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Lecture 2.

Continuous Casting

Continuous casting (right, red arrows) is a method of working steel that conveys steel from its molten state to blooms, ingots, or slabs. The white-hot metal is poured into open-ended molds and continues on through rollers cooled by water. A series of guide rollers further shapes the steel into the desired form. However, hot rolling (left, blue arrows) is still the primary means of milling steel. This process begins with pre-shaped steel slabs, which are reheated in a soaking pit. The steel passes through a series of mills: the blooming mill, the roughing mill, and the finishing mill, which make it progressively thinner. Finally, the steel is wound into coils and transported elsewhere for further processing.

slabs. and billets Replaced ingot casting which is still used in some steel plants or for certain grades of steel Concept is over 150 years old but continuous casting became widespread in Europe especially in the 1970s Perfectly suited to the mini mill concept with electric steel making facilities and a continuous caster.Continuous casting      Continuous casting accounts for about 95% of the world cast steel These castings take the form of blooms. .

Casting shapes and sizes .

Continuous casting schematic .

Continuous casting process .

sequence of events       Molten steel arrives from the secondary steelmaking facilities Poured (teemed) into a refractory lined tundish from the ladle usually under an argon shroud to prevent contact with air Acts as a reservoir for the steel.Continuous casting. Continuous process. and remove inclusions Steel travels into the mould via a submerged entry nozzles (SEN). and maintains a uniform flow of liquid steel into the mould Possible perform last minute refining in the tundish to ensure correct composition. allowing for ladle changes and multiple tundishes .

and travels down the mold with the dummy bar Water sprays further cool the shell. a thin shell of solid steel forms at the mould.sequence of events      Mould is made of copper and is water cooled As the dummy bar is withdrawn. and when it is thick enough it is bent to the horizontal and cut off into required lengths Mould powder (flux) is added to the top of the mould and plays an important role in the continuous casting process Electromagnetic methods also used to control in the mould .Continuous casting.

Tundish metallurgy    The tundish is now seen as a vital part of the steel making process though this is not always the case Particularly important in terms of clean steel practice Tundish is designed to:  Promote inclusion floatation by maximising residence time  Ensure inclusion removal by the slag  Prevent thermal and chemical losses from the melt .

not very well understood .Tundish metallurgy      Tundish clogging is a problem persists to a certain extent in all casting operations Reduce productivity by reducing throughout and causing nozzle or tundish exchanges Reduces internal quality by increasing the inclusion content in the strand Reduces surface quality by changing the level of the meniscus Complex phenomenon.

as it leads to non uniform solidification.Transfer from tundish to mould      Steel flows from the ladle to the tundish and then to the mould by gravity Between the tundish and mould. and defects of various kinds . the driving force is related to the amount of liquid metal in the tundish Control of the flow rate is via stopper rods or slide gates Control of flow is important in order to produce a steady stream of metal flowing into the mold Turbulent flow must be avoided.

Transfer from tundish to mould .

The submerged Entry Nozzle (SEN) Most SENs fabricated from alumina-carbon refractory material with zirconia or zirconia-carbon inserts (Z band)  The Z band is situated so that it provides wear resistance at the slag metal interface  Some casting operations don not use SENs. open pouring into mould  SEN design can be complex or kept simple  Design variables include bore size. wall thickness. port angle. and number of ports  .

or more commonly mould flux. and is water cooled It may be straight. is tapered. and support the liquid core.The mould      The mould is made of copper. and allows a solid shell to grow. is about 600 mm in length. and reciprocates or oscillates to prevent the steel from sticking to the copper It acts as the primary source for heat extraction. or more usually have a curvature of between 4 and 15 m in radius Curved moulds tend to allow greater inclusion removal to the mould flux The mould is lubricated using either oil. .

Problems include:  Entrapment of air and argon bubbles  Entrapment of mould flux and solid inclusions  Meniscus variations For these reasons. mould flow can be altered using a number of techniques . then it causes defects that can not be corrected.Flow in the mould Flow in the mould is important for a number of reasons If it is not controlled properly.

Mould powders (fluxes) Mould fluxes are usually based around SiO2 CaO. and carbon with smaller amounts of other components They are added onto the steel emerging from the SEN and are expected to:  Protect the steel meniscus from oxidation  Provide thermal insulation to prevent solidification of the steel surface  Absorb inclusions into the molten slag pool  To lubricate the strand and provide uniform heat transfer between strand and mould . Al2O3.

and properties of the flux. specifically:  Viscosity and break temperature of mould powder  Casting speed.Vc  Mould geometry  Oscillation characteristics . It is related to the casting conditions.Powder consumption Mould fluxes added either manually or automatically. Powder consumption per unit area of mould Qs is a critical parameter .

.Powder consumption     The powder consumption provides a measure of the amount of lubrication being supplied to the strand Variation from the normal can point to the formation of defects or the occurance of the breakouts It is of course important that the powder melting rate closely matches the consumption rate Carbon can either be added or removed from the mold powder in order to compensate of this.

This layer is formed when the molten flux solidifies on contact with the mould Near the strand a crystalline layer is formed. but heat transfer is governed by the solid slag layer. the thicker the layer With time. the higher the T br. the solid layer contracts and an air gap is formed.Lubrication and heat transfer      Lubrication is determined by the characteristics of the liquid slag layer. which reduces the heat transfer Another factor affecting the heat transfer is the thickness of the slag layer which is dependent on the break temperature of the slag. which also contributes to the heat transfer behaviour. .

The horizontal heat transfer between strand and mould needs to be controlled to prevent longitudinal cracking. The vertical heat transfer affects the depth of the oscillation mark.Heat transfer Heat transfer in the mould also affect defects formation. and molten pool depth. Horizontal heat transfer affected by:  Casting speed  Electromagnetic flow control  Steel grade  Mould level fluctuations . pinhole formation.

18%.Defects-cracks Longitudinal cracks can be classified into 2 groups:  Gross cracks up to 400 mm long associated with casting problem such as poor mould level control  Subsurface crack found when casting certain grades of steel which are difficult to detect These subsurface cracks are prevalent in peritectic (medium carbon) steels with carbon content of 0.06-0. . Remedy is to reduce the horizontal heat transfer to produce a thin uniform shell. The thermal shrinkages of the gamma and delta phases result in stresses being produced and will lead to an uneven having a thick solid slag layer.

.Defects. Another remedy is to use a mould powder that will lead to a thin solid slag layer (opposite to longitudinal cracking).break out Sticker breakouts involve a lack of lubrication Thought to be connected in some way to the blockage of the mold/strand gap by agglomeration of ZrO2 High carbon steels are prone to breakouts Techniques such as mould thermal monitoring can predict breakouts to a certain extent.

defects there are other defects such as: Slag and gas entrapment which is caused by turbulent flow in the mould Remedy is to manipulate the mould powder properties Pinholes which are caused by the capture of argon bubbles by the newly solidified surface Remedy is to reduce the vertical heat losses by increasing the powder layer thickness Pencil pipe defects or blowholes Silvers.entrapment of alumina in low or ULC steels. .

Method of flow control We have seen that turbulent metal flow causes problems such as entrapment. and SEN erosion It can also lead to the use of a non-optimum mould powder in order to counteract this Recently electromagnetic methods have been used to control the flow Electromagnetic braking and acceleration .

Summary continuous casting seem relatively simple Mould powders inexpensive. . but are asked to perform a number of operations that are vital to producing good quality steel castings Powder consumption is key process variable Control of horizontal heat transfer is vital in minimizing defect formations.