Thermal Stress Cracking of Slide-Gate Plates in Steel Continuous Casting

Hyoung Jun Lee, Brian G. Thomas, Seon Hyo Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The slide-gate plates in a cassette assembly control the steel flow through the tundish nozzle, and may experience through-thickness cracks, caused by thermal expansion and/or mechanical constraint, leading to air aspiration and safety concerns. Different mechanisms for common and rare crack formation are investigated with the aid of a three-dimensional finite-element model of thermal mechanical behavior of the slide-gate plate assembly during bolt pretensioning, preheating, tundish filling, casting, and cooling stages. The model was validated with previous plant temperature measurements of a ladle plate during preheating and casting, and then applied to a typical tundish-nozzle slide-gate assembly. The formation mechanisms of different types of cracks in the slide-gate plates are investigated using the model and evaluated with actual slide-gate plates at POSCO. Common through-thickness radial cracks, found in every plate, are caused during casting by high tensile stress on the outside surfaces of the plates, due to internal thermal expansion. In the upper plate, these cracks may also arise during preheating or tundish filling. Excessive bolt tightening, combined with thermal expansion during casting may cause rare radial cracks in the upper and lower plates. Rare radial and transverse cracks in middle plate appear to be caused during tundish filling by impingement of molten steel on the middle of the middle plate that generates tensile stress in the surrounding refractory. The mechanical properties of the refractory, the bolt tightening conditions, and the cassette/plate design are all important to service life.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1453-1464
Number of pages12
JournalMetallurgical and Materials Transactions B: Process Metallurgy and Materials Processing Science
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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