Role of Solidification in Submerged Entry Nozzle Clogging During Continuous Casting of Steel
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External Organisational units
- K1-MET GmbH Leoben
Metallurgists are embroiled in a debate on the role of solidification in submerged entry nozzle (SEN) clogging during continuous casting of steel: does clogging originate from solidification, or does clogging cause the solidification? This study tries to clarify this debate. An enthalpy-based mixture continuum model is used to simulate solidification in a clog structure. The 3D structure of the clog is reconstructed using X-ray tomography images of an as-clogged piece in an SEN, and is directly used in the numerical model. The flow and solidification in the open pores/channels of the clog structure are then calculated. The modeling results demonstrate that although solidification does occur deep in the clog structure as the melt flow is stopped, a gap remains between the solidification and clog fronts. This gap signifies an open-channel clog region, and the clog structure in this region needs to be mechanically strong to withstand the impact of the melt flow; otherwise, fragmentation occurs. The study verifies that the solidification cannot occur before clogging if the molten steel has sufficient superheat and the SEN is properly preheated. A SEN made of an isolating refractory material can postpone the clogging, thereby extending its service life.