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Continuous Casting

Mold Flux Technology


A General Overview

By

Dr. M H DAFADAR
IMERYS STEELCASTING INDIA PVT LTD
23rd August 2016
Principles of continuous casting &
Mold Flux Technology

I S I P L, DURGAPUR (W.B.)
In principle the technology of continuous
casting is a relatively simple process:

Liquid steel adjusted in concern of chemical


composition and temperatrue according to
Continuous Casting
technological requirements is transferred
from ladle to tundish through a refractory
tube.
From the tundish the liquid steel is directed to
a water cooled mold by means of a
submerged entry nozzle (SEN). In this phase
heat is judiciously extracted from the molten
steel. By this the solidifcation of the cast
section is initiated from outer to inner region.
As the strand emerges from the mold it is
withdrawn continuously while being cooled
down until it is totally solidified.
General Casting Shapes

billets rounds blooms beam blanks

Oil or Mold Flux Oil or Mold Flux Oil or Mold Flux


required required required
Thin
Slab/Strip

Medium Mold
Flux
Thickness Slab
required

Slab
What is Casting Flux?

Mold fluxes are synthetic slags that are used in the continuous
casting process utilizing submerged entry nozzles (SENs).
These synthetic slags exist as complex mixtures of raw minerals,
ceramic based oxides, pre-reacted components, and carbon.
Available in many particle sizes, shapes, and types, mold flux is
made up of silica (SiO2), lime (CaO), sodium oxide (Na2O),
fluorspar (CaF2), and carbon (C). Other components of this slag
system include alumina (Al2O3), magnesium oxide (MgO), other
alkaline oxides (Li2O, K2O) and some metallic oxides (iron,
manganese, titanium) to achieve specific physical properties.
Basic Components for
Mold Flux Manufacture

SiO2
quartz dust, wollastonite, fly-ash, powdered glass, silicate
CaO
lime, lime stone, wollastonite, cement, slags
Na2O / K2O
sodium carbonate, potash, felspar, powdered glass
F
fluorspar, sodiumfluoride, cryolite, sodium hexaflourosilicate
C
coke dust, lamp black, graphite, fly-ash
Structure of a Mold Flux

Powder Granulated
Material Material
Accutherm ST-C/ & Accutherm ST-SP/
KROMATHERM Tm
No Free Carbon Bearing Mould Flux
Principles of Granular Mould Flux Technology
Production Process Steps
Raw Material Testing
Storage
Computer Weigh-Up
Mixing/Spray Drying
Process Control
Quality Control
Packaging
Shipping/Transportation

Similar to most industrial operations, the production of mould flux includes the following steps:
1. Incoming raw materials are tested for consistent chemistry, particle size, moisture and
density.
2. The verified raw materials are stored in bulk silos.
3. Raw materials are weighed-up by a computer driven weigh car.
4. If the mould flux to be produced is a powder product, it would be mechanically blended. If
the mould flux to be produced is a granular product then it would be sent to the slurry tank
and then to the spray dryer.
5. While the fluxes are mixed and/or spray dried, in process monitoring including chemical
analysis, particle size distribution and moisture are continuously verified.
6. Packaged per the customers specifications.
7. Quality Control: Quality verification and documentation.
Mold Fluxes
Liquid Slag Ionic Theory

Mold slags are silica based ionic melts. Silica tetrahedron ion
[SiO4]4- serves as the basic building block of the slag structure.

Silica is a network forming oxide (acid oxide). Oxides such as


CaO are network modifying oxides (basic oxide).

Oxides such as Al2O3 that might both form and modify a


network and therefore do not clearly fit into either group
commonly are called amphoteric oxides.
Physiochemical Nature of Mold Flux

SiO2 25 - 55 %
CaO 25 - 55 %
MgO 0 - 10 %
Al2O3 0 - 20 %
F 0 - 15 %
Na2O 0 - 20 %
K2O 0 - 10 %
B2O3 0 - 10 %
C-free 0 - 30 %
CO2 0 - 15 %
Bas CaO/SiO2 0,6 - 1,4

Network forming Oxides Network Modifying Oxides Amphoteric Oxides


Mold Fluxes are Silicate Chains

O O O

O Si O Si O Si O

O O O

[SiO4]4- (Silica tetrahedral) is the main buidling block


Mold Fluxes are Silicate Chains

O O

O Si O O Si O

Ca
O O

Ca creates weak, flexible bond


Mold Fluxes are Silicate Chains

O O O
Na

O Si O O Si O Si O

Na
O O O

Na creates even weaker bonds and more flexible chain


Mold Fluxes are Silicate Chains

O O

O Si O O Si F

Ca
O O

F shortens the chains which leads to further flexibility


General Relationships Between
Melting
Increase in Point, Viscosity and Thermal
Thermal Breakpoint
Breakpoint
Component Melting Point Viscosity (Tbr)
CaO/SiO2 Increase Decrease Increase

SiO2 Decrease Increase Decrease

B2O3 Decrease Decrease Decrease

CaO Increase Decrease Increase

MgO Decrease Decrease Decrease

BaO Decrease Decrease Decrease

Al2O3 Increase Increase Increase

Fe2O3 Decrease Decrease Decrease

TiO2 Increase Little Effect Increase

MnO Decrease Decrease Decrease

Na2O Decrease Decrease Decrease

Li2O Decrease Decrease Decrease

K2O Decrease Decrease Decrease

F Decrease Decrease Decrease


Application of Mold Fluxes

Liquid steel is transferred


to the mold through a
submerged entry nozzel
(SEN) - the molten metal
level rises.
At this state of casting
the liquid metal is unpro-
tected against ambient air
- oxidation may occured.
Application of Mould Fluxes

As soon as the
meniscus exceeds the
ports of the SEN mold
flux is added to the
mold.
Adding casting flux to
the mold protects the
steel against ambient
air and assures lubri-
cation.
Application of Mold Fluxes

At liquid metal level


constancy manual or
automatic feeding of
the mold flux should
be effected to ensure
its optimal efficiency.
Black Practice
Mould Flux Technology
Operational Parameters
Behaviour of Mold Fluxes

Covering properties
Thermal insulation at the liquid steel
meniscus to prevent premature soli-
dification.
Protection of the liquid steel against
ambient air.
Pick up of products of De-/Reoxi- dation
from the liquid steel.
Separation properties
Creation of a lubricating slag film that
prevents sticking to the mold wall and
assures strand withdrawl.
Regulation of the heat transfer to the
mold wall.
Casting Flux in the Mold

Upon stablishing steady-state powder layer


200 - 600 C
conditions a tri-layer mold flux profile
is formed in the mold.
sintered layer
The first layer consists of liquid slag; 650 - 1000 C
the second layer consists of sintered
material; the third layer is unmelted
mold flux.
liquid slag layer
1000 C - Tli Stahl

liquid steel
Casting Flux in Mold

Liquid Slag Layer

By the heat of the liquid steel


immediate creation of a liquid slag is
initiated that optimally protects the casting powder layer
steel from reoxi-dation. Together with
the products of reoxidation from the sintered layer
liquid steel a liquid slag layer forms liquid slag layer
that flows into the gap providing
lubrication between solidifying strand
shell and mold. The liquid slag
solidifies in the direct contact zone to
the mold wall. This solid slag film
excerts an influence on the heat
transfer to the mold.
Casting Flux in Mold

Casting powder layer


Sintered Layer
Sintered Layer
liquid slag
Right on top of the liquid slag
there is an intermediate zone
consisting of molten and semi-
molten slag material.
The sintered layer should not
have a too great expansion in
order to grant an optimal melting
of the casting powder
components.
Casting Flux in Mold

Casting Powder Layer

sintered layer
liquid slag
Casting Powder Layer
The casting powder layer
consists of unmolten casting
powder. This layer should
exhibit optimal flowability in
order to establish a flexible top
that can serve as an effective
insulating barrier
Contact Zone Contact Zone
Liquid Steel Steel Strand
(Covering Properties) Heat transfer (Deviding Properties)
- heat conductivity
- special heat capacity

Distribution behaviour
- bulk density
Thermal
- grain size
Protection
- grain structure
- humidity
Regulation of Heat
transfer
Melting behaviour
- melting interval
- melting time
- slag covering
- powder consumption
- crust formation

Wetting behaviour
- contact area tension
Prevention of
(steel/slag)
Reoxidation
Reduction of
frictional forces-
Flowing behaviour
- Viscosity
- contact area tension
(slag/strand
slag/mould)

Reoxidation tendency
- content of reducable
components
Pick-up of - Basicity(CaO/SiO2)
non-metallic - Cfree-content
particles
Solubility
- Al2O3-content
- Al2O3/CaO (SiO2)
- Viscosity
- contact area tension
(particles/slag)
Selection Criteria for Mold Flux

What grade of steel will be cast?


How is the steel made?
Casting Practice
Quality Issues
Mould Heat Transfer
Mould Slag Reactivity
Mould Slag (Liquid Slag) Profile
Mould Flux Consumption Rate
Quality demands
Technological parameters of the caster
Selection Criteria of Mold Flux

Steelmaking Process Steel Analysis Steel Liquidus


Temperature

Ladle Size Sequence length Stopper/Slide Gate

Tundish Size Argon Practice Steel Superheat

Protection against SEN Type, Design, Metal Level Control


Reoxidation Port Configuration in Mold

Mold Copper Type Mold Coating Mold Water Quantity


and Thickness and Temperature

Mold Taper Oscillation Parameter Casting Speed


in Mold
Casting Flux Characteristics and Consumption

Precondition for good casting flux characteristics is the optimal


transfer from powder to slag adapted to its consumption, i.e.
optimal melting behaviour.
Consumption of a flux usually is calculated as per
consumed casting flux quantity [kg] per ton cast steel;
More precise values are achieved when calculating consumption
as per
kg casting flux per m surface of the steel strand.

Optimal consumption rates are values within 0.25 - 0.50 kg/m.


Factors Influencing Consumption

Technological Factors Casting Flux Related Factors


Casting Speed Melting Rate
Oscillation Parameter Melting Temperature
Cast Dimensions Viscosity
Casting Temperature
How to Read TDS
Exercise - 1

CCF Basicity M Pt Cfree Viscosity


A 0.86 1250 1.5 4.8
B O.86 1090 4.4 1.2
C 1.26 1130 2.8 0.6
D 1.15 1120 4.5 2.1

Which CCF is suitable for High Speed casting ?


For low carbon grade, medium carbon grade ?
CCF- A is suitable for which grade of steel ?
Exercise - 2

CCF Basicity M Pt Cfree Viscosity


P 0.70 1130 13.5 19.5
Q 0.70 1130 6.0 19.5
R 0.64 1090 20 3.5
S 0.60 1060 20 5.3
T 0.95 1120 12.1 1.9
U 0.73 1120 12.1 1.7

Why variation of M Pt. in CCF ?


Why variation of Cfree in CCF ?
Casting Flux Consumption - Size 250 * 250 mm
Casting Flux Consumption - Size 250 * 1200 mm
Factors Influencing Melting Behaviour of Casting Fluxes

Technological Factors
Entrance and Flow of Steel in Mold
Mold Level Variations
Casting Temperature
Flux Feeding Method and Efficiency
Casting Flux related Factors
Carbon Content
Carbon Type
Flux Structure (Powder or Granulated Material)
Raw Materials Types
Definition of Viscosity by Newton

Viscoity is a property of a fluid that tends to prevent it from


flowing when subjected to an applied force. High viscosity fluids
resist flow; low viscosity fluids flow easily. The tenacity with
which a moving layer of fluid drags adjacent layers of fluid along
with it determines its viscosity, which is measured in a
viscometer. The resistance to flow of the liquid is a measure of
its viscosity.
Mold

Slag Rim

Casting Flux Sintered


Sintered Layer
Layer

Liquid Slag

Liquid Steel
Mold

Slag Rim
Casting Flux Sintered Layer

Liquid Slag

Liquid Steel
Casting Flux Entrapment from Turbulences in Mold
Casting Flux Entrapment from Turbulences in Mold

Turbulences appear
at the liquid steel
meniscus.

Liquid slag is cut


from the slag film
and entrapped by
liquid steel.

Such slag entrap-


ments are found in
ladle, tundish and
mold.
Prevention of
Casting Flux Slag Entrapment caused by turbulences:

Casting Process related Measurements:


optimal SEN Design to avoid high flow speeds in mold
optimized Argon Practice to prevent Suspension of
Steel and Slag
Casting Powder related Measurements:
Slag Composition that results in High Interfacial
Tension between Steel and Slag
Comparably High Viscosity Slags
Investigation of Break-out

Break-out
Sticker B/O Bleeding B/O
Insufficient Shell puncture
lubrication
Insufficient slag Too much slag Super heat, Basicity, NMI
Speed, Steel
chemistry
M Pt & Cfree ! Belt formation ! Mold Water ! SEN clogging !
Consumption !
Longitudinal Defects Probable cause
Worn out mould
Scratches and cracks on copper plate
Deposits on water slots leading to uneven heat flux
Misalignment of mould
SEN alignment, depth and design
Carbon content of steel 0.08-0.15 %
Oscillation and oscillator table condition
Mould level fluctuations
Steel analysis (too much impurities: S;P,As,Sn,Sb)
Too high pick up of AL
Al2O3 in casting powder
Clean steel practice
Too low casting speed
Mould cooling
Casting powder feeding practice
Not suited casting powder
Principles of Auto Flux Feeder
Auto Flux Feeder (AFF)
Global Customer List
Global Customer List
Auto Flux Feeder (AFF)
.

Thanks for Attention