Thermomechanical finite-element model of shell behavior in continuous casting of steel

Chunsheng Li, Brian G. Thomas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A coupled finite-element model, CON2D, has been developed to simulate temperature, stress, and shape development during the continuous casting of steel, both in and below the mold. The model simulates a transverse section of the strand in generalized plane strain as it moves down at the casting speed. It includes the effects of heat conduction, solidification, nonuniform superheat dissipation due to turbulent fluid flow, mutual dependence of the heat transfer and shrinkage on the size of the interfacial gap, the taper of the mold wall, and the thermal distortion of the mold. The stress model features an elastic-viscoplastic creep constitutive equation that accounts for the different responses of the liquid, semisolid, delta-ferrite, and austenite phases. Functions depending on temperature and composition are employed for properties such as thermal linear expansion. A contact algorithm is used to prevent penetration of the shell into the mold wall due to the internal liquid pressure. An efficient two-step algorithm is used to integrate these highly nonlinear equations. The model is validated with an analytical solution for both temperature and stress in a solidifying slab. It is applied to simulate continuous casting of a 120 mm billet and compares favorably with plant measurements of mold wall temperature, total heat removal, and shell thickness, including thinning of the corner. The model is ready to investigate issues in continuous casting such as mold taper optimization, minimum shell thickness to avoid breakouts, and maximum casting speed to avoid hot-tear crack formation due to submold bulging.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1151-1172
Number of pages22
JournalMetallurgical and Materials Transactions B: Process Metallurgy and Materials Processing Science
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2004
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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