Ladle Shroud as a Flow Control Device for Tundish Operations
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The performance characteristics of a tundish, such as the flotation of inclusions and slag entrainment, are largely influenced by the fluid-flow phenomena. Physical modeling in water is widely used to understand the fluid flows in a tundish and as a tool to improve, control, and design procedures for high-quality steel processing operations. These approaches were used to study the performance of fluid flow for a new design of ladle shroud. The new design for a dissipative ladle shroud (DLS) was studied, using a one-third scale, delta shaped, four-strand tundish. The results were compared with those achieved with the conventional ladle shroud. Different cases have been analyzed, including a conventional ladle shroud (LS) with a bare tundish and a tundish furnished with an impact pad. Similarly, the new design of the shroud (DLS) was studied under equivalent conditions. The physical experiments included the use of particle image velocimetry (PIV) and conductivity tracer techniques. The PIV measured the instantaneous velocities at the outlet of the DLS and the LS at different flow rates, showing the detailed jetting characteristics of water leaving the two types of ladle shroud. Residence time distribution (RTD) curves were also obtained for the different flow arrangements previously mentioned, and the dispersion of a colored dye tracer was observed at different intervals of time during tundish operation and analyzed using the video visualization technique.
The first author is very indebted to NSERC for research funding, the McGill Metals Processing Centre (MMPC) for research facilities, and the National Science and Technology Council (CONACyT) in Mexico for granting a scholarship to carry out his M.Eng. studies at McGill University. The other authors acknowledge the MMPC, CONACyT, and IPN for providing facilities for carrying out this work.
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