UBC Theses and Dissertations
Mold behavior, heat transfer and quality of billets cast with in-mold electromagnetic stirring Bommaraju, Ramaprasad V.
Mold behavior, mold-related quality and the columnar-to-equiaxed transition influenced by in-mold EMS were examined by performing trials at two steel companies, metallurgical examination of the billet samples and mathematical modelling. The thermal fields in the walls of billet molds (102 X 102mm and 127 X 178mm) and in the cooling water were monitored by a system of thermocouples as the EMS was switched on and off during the continuous casting of several heats. The effect of electro-magnetic stirring on mold heat extraction was found to be negligible. The mold temperatures and cooling water temperatures are strongly dependent on the mold/billet gap which is affected by dynamic distortion of the mold tube. In the case of the square mold, the time-dependent mold distortion resulted from boiling adjacent to the cold face due to low water velocity and poor water quality. In the rectangular mold, differential expansion of the wide and narrow faces of the mold led to periodic wall movement at the midface causing cycling in the mold and water temperature. Both effects completely dominated any potential influence of EMS on mold heat extraction. Cooling water velocities measured in separate experiments and the mold temperature profiles were input to a two-dimensional heat-flow model to establish mold heat-flux profiles. A steep taper of 2.6 %/m in the upper regions of the mold increased heat extraction compared to previously published heat-flux data in 0.8 %/m tapered-molds. However, due to the periodic wall movement in the rectangular mold, the heat flux declines to lower values periodically. The calculated heat flux profiles were employed in a one-dimensional transient heat flow model to predict superheat removal from the liquid pool under a variety of assumed fluid flow conditions. The major heat flow effect of EMS was inferred to be one of increasing the convective heat flow at the solidification front leading to earlier superheat extraction from the liquid steel. Solidification structures in billet samples collected during the trials were examined. The columnar-to-equiaxed transition in continuous casting takes place provided all the superheat is removed from the melt and there is a sufficient density of nuclei present in the pool. At superheats of <20° C in the tundish, high heat extraction in the mold and remelting of the mold generated nuclei facilitate the removal of the superheat well within the mold and the columnar-equiaxed transition is triggered after 10-15 mm of shell growth on both the inside and outside radius faces. At higher superheat in the tundish, the liquid pool leaves the mold with residual superheat which takes longer to remove because of the declining fluid flow. Even though all the superheat is removed lower in the machine, the columnar-equiaxed transition occurs only if dendrite debris generated in the vicinity of the mold has survived in their descent through the superheated liquid. The effect of carbon on the columnar-to-equiaxed transition appears to stem from its influence on facilitating dendrite arm remelting and the survival of the dendrite fragments till the pool reaches sub-liquidus temperature. EMS extracts more superheat by maintaining a steep temperature gradient in the thermal boundary ahead of the solidification front and achieves an earlier columnar-equiaxed transition. Electro-magnetic stirring appears not to affect either the average depth or the variation of depth of oscillation marks across a given face. However, the electro-magnetically driven flow dominates the turbulance at the meniscus due to the input stream and stabilizes a meniscus shape with the result that the oscillation marks are also of a well-defined shape unlike the unstirred billets. No influence of EMS was found on the formation of "hooks" or the fine equiaxed crystal zone near the surface. The influence of EMS on inclining the growing dendrites appears to not come into effect until about 1 mm of shell has formed. It appears that the existence of the momentum boundary layer where the velocity of the rotating steel falls to zero at the surface is the reason for the absence of the influence of EMS on the subsurface solidification. Rhomboidity and off-corner crack formation were found to depend, as reported by previous researchers, on mold distortion and its dynamic nature. The absence of any effect of EMS on these defects is due to its lack of effect on mold heat transfer and thus mold distortion.
Item Citations and Data