to optimize the parameters and perform roll gap prediction. The experimental results and practical application of the models has indicated that the method proposed in this paper provides a new approach for the prediction of roll gap value. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Continuous Casting)
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Open AccessArticle
Flow Characteristics for Two-Strand Tundish in Continuous Slab Casting Using PIV
Metals 2019, 9(2), 239; https://doi.org/10.3390/met9020239
Received: 4 January 2019 / Revised: 13 February 2019 / Accepted: 14 February 2019 / Published: 17 February 2019
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Abstract
With the development of continuous casting technology, there has been an increase in the stringent requirements for the cleanliness and quality of steel being produced. The flow state of molten steel in tundish is the key to: Optimizing the residence time of molten [...] Read more.
With the development of continuous casting technology, there has been an increase in the stringent requirements for the cleanliness and quality of steel being produced. The flow state of molten steel in tundish is the key to: Optimizing the residence time of molten steel in the tundish; homogenizing the temperature of molten steel; and removing inclusions by floatation. Hence, from theoretical and practical aspects, it is imperative to examine and analyze the flow field of molten steel in the tundish in order to ensure the desired molten steel flow. In this study, a two-strand tundish with 650 mm × 180 mm slab casting is considered as the subject for this research. According to the similarity theory, combined with the geometrical shape and dimension of the prototype tundish, a tundish model with a geometric similarity ratio of 2:3 is established in the laboratory. Digital particle image velocimetry (PIV) is employed to measure and examine the flow fields at different casting speeds for a tundish containing different flow control devices. The flow in the tundish is typically turbulent and also consists of a vortex motion; it exhibits both random and ordered characteristics. Results reveal that the presence of baffles with 15° holes can cause an upward-directed flow in the outlet section and give rise to a large circulation. When the casting speed is doubled, the overall velocity of the flow field and turbulent intensity increase, leading to an increase in the molten steel surface velocity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Continuous Casting)
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Open AccessArticle
Analysis of the Influence of Segmented Rollers on Slab Bulge Deformation
Metals 2019, 9(2), 231; https://doi.org/10.3390/met9020231
Received: 26 December 2018 / Revised: 10 February 2019 / Accepted: 12 February 2019 / Published: 14 February 2019
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Abstract
The bulge deformation of the continuous casting slab must be controlled in order to improve the slab quality. In this study, a coupled three-dimensional thermomechanical model is suggested based on dynamic contact between the slab and the rollers, so as to investigate the [...] Read more.
The bulge deformation of the continuous casting slab must be controlled in order to improve the slab quality. In this study, a coupled three-dimensional thermomechanical model is suggested based on dynamic contact between the slab and the rollers, so as to investigate the influence of the rollers in reducing slab bulge deformation. Moreover, the rigid casting rollers in this model are replaced by elastic casting rollers in order to improve the calculation accuracy. Further, the influence of two-segment and three-segment rollers on the slab bulge deformation is systematically studied. The results indicate that the bulge deformation of the slab increased by 74.3% when elastic casting rollers were adopted instead of rigid casting rollers. This deformation was reduced by 29.7% when three-segment rollers were used instead of two-segment rollers. Moreover, the influence of the roller spacing and the roller diameter of the segmented roller on the deformation was studied in detail. In order to achieve the purpose of controlling the bulge deformation, improved segmented roller spacing and diameter were proposed, leading to a 75.4% reduction in the bulge deformation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Continuous Casting)
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Open AccessArticle
A Simulation Study on the Flow Behavior of Liquid Steel in Tundish with Annular Argon Blowing in the Upper Nozzle
Metals 2019, 9(2), 225; https://doi.org/10.3390/met9020225
Received: 27 December 2018 / Revised: 9 February 2019 / Accepted: 12 February 2019 / Published: 13 February 2019
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Abstract
A three-dimensional mathematical model of gas−liquid two-phase flow has been established to study the flow behavior of liquid steel in the tundish. The effect of the argon flow rate and casting speed on the flow behavior of liquid steel, as well as the [...] Read more.
A three-dimensional mathematical model of gas−liquid two-phase flow has been established to study the flow behavior of liquid steel in the tundish. The effect of the argon flow rate and casting speed on the flow behavior of liquid steel, as well as the migration behavior of argon bubbles, was investigated. The results from the mathematical model were found to be consistent with those from the tundish water model. There were some swirl flows around the stopper when the annular argon blowing process was adopted; the flow of liquid steel near the liquid surface was active around the stopper. With increased argon flow rate, the vortex range and intensity around the stopper gradually increased, and the vertical flow velocity of the liquid steel in the vicinity of the stopper increased; the argon volume flow in the tundish and mold all increased. With increased casting speed, the vortex range and intensity around the stopper gradually decreased, the peak value of vertical flow velocity of liquid steel at the vicinity of the stopper decreased, and the distribution and ratio of argon volume flow between the tundish and the mold decreased. To avoid slag entrapment and purify the liquid steel, the argon flow rate should not be more than 3 L·min−1. These results provide a theoretical basis to optimize the parameters of the annular argon blowing at the upper nozzle and improve the slab quality. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Continuous Casting)
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Open AccessArticle
Control of Upstream Austenite Grain Coarsening during the Thin-Slab Cast Direct-Rolling (TSCDR) Process
Metals 2019, 9(2), 158; https://doi.org/10.3390/met9020158
Received: 27 December 2018 / Revised: 27 January 2019 / Accepted: 29 January 2019 / Published: 1 February 2019
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Abstract
Thin-slab cast direct-rolling (TSCDR) has become a major process for flat-rolled production. However, the elimination of slab reheating and limited number of thermomechanical deformation passes leave fewer opportunities for austenite grain refinement, resulting in some large grains persisting in the final microstructure. In [...] Read more.
Thin-slab cast direct-rolling (TSCDR) has become a major process for flat-rolled production. However, the elimination of slab reheating and limited number of thermomechanical deformation passes leave fewer opportunities for austenite grain refinement, resulting in some large grains persisting in the final microstructure. In order to achieve excellent ductile to brittle transition temperature (DBTT) and drop weight tear test (DWTT) properties in thicker gauge high-strength low-alloy products, it is necessary to control austenite grain coarsening prior to the onset of thermomechanical processing. This contribution proposes a suite of methods to refine the austenite grain from both theoretical and practical perspectives, including: increasing cooling rate during casting, liquid core reduction, increasing austenite nucleation sites during the delta-ferrite to austenite phase transformation, controlling holding furnace temperature and time to avoid austenite coarsening, and producing a new alloy with two-phase pinning to arrest grain coarsening. These methodologies can not only refine austenite grain size in the slab center, but also improve the slab homogeneity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Continuous Casting)
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Open AccessArticle
Laboratory Experimental Setup and Research on Heat Transfer Characteristics during Secondary Cooling in Continuous Casting
Metals 2019, 9(1), 61; https://doi.org/10.3390/met9010061
Received: 23 November 2018 / Revised: 3 January 2019 / Accepted: 4 January 2019 / Published: 10 January 2019
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Abstract
Spray cooling is a key technology in the continuous casting process and has a marked influence on the product quality. In order to obtain the heat transfer characteristics, which are closer to the actual continuous casting to serve the design, prediction and simulation, [...] Read more.
Spray cooling is a key technology in the continuous casting process and has a marked influence on the product quality. In order to obtain the heat transfer characteristics, which are closer to the actual continuous casting to serve the design, prediction and simulation, we created an experimental laboratory setup to investigate heat transfer characteristics of air mist spray cooling during the continuous casting secondary cooling process. A 200-mm thick sample of carbon steel was heated above 1000 °C, and then cooled in a water flux range of 0.84 to 3.0 L/(m2∙s). Determination of the boundary conditions involved experimental work comprising an evaluation of the thermal history and the heat flux and heat transfer coefficient (HTC) at the casting surface using inverse heat conduction numerical schemes. The results show that the heat fluxes were characterized via boiling curves that were functions of the slab surface temperatures. The heat flux was determined to be 2.9 × 105 W/m2 in the range of 1100 to 800 °C with a water flux of 2.1 L/(m2∙s). The critical heat flux increased with the increase of water flux. The HTC was close to a linear function of water flux. We also obtained the relation between the HTC and the water flux in the transition boiling region for surface temperatures of 850 to 950 °C. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Continuous Casting)
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Open AccessArticle
Applied Mathematical Modelling of Continuous Casting Processes: A Review
Metals 2018, 8(11), 928; https://doi.org/10.3390/met8110928
Received: 21 October 2018 / Revised: 31 October 2018 / Accepted: 2 November 2018 / Published: 9 November 2018
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Abstract
With readily available and ever-increasing computational resources, the modelling of continuous casting processes—mainly for steel, but also for copper and aluminium alloys—has predominantly focused on large-scale numerical simulation. Whilst there is certainly a need for this type of modelling, this paper highlights an [...] Read more.
With readily available and ever-increasing computational resources, the modelling of continuous casting processes—mainly for steel, but also for copper and aluminium alloys—has predominantly focused on large-scale numerical simulation. Whilst there is certainly a need for this type of modelling, this paper highlights an alternative approach more grounded in applied mathematics, which lies between overly simplified analytical models and multi-dimensional simulations. In this approach, the governing equations are nondimensionalized and systematically simplified to obtain a formulation which is numerically much cheaper to compute, yet does not sacrifice any of the physics that was present in the original problem; in addition, the results should agree also quantitatively with those of the original model. This approach is well-suited to the modelling of continuous casting processes, which often involve the interaction of complex multiphysics. Recent examples involving mould taper, oscillation-mark formation, solidification shrinkage-induced macrosegregation and electromagnetic stirring are considered, as are the possibilities for the modelling of exudation, columnar-to-equiaxed transition, V-segregation, centreline porosity and mechanical soft reduction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Continuous Casting)
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Open AccessArticle
Simulation of Crack Initiation and Propagation in the Crystals of a Beam Blank
Metals 2018, 8(11), 905; https://doi.org/10.3390/met8110905
Received: 5 October 2018 / Revised: 28 October 2018 / Accepted: 1 November 2018 / Published: 5 November 2018
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Abstract
Surface cracking seriously affects the quality of beam blanks in continuous casting. To study the mechanism of surface crack initiation and propagation under beam blank mesoscopic condition, this study established a polycrystalline model using MATLAB. Based on mesoscopic damage mechanics, a full implicit [...] Read more.
Surface cracking seriously affects the quality of beam blanks in continuous casting. To study the mechanism of surface crack initiation and propagation under beam blank mesoscopic condition, this study established a polycrystalline model using MATLAB. Based on mesoscopic damage mechanics, a full implicit stress iterative algorithm was used to simulate the crack propagation and the stress and strain of pores and inclusions of the polycrystalline model using ABAQUS software. The results show that the stress at the crystal boundary is much higher than that in the crystal, cracks occur earlier in the former than in the latter, and cracks extend along the direction perpendicular to the force. When a polycrystalline model with pores is subjected to tensile stress, a stress concentration occurs when the end of the pores is perpendicular to the stress direction, and the propagation and aggregation direction of the pores is basically perpendicular to the direction of the tensile stress. When a polycrystalline model with impurities is subjected to force, the stress concentrates around the impurity but the strain here is minimal, which leads to the crack propagating along the impurity direction. This study can provide theoretical guidance for controlling the generation of macroscopic cracks in beam blanks. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Continuous Casting)
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Open AccessArticle
Numerical Simulation of Electromagnetic Field in Round Bloom Continuous Casting with Final Electromagnetic Stirring
Metals 2018, 8(11), 903; https://doi.org/10.3390/met8110903
Received: 25 September 2018 / Revised: 1 November 2018 / Accepted: 1 November 2018 / Published: 5 November 2018
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Abstract
A 3D mathematical model was developed to simulate the electromagnetic field in Φ600 mm round bloom continuous casting with final electromagnetic stirring (F-EMS), and the model was verified using measured data for the magnetic flux density in the stirrer centre. The distribution of [...] Read more.
A 3D mathematical model was developed to simulate the electromagnetic field in Φ600 mm round bloom continuous casting with final electromagnetic stirring (F-EMS), and the model was verified using measured data for the magnetic flux density in the stirrer centre. The distribution of electromagnetic force and the influence of current intensity and frequency were investigated. The results show that the Joule heat generated by F-EMS is very small and its influence on secondary cooling heat transfer in the stirring zone can be ignored. With an increase in current frequency, the electromagnetic force density at R/2 and R/3 of the Φ600 mm round bloom first increases and then decreases, reaching a maximum at 10 Hz. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Continuous Casting)
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Open AccessArticle
Numerical Study on the Influence of a Swirling Flow Tundish on Multiphase Flow and Heat Transfer in Mold
Metals 2018, 8(5), 368; https://doi.org/10.3390/met8050368
Received: 30 April 2018 / Revised: 11 May 2018 / Accepted: 18 May 2018 / Published: 21 May 2018
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Abstract
The effect of a new cylindrical swirling flow tundish design on the multiphase flow and heat transfer in a mold was studied. The RSM (Reynolds stress model) and the VOF (volume of fluid) model were used to solve the steel and slag flow [...] Read more.
The effect of a new cylindrical swirling flow tundish design on the multiphase flow and heat transfer in a mold was studied. The RSM (Reynolds stress model) and the VOF (volume of fluid) model were used to solve the steel and slag flow phenomena. The effect of the swirling flow tundish design on the temperature distribution and inclusion motion was also studied. The results show that the new tundish design significantly changed the flow behavior in the mold, compared to a conventional tundish casting. Specifically, the deep impingement jet from the SEN (Submerged Entry Nozzle) outlet disappeared in the mold, and steel with a high temperature moved towards the solidified shell due to the swirling flow effect. Steel flow velocity in the top of the mold was increased. A large velocity in the vicinity of the solidified shell was obtained. Furthermore, the risk of the slag entrainment in the mold was also estimated. With the swirling flow tundish casting, the temperature distribution became more uniform, and the dissipation of the steel superheat was accelerated. In addition, inclusion trajectories in the mold also changed, which tend to stay at the top of the mold for a time. A future study is still required to further optimize the steel flow in mold. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Continuous Casting)
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Open AccessArticle
Modelling on Inclusion Motion and Entrapment during the Full Solidification in Curved Billet Caster
Metals 2018, 8(5), 320; https://doi.org/10.3390/met8050320
Received: 12 April 2018 / Revised: 2 May 2018 / Accepted: 2 May 2018 / Published: 6 May 2018
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Abstract
Inclusions entrapped by the solidifying front during continuous casting would deteriorate the properties of the final steel products. In order to investigate the inclusion motion and the entrapment during the full solidification in curved billet caster, the present work has developed a three-dimensional [...] Read more.
Inclusions entrapped by the solidifying front during continuous casting would deteriorate the properties of the final steel products. In order to investigate the inclusion motion and the entrapment during the full solidification in curved billet caster, the present work has developed a three-dimensional numerical model coupling the flow, solidification, and inclusion motion. The predicted result indicates that the inclusion distribution inside the liquid pool of the mold is not perfectly symmetrical. Furthermore, the motion and the entrapment of micro inclusions in the mold are mainly affected by the molten steel flow pattern, however, those of macro inclusions depend both on the molten steel flow pattern and the buoyancy force of the inclusions. In the curved part of the strand, macro inclusions shift to the solidifying front of the inner radius as time goes on, while the solidifying front of the outer radius cannot entrap inclusions. The distributions of inclusions smaller than 5 μm in the solidified strand are even. However, for inclusions that are larger than 5 μm, their distributions become uneven. To validate the model, measurement of the strand surface temperature and the detection of inclusions in samples obtained from a plant have been performed. Good agreement is found between the predicted and experimental results. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Continuous Casting)
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Open AccessArticle
A Combined Hybrid 3-D/2-D Model for Flow and Solidification Prediction during Slab Continuous Casting
Metals 2018, 8(3), 182; https://doi.org/10.3390/met8030182
Received: 11 December 2017 / Revised: 19 January 2018 / Accepted: 8 March 2018 / Published: 14 March 2018
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (9346 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A combined hybrid 3-D/2-D simulation model was developed to investigate the flow and solidification phenomena in turbulent flow and laminar flow regions during slab continuous casting (CC). The 3-D coupling model and 2-D slicing model were applied to the turbulent flow and laminar [...] Read more.
A combined hybrid 3-D/2-D simulation model was developed to investigate the flow and solidification phenomena in turbulent flow and laminar flow regions during slab continuous casting (CC). The 3-D coupling model and 2-D slicing model were applied to the turbulent flow and laminar flow regions, respectively. In the simulation model, the uneven distribution of cooling water in the width direction of the strand was taken into account according to the nozzle collocation of secondary cooling zones. The results from the 3-D turbulent flow region show that the impact effect of the molten steel jet on the formation of a solidification shell is significant. The impact point is 457 mm below the meniscus, and the plug flow is formed 2442 mm below the meniscus. In the laminar flow region, grid independence tests indicate that the grids with a cell size of 10 × 10 mm2 are sufficient in simulations to attain the precise temperature distribution and solidification profile. The liquid core of the strand is not entirely uniform, and the solidification profile agrees well with the integrated distribution of cooling water in secondary cooling zones. The final solidification points are at a position of 400–500 mm in the width direction and are 17.66 m away from the meniscus. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Continuous Casting)
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Review

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Open AccessFeature PaperReview
Electromagnetic Forces in Continuous Casting of Steel Slabs
Metals 2019, 9(4), 471; https://doi.org/10.3390/met9040471
Received: 23 March 2019 / Revised: 14 April 2019 / Accepted: 20 April 2019 / Published: 23 April 2019
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Abstract
This paper reviews the current state of the art in the application of electromagnetic forces to control fluid flow to improve quality in continuous casting of steel slabs. Many product defects are controlled by flow-related phenomena in the mold region, such as slag [...] Read more.
This paper reviews the current state of the art in the application of electromagnetic forces to control fluid flow to improve quality in continuous casting of steel slabs. Many product defects are controlled by flow-related phenomena in the mold region, such as slag entrapment due to excessive surface velocity and level fluctuations, meniscus hook defects due to insufficient transport of flow and superheat to the meniscus region, and particle entrapment into the solidification front, which depends on transverse flow across the dendritic interface. Fluid flow also affects heat transfer, solidification, and solute transport, which greatly affect grain structure and internal quality of final steel products. Various electromagnetic systems can affect flow, including static magnetic fields and traveling fields which actively accelerate, slow down, or stir the flow in the mold or strand regions. Optimal electromagnetic effects to control flow depends greatly on the caster geometry and other operating conditions. Previous works on how to operate electromagnetic systems to reduce defects are discussed based on results from plant experiments, validated computational models, and lab scale model experiments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Continuous Casting)
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