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Process metallurgy

An Experimental Study of the Velocity Field during Filling of an Ingot Mould

Robert Eriksson, Anders Tilliander, Lage Jonsson, and Par Jonsson

Division of Metallurgy, Department of Material Science and Engineering, Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm/ Sweden.

In the present study the velocity field in a 1 :3 scale water model of a 4.2-tonne ingot mould was determined using Laser Doppler Anemom-
etry (LOA). The velocity was measured in the horizontal and vertical directions at several different locations along the centre plane of the
model. The effect of different volumetric flow rates and water temperatures was also investigated. The reproducibility of the measurements
was found to be satisfactory, since the mean velocity at any measurement location had an average difference of around 10% between two
fillings. The effect of different volumetric flow rates showed that while decreasing the flow rate, the mean velocity at the bottom turned from
an upward direction to a downward direction. At the top of the model the difference between the mean velocities for the different flow rates
was less pronounced. An influence of the temperature on the mean velocity could be observed. However, further studies are required to ver-
ify this result.

Experimentelle Bestimmung des Gechwindigkeitsfeldes in einer Blockfom wahrend des Fullvorgangs. In der vorliegenden Arbeit
wurde mit Laser-Doppler-Anemometrie (LDA) das Geschwindigkeitsfeld in einem 1 :3-Wassermodell einer 4,2-t-Kokille bestimmt. Die Ge-
schwindigkeit wurde an verschiedenen Stellen in horizontaler und vertikaler Richtung entlang der Mittenebene gemessen. Der Einfluss unter-
schiedlicher Stromungsraten und Temperaturen wurde ebenfalls untersucht. Die Reproduzierbarkeit der Messergebnisse wurde als zufrie-
denstellend beurteilt, da an jedem Messpunkt zwischen zwei FOllungen die mittlere Geschwindigkeit eine durchschnittliche Abweichung von
10% aufwies. Die Versuche mit unterschiedlichen Stromungsgraten zeigten, dass mit abnehmendem Durchfluss die mittlere Geschwindig-
keit am Boden von aufwarts in abwarts gerichtet Oberging. Im oberen Bereich des Modells war der Unterschied in den Geschwindigkeiten
bei den einzelnen Stromungsraten weniger ausgepragt. Ein Einfluss der Temperatur au! die mittlere Geschwindigkeit konnte beobachtet wer-
den. Jedoch sind zur Bestatigung dieses Ergebnisses weitere Untersuchungen notwendig.

Introduction several researchers at the present laboratory in order to in-

vestigate the flow field in various processes, ranging from
The fluid flow in the mould during up-hill teeming is of flames in highly preheated air combustion [ 10] and the ve-
great importance for the quality of the cast ingot and there- locity of the gas leaving an AOD-nozzle [11]. The LDA-
fore the quality of the final steel products. This water mod- technique has also been used extensively elsewhere for
el study aims to increase the knowledge about the velocity measurements in water models in a wide range of metallur-
profile in the mould during filling. It is believed that such gical reactors and processes [12-15].
information could be a valuable contribution to the ongoing In this study, the velocity of the water was measured at
work to eliminate reoxidation sources, since an optimized several different positions and also at different volumetric
teeming practice will reduce the number of exogenous in- flow rates during filling of a 1:3 Plexiglas model of a 4.2
clusions originating from the protective mould flux layer tonne ingot mould. The volumetric flow rate of the water
[1]. The effect of the mould flux layer and the mould filling was altered in such way that it corresponded to the variation
process on the inclusion characteristics have also been stud- in the filling rate encountered in the industry during ingot
ied in a series of plant trials carried out by Eriksson et al. teeming. Experiments were also carried out with different
[2]. It is therefore felt that water modelling is a well suited water temperatures in order to study the effect of the kine-
way to further study the up-hill teeming process. Water matic viscosity of the water on the measured velocities.
models have been used over the years by several re- In the first part of the paper the scaling of the modelling
searchers to study a wide range of phenomena that take is discussed. Thereafter, the experimental procedure is de-
place in various metallurgical processes, as for example scribed. Finally, results form the velocity measurements are
slag entrainment in continuous casting moulds [3-4] and gas presented and discussed.
stirred ladles [S]. Water modelling has also proved useful to
verify CFO-calculations [6-8]. Water models have previ-
ously been used to describe the flow field in ingot moulds Model Scaling
during filling [ 1-9], but since no details about the experi-
mentation were given a comparison with the results ob- It is often convenient to define a scale factor which is the
tained in this study is less meaningful. ratio between some characteristic length in the real flow
In the present work the velocity field during filling of a system and the model at hand. In the present work the scale
1:3 scale model of a 4.2 tonne ingot mould has been char- factor is defined according to the following relationship
acterized using Laser Doppler Anemometry (LOA) tech-
nique. Laser Doppler Anemometry has proven to be a ver-
satile technique to measure the velocity field in different
fluids. This measurement technique has been employed by

steel research 74 (2003) No. 7 423

Process metallurgy

where Lp and Lm are some characteristic lengths of the real water at room temperature and liquid steel at 1550°C is al-
system and the model respectively. The scale factor has most equal, which can be seen in figure 2 [16-17], the fol-
been set to 3, i.e. the model is l :3 of the size of the real in- lowing relationship can be obtained from equation (2)
got mould. The scaled down model of the 4.2 ton ingot
mould has the following dimensions: 730 mm in height, (3)
140x 140 mm at the base and 210x 210 mm at the top. The
inlet inner diameter is 16 mm. The model is filled to a where vP is the velocity of the liquid in the real flow system
height of 680 mm. A schematic description of the model as and v m is the velocity in the scaled model. Thus, the meas-
well as the inlet can be found in figure 1. ured velocities in the scaled model are equal to the veloci-
In order to translate the observations and/or measure- ties in the real ingot mould times the inverse of the scale
ments done in the scaled model to the real system, some factor, if a Reynolds number similarity is employed.
specific physical similarity criteria have to be met. In order The Froude number, which is the ratio between the iner-
to get an accurate model description, the Reynolds, Froude tia and the gravitational forces acting in the fluid, can be de-
and Weber numbers must be kept similar between the real fined as
ingot mould and the scaled model. However, it is practical-
ly not possible to fulfil all of the three similarity criteria at pv 2 /L v2
once, which will be seen in the following section. The Fr=--=- (4)
pg gL
Reynolds number, which is the ratio between the inertia
forces and the viscous forces acting in the fluid, is described where g is the gravitational constant. If the Froude number
by the following relationship in the scaled model and the real ingot mould are set to be
equal, the following relationship can be obtained
Re= pv /L = Lv (2) (5)
µv/ £2 7/

where p is the density and µ is the dynamic viscosity of the In the case of Froude number similarity, the measured ve-
fluid, v is the velocity and T/ is the kinematic viscosity of the locities in the scaled model are equal to the velocities in the
fluid. Under the assumption that the kinematic viscosity of real ingot mould times the square root of the scale factor.



-- ----- ----- ----- 680 mm, max fill height





model inlet

Figure 1. Schematic representation of the model and the inlet.

424 steel research 74 (2003) No. 7

Process metallurgy

Temperature of steel, •c
1480 1500 1520 1540 1560 1580 1600 1620 1640 1660 1680
2.0 ,-...,.....--,"""T""-,----r----r--r----.---...-,.----..--..--..---.--r-........--.-"""T""~~
1.8 -•-Water 1.05 ;lli;
Ill :5·
NE -steel
17 CD
"'0 !i
':- 1.4 <
.... ur
$ 0
ct! 1.2 0
3: 0.95 (/)

( /)
0.85 - a,

(/) "!..
0 20 40 60 80 100
Temperature of water, •c
Figure 2. A comparison of the kinematic viscosity of water and liquid steel in the temperature range 0-100°c and 1500-1640°C, respective-

The Weber number, which is the ratio between the inertia The decrease in the kinematic viscosity is, however not
forces and the interfacial forces, can in the case of a fluid- sufficient enough to allow for both Reynolds and Froude
fluid interface be described as number similarity in a 1:3 scale model. It can be concluded
from equation (7) that in order to fulfil the Reynolds and the
We= v Pt Froude number similarity simultaneously and use the pres-
Jyg(p1 - P2) ent 1:3 scale model, a kinematic viscosity of the water of
0.18 is required. However, this is not feasible, as is evident
where y is the interfacial tension, p 1 and P2 are the densities in figure 2. Since scaled down water model studies are usu-
of the two liquids, respectively. The Weber number similar- ally carried out iso-thermally, at room temperature, without
ity is used when the interaction between two liquid phases having the possibility to obtain both Reynolds and Froude
is important e.g. entrainment in ladles and moulds. number similarity, Froude number similarity is considered
It can easily be concluded that in order to satisfy the to be the most important condition to fulfil [3;20]. In this
Reynolds (equation (3)) and Froude number similarity cri- present study the main focus will be on measurements at
teria (equation (5)) at the same time at 20°C one needs to 20°C, but the effect of elevated temperatures is also inves-
build a full-scale water model, i.e. A=l [18]. According to tigated.
Cramb et al. [19], however, it is possible to alter the tem- To model the filling of an ingot mould as accurately as
perature of the water, thus, affecting its kinematic viscosity possible, it is not only necessary to do an appropriate scal-
in such way that Reynold, Froude and Weber number simi- ing of the geometry of the mould, it is also necessary to
larity can be obtained simultaneously for multi-phase flow. scale the volumetric flow rate at which the mould is filled
That situation is, however, not directly applicable in the [21-22]. Assuming Froude number similarity (equation (5)),
present investigation, since it only considers single-phase the time for an event to take place in the real mould can be
flow, during filling of an ingot mould. Of course, this is a described as
simplification of the real situation where a protective mould
flux is always present on top of the rising steel surface. (8)
On the other hand, it is most interesting to investigate the
possibilities to simultaneously obtain both Reynolds and
and similarly in the scaled model as
Froude number similarity in the 1:3 scale model of an ingot
mould presently used. As can be seen in figure 2, the kine-
matic viscosity of water decreases drastically if the temper- (9)
ature is increased. In order to determine the required water
temperature to obtain both Reynolds and Froude number
similarity in the flow system, equations (3) and (5) can be If equation (5) is combined with equations (8) and (9), the
combined to give the following expression following relationship is obtained

TJm(T) = TJv(T) (7)

,\y'X (10)

steel research 74 (2003) No. 7

Process metallurgy

From this it is clear that the ratio between the volumetric

flow rate in the real mould and the scaled model can be de- Flow Meter
scribed as Transmitting/
Receiving Probe

i~ Laser
The volumetric flow rate used during up-hill teeming in
o - r
the industry of interest for the present study is in the range
of 50-80 dm 3min- 1. During filling of the ingot mould in the Flow Control
industry, the volumetric flow rate decreases constantly Heating Element Valve
Water Reservoir
since the flow is driven by the ferro-static head in the ladle
and the fact that the sliding gate nozzle on the ladle is not Figure 3. Schematic representation of the experimental set-up.
used to control the discharge rate. In this investigation a
constant volumetric flow rate has been used during filling The velocity measurements were made using an argon ion
of the scaled down water model. laser (Spectra-Physics Stabilite model 2017) working in the
back-scatter mode. This means that the laser light is emitted
Experimental and received by the same optical unit. The measurement
data were analysed using a Dantec PDA software on a PC-
Principle - Laser Doppler Anemometry. The basic computer. The focal length of the back-scattering setup used
components of the Laser Doppler Anemometry equipment in this study was 600 mm and the measuring volume was a
are a laser, a beam splitter, transmitting/receiving optics, a few millimetres. It is only possible to carry out the LDA
photo detector, a signal processor and a data analysis sys- measurements in one single point at a time. Therefore, a
tem [ 10]. The beam splitter, which is a Bragg cell, creates transverse movable system was used to direct the measure-
two beams with equal intensity, but with different frequen- ment probe horizontally and vertically.
cies. These are focused into optical fibers bringing them to
a probe containing transmitting/receiving optics. In the Results and Discussion
probe, the parallel beams from the optical fibers are focused
by a lens which causes them to intersect in the measurement In most of the experiments, the water model was filled
area. The measurement volume is typically a few millime- with a constant flow rate of 350 dm 3h- 1 and a constant wa-
tres long. The flow velocity is measured in the point of in- ter temperature of 20°C. If not, that circumstance is pointed
tersection between the two beams. out in the text. At each measuring point the velocities were
A fringe-like pattern is created in the volume of intersec- measured in the horizontal and vertical direction at the cen-
tion between the two laser beams. The particles that move tre plane of the model during at least two fillings. From
across this intersection volume will scatter the laser light, these measurements, a mean velocity was calculated in the
producing a signal consisting of dark and light regions. The horizontal and vertical direction. A velocity vector was then
fringe spacing is dependent on factors concerned with the calculated from the mean velocity of the two components.
optical system, such as the configuration of the lens, laser The mean velocity from the different measurements, at the
beam diameter and the angle between the two beams. Flow same measuring point, showed a difference of approxi-
velocity information comes from light scattered by tiny par- mately 10%. This indicates that the reproducibility of the
ticles (seeding) carried in the fluid as they move through the LDA technique in the present application was sufficient.
measurement volume. It is collected by a receiving lens and The mean velocities during the time period between 17
focused on a photo detector producing a signal at the and 25 seconds from the start of filling are shown in
Doppler frequency. The velocity is calculated from the figure 4. It can be seen that the velocity is high at the inlet,
Doppler frequency and the fringe distance. which is expected since water enters the larger mould at a
Experimental Setup. In the present water model study flow rate of 350 dm3h- 1 through an inlet of only a 16 mm
of the velocity field during filling of an ingot mould, a 1:3 diameter. From the figure, it is also clear that there is a re-
Plexiglas model was used. Water was fed from a brass inlet, circulation loop on both sides of the inlet. The same ten-
located in the bottom of the model, from the 100 litre water dencies can be observed for the time period 35 to 49 sec-
reservoir equipped with a 4 kW heating element using an onds after start of filling, which is shown in figure 5. It is
electric circulation pump. The filling rate could be manual- also seen that, at distances farther away from the inlet, the
ly adjusted by a valve controlled volume flow meter rang- measured vertical velocity is lower than at the entrance.
ing from 0-400 litres per hour. The experimental setup is In figure 6, the velocity vectors for the filling period
schematically described in figure 3. Air was bubbled into ranging from 93 s to 148 s from start of filling is shown. Af-
the water in the reservoir to create small air bubbles, suffi- ter 148 s the water surface reaches a vertical distance of ap-
ciently small to just follow the main flow field. The LDA proximately 380 mm. From the lower part of the figure it
equipment was then used to measure the velocity of the can be seen that a high vertical velocity is found close to the
bubbles in the water. inlet and that recirculation loops exist. This is similar to

426 steel research 74 (2003) No. 7

Process metallurgy

(mm)~ ---- - <--- -

(mm) - ----- ----- - - L- -
650.;. 0.1 mis 0.1 mis

600-:- 600

550+ 550
<------5 30 >--- ~ - 5 30

500t 500

450.;. 450

400+ 400
- 380 - 380


300+ 300

250+ 250

200+ 200
~I <.1 I 185

150-'- 150
'------1 140

5,.\ 110
/·/'-- ; 140

100t 110

50 ~-~f-+

50 50 .y ~f 80


L ,.i'- +-+-+--+--+-+--+-+ -+-+-1---+-+---+-+ -+--r++-+-+--+---

-100 -50 0 50 100
-100 -50 0 50 100

Figure 4. The measured mean velocity vectors during filling in the Figure 5. The measured mean velocity vectors during filling in the
time period from 17 to 25 s. time period of 35 to 49 s.

what was seen in figures 4 and 5. However, in the upper part However, in general it is clear that one expects that the
of the figure, it can be seen that the flow is directed down- highest velocities should be found close to the mould inlet,
wards forming a big recirculation loop. where water is entering through a small inlet hole. Also, it
Figure 7 represents the last studied filling period, from is clear that the width of the mould increases from 140 mm
148 s from start of filling to end of filling. The results are at the bottom to 220 mm at the top. This will direct the flow
very similar to what was found in figure 6, for the previous out towards the side walls where it will move downwards,
filling period. Thus, it seems that during the filling of the thus creating the circulation loops observed in this study.
upper part of the mould a downward flow is created. How- One also has to remember that the free surface is moving
ever, one has t(? keep in mind that these are only measure- with a velocity of about 2.6 mms- 1 during the filling. This
ments from one vertical plane. If other planes are chosen, continuous movement of the surface might dampen the ten-
such as a plane representing the half radius distance, a dencies to create circulation loops.
slightly different flow pattern might be expected. The effect of a changed flow rate on the measured veloc-
Also, from figures 4-7 it seems apparent that the flow pat- ities was also studied. The change in mean velocities with
tern is not entirely stable during the filling period. Only different volume flow was measured at five different loca-
large-scale time dependent movements can explain the ob- tions, A-E, shown in figure 8. Three different volume flows
served variations during the filling of the model ingot. were applied, 100, 200 and 350 dm 3h- 1• The measured

steel research 74 (2003) No. 7

Process metallurgy

(mm ) - - - - - - - - - - - - ->---- (mm) ----------- 0.1 mis

65 0 0.1 mis 650

600 600

550 550
- 530 530


450 450

400 400

///// k//

;//// /// 380

300 300

250 250


///Ii~ •.,
.( ( ii;.

185 \L. 185

150 150
jl,iT/ 140 / / (ii~ 140

'\ TV 1 T,k'

110 110
100 100

50 y1/v 80

50 50 j/1



-50 0 50 100
L, -100 -50 0 50 100

Figure 6. The measured mean velocity vectors during filling in the Figure 7. The measured mean velocity vectors during filling, in the
time period of 93 to 148 s. time period of 148 to the end of filling.

mean velocities are given in table 1. As expected, the high- to remember that this study only measured velocities along
est upwards velocities at the position closest to the inlet (po- one vertical plane. It would be necessary to measure the ve-
sition A) are related to the highest volume flow, since the locities along more vertical planes in order to get a more
momentum increases with an increasing flow rate. For the complete picture of the overall flow pattern in the ingot dur-
lowest flow rate, the mean velocity at position A is directed ing filling.
downwards. For the flow rate of 200 dm 3h- 1, it becomes di- The effect of different temperatures on the fluid velocity
rected downwards in position B. In positions C, D, E all the was also investigated. The water temperature was increased
mean velocities for the different flow rates are directed to 50°C and the velocities were measured at the locations A-
downwards and furthermore these are more or less of the E using a volume flow rate of 350 dm3h-i. A comparison
same magnitude. From the results in figures 4 to 7 and in between the mean velocities obtained with water of 20°C
table 1, it is clear that at measurement positions farther and 50°C is given in table 2. A small influence of the tem-
away from the inlet (positions B to E) an increased flow rate perature on the mean velocity could be observed. At the two
at the inlet does not necessarily lead to a higher vertical ve- positions which are closest to the inlet (position A and B),
locity. Instead, it is the overall flow pattern that determines there is a tendency that the higher temperature results in a
where the velocities are highest. Here, it is again important higher horizontal and axial velocity compared to the data

428 steel research 74 (2003) No. 7

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Table 1. Mean velocity in horizontal (U) and vertical (V) direction for
different volumetric flow rates at five locations in the model at a
water temperature of 20 °C.

Position Flow Rate (lh- 1) UMean (ms·') VMean(ms"')

100 -0.05 -0.06

600 200 -0.03 0.08


350 0.03 0.28

100 -0.09 -0.13

500 B 200 -0.07 -0.01

350 0.00 0.10

100 -0.09 -0.15
c 200 -0.10 -0.11

350 -0.06 -0.11

350 100 -0.10 -0.16

D 200 -0.12 -0.13

350 -0.10 -0.14
c -0.11 -0.15
250 100

E 200 -0.13 -0.16

350 -0.11 -0.12


Table 2. Mean velocity in horizontal ( ll) and vertical ( V) direction for

different water temperatures at five locations in the model with a
flow rate of 350 dm3 h-1 .

50 Position Temperature (0 C) UMean (ms·') V Mean (IDS" 1)

L, -100 -50 0 50 100





20 0.00 0.10
Figure 8. The locations of the measuring points for different volume B
flows and temperatures. 50 -0.01 0.12

20 -0.06 -0.11
measured using the colder water. This is also true for the
so -0.08 -0.07
horizontal velocities at positions C to E. However, the ver-
tical velocities in positions C to E seem to decrease with an 20 -0.10 -0.14
increased water temperature. D
50 -0.11 -0.11
The results from the scaling of the model might also be
used to discuss the expected difference in velocity with a 20 -0.11 -0.12
change in temperature and the usefulness of the data for E
predicting the situation during filling of steel. However, this 50 -0.12 -0.10
comparison must be limited to the region close to the inlet
since the further away from the inlet the more the general
flow pattern determines the velocity values, as pointed out in our 1: 3 scale model, we can calculate that the water kine-
above. Let us assume that liquid steel is filled at a tempera- matic viscosity needs to be 0.19·1~ m2s- 1. From figure 2,
ture of 1535°C, which corresponds to a kinematic viscosity it is clear that we cannot obtain such a low kinematic vis-
of 0.96-10--6 m 2s- 1• If we use equation (7) to obtain both a cosity even if the water was l00°C. By using water of 50°C
Reynolds and Froude number similarity in the flow system instead of 20°C we lowered the viscosity from 1.0· l~

steel research 74 (2003) No. 7 429

Process metallurgy

m2s- 1 to 0.56· 10-6 m2s- 1• The results in table 2 for the posi- Contact: Robert Eriksson
tion closest to the inlet showed that the lowered kinematic Dept. of Material Science and Engineering
viscosity led to slightly higher velocities. However, meas- Royal Institute of Technology
urements at even higher temperatures are necessary in order 10044 Stockholm I Sweden
to obtain a better understanding of the effect of water tem-
perature on the measured velocities. References
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