Continuous casting is the process where molten steel is solidified into semi-finished billets, blooms, or slabs for subsequent rolling in finishing mills. In continuous casting, liquid steel is transferred in a ladle to the casting machine. When the casting operation starts, the sliding shutter at the bottom of the ladle is opened and the steel flows at a controlled rate into the tundish and from the tundish into one or more molds.
Prior to the introduction of continuous casting in the 1950s, steel was poured into stationary molds to form ingots. Since then, continuous casting has evolved to achieve improved yield, quality, productivity and cost efficiency. Casting companies are always striving for process improvements, and simulation with FLOW-3D Cast offers them the chance to do so without physical trial-and-error, which can be both costly and time-consuming.
There are numerous aspects of the tundish process that can be the subject of optimization studies, including:
- Filling of an empty tundish at beginning of the casting sequence
- Time during incoming metal from the ladle
- Ladle change (with and without grade change)
- Filling of the tundish to operating level after ladle change (with and without grade change)
- Temperature distribution development and particle behavior during operation
- End of the casting sequence (machine stopping order)
- Asymmetric flows (scrapping practice)
- Special situations such as when there is more than one mold, and one or more of the molds are not in use.