Continuous Casting

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.

Semi-Continuous Casting of a 600 mm Slab with Stress Calculation

A startup process of a semi-continuous casting of a 600 mm diameter slab is modeled in this simulation. Liquid metal, A7050 alloy, enters from the top through a ceramic nozzle, passes through a graphite mold and emerges into the air where it is cooled by water spray which is modeled by a prescribed temperature and a heat transfer coefficient. A steel cap at the bottom initiates the movement of the metal, preventing the liquid metal from spilling. The cap is modeled as a general moving object component moving downwards at the constant speed of 0.3 mm/sec. The thermal stress evolution model is used to predict stresses and deformations that develop in the solid metal due to the non-uniform cooling and shrinkage. The animation shows the development of the Von Mises stress components, with deformations magnified by a factor of 400.

Continuous Casting Simulations

Rotational channel continuous casting example.

Solid fraction contours of the continuous casting process of a cylindrical steed rod using the general moving object and solidification models.

A 2D axisymmetric slice showing transient solidification contours through the transition region during continuous casting of a cylindrical steel rod.