Modeling and Measurements of Multiphase Flow and Bubble Entrapment in Steel Continuous Casting

Kai Jin, Brian G. Thomas, Xiaoming Ruan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In steel continuous casting, argon gas is usually injected to prevent clogging, but the bubbles also affect the flow pattern, and may become entrapped to form defects in the final product. To investigate this behavior, plant measurements were conducted, and a computational model was applied to simulate turbulent flow of the molten steel and the transport and capture of argon gas bubbles into the solidifying shell in a continuous slab caster. First, the flow field was solved with an Eulerian k–ε model of the steel, which was two-way coupled with a Lagrangian model of the large bubbles using a discrete random walk method to simulate their turbulent dispersion. The flow predicted on the top surface agreed well with nailboard measurements and indicated strong cross flow caused by biased flow of Ar gas due to the slide-gate orientation. Then, the trajectories and capture of over two million bubbles (25 μm to 5 mm diameter range) were simulated using two different capture criteria (simple and advanced). Results with the advanced capture criterion agreed well with measurements of the number, locations, and sizes of captured bubbles, especially for larger bubbles. The relative capture fraction of 0.3 pct was close to the measured 0.4 pct for 1 mm bubbles and occurred mainly near the top surface. About 85 pct of smaller bubbles were captured, mostly deeper down in the caster. Due to the biased flow, more bubbles were captured on the inner radius, especially near the nozzle. On the outer radius, more bubbles were captured near to narrow face. The model presented here is an efficient tool to study the capture of bubbles and inclusion particles in solidification processes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)548-565
Number of pages18
JournalMetallurgical and Materials Transactions B: Process Metallurgy and Materials Processing Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Metals and Alloys
  • Materials Chemistry


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