Detachment of a Soluble Particle at the Slag-Argon Interface: CFD Study and Experimental Observations

Xiaomeng Zhang, Susanne Katharina Michelic, Stefan Pirker, Mahdi Saeedipour

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The behavior of non-metallic inclusions at interfaces of high-temperature melt and molten slag affects the removal of inclusions and the consequent melt cleanness. This study presents real-time in situ observations on the behavior of an oxide particle in the vicinity of the slag-argon interface by means of high-temperature confocal scanning laser microscopy (HT-CSLM). On top of that, CFD simulations are conducted to investigate the underlying mechanisms of particle-interface interactions. In addition to revealing the particle motion process from the argon phase toward the slag, a significant particle morphology alteration associated with its dissolution in the slag is experimentally observed. Particularly, upon detachment from the slag-argon interface, the particle exhibits more dissolution at the near-interface area. By combining with numerical simulations, this study indicates that particle separation at the interface can be characterized as two stages. First, a short-term capillary force-driven motion stage happens until the particle initially settles at the interface. The settling position estimated by simulation shows good consistency with experimental measurement. Second, the particle takes a relatively long time to eventually detach from the interface, and this period is accompanied by particle dissolution. Investigations suggest that the concentration variation near the interface arising from particle dissolution triggers a Marangoni flow. This flow, in turn, enhances the local dissolution rate, consequently causing a significant particle morphology change that influences the detachment. This study provides new insight into the mechanism of inclusion removal through slag absorption in metallurgical processes. Both particle dynamics and dissolution kinetics, especially the effect of solutal Marangoni convection, are highlighted in detaching a small-scale particle from the fluid-fluid interface.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1442-1454
Number of pages13
JournalMetallurgical and materials transactions. B, Process metallurgy and materials processing science
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2024

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