Formation and Chemical Development of Non-metallic Inclusions in Ladle Treatment of Steel
The present study was carried out to investigate theformation and chemical development of non-metallic inclusionsduring ladle treatment of steel.To begin with, an investigation of the deoxidation processand the impact of aluminium addition was carried out. For thispurpose, a new experimental setup was constructed. The setupallowed the examination of the deoxidation process as afunction of time by using a quenching technique. Preliminaryexperiments showed that homogeneous nucleation of alumina tookplace in the areas supersaturated with aluminium. Theseexperiments also showed that agglomeration of alumina particleswas a very rapid process, even when the convection in the meltwas negligible.In order to examine whether aluminium supersaturation occursduring industrial practice, the deoxidation of liquid steelwith aluminium wire injection in a gas-stirred ladle wassimulated by mathematical modeling using a Computational FluidDynamics (CFD) approach. The results showed that theconcentration of aluminium in the vicinity of the aluminiumwire injection was high enough to generate homogeneousnucleation of alumina.Aiming at an understanding of the inclusion chemistry duringthe ladle process, an industrial study was performed atUddeholm Tooling AB. The impact of slag-lining reactions andladle glaze as a source of inclusions in the melt was alsostudied. The experimental results were analysed from athermodynamic viewpoint to gain an insight into the origins ofthe inclusions and their changes along the process of the ladletreatment. Six types of inclusions were found in the steel. Thetypes of inclusions present varied along the history of theladle treatment. Three types of inclusions were found in theliquid steel before deoxidation, namely type A (a liquidinclusion with high SiO2 concentration), type B (spinel) andtype C (a combination of type A and type B). Thermodynamicanalysis indicated that these types of inclusions could begenerated by the reaction between the Electric Arc Furnace(EAF) slag and the ladle glaze, during the filling of theladle. The addition of aluminium resulted in the formation ofalumina inclusions (type E), which agglomerated and separatedfrom the steel very fast. The spinel inclusions of type B werefound to be unstable at low oxygen potentials. The inclusionsof this type would react with the liquid metal forming theinclusions of type F (spinel in the centre surrounded by anoxide solution containing Al2O3, CaO and MgO). Further,reaction between the liquid metal and inclusions of type Fwould result in the inclusions of type G, an oxide solutionmostly consisting of Al2O3 and CaO with small amounts of MgOand SiO2. The inclusions of type G were the only inclusionsfound in the steel before casting.
School:Kungliga Tekniska högskolan
Source Type:Doctoral Dissertation
Keywords:Metallurgy; Steel making; Ladle Treatment; Inclusion chemistry
Date of Publication:01/01/2003