Agglomeration of Non-metallic Inclusions at Steel/Ar Interface: In-Situ Observation Experiments and Model Validation
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Better understanding of agglomeration behavior of nonmetallic inclusions in the steelmaking process is important to control the cleanliness of the steel. In this work, a revision on the Paunov simplified model has been made according to the original Kralchevsky–Paunov model. Thus, this model has been applied to quantitatively calculate the attractive capillary force on inclusions agglomerating at the liquid steel/gas interface. Moreover, the agglomeration behavior of Al2O3 inclusions at a low carbon steel/Ar interface has been observed in situ by high-temperature confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM). The velocity and acceleration of inclusions and attractive forces between Al2O3 inclusions of various sizes were calculated based on the CLSM video. The results calculated using the revised model offered a reasonable fit with the present experimental data for different inclusion sizes. Moreover, a quantitative comparison was made between calculations using the equivalent radius of a circle and those using the effective radius. It was found that the calculated capillary force using equivalent radius offered a better fit with the present experimental data because of the inclusion characteristics. Comparing these results with other studies in the literature allowed the authors to conclude that when applied in capillary force calculations, the equivalent radius is more suitable for inclusions with large size and irregular shape, and the effective radius is more appropriate for inclusions with small size or a large shape factor. Using this model, the effect of inclusion size on attractive capillary force has been investigated, demonstrating that larger inclusions are more strongly attracted.
The authors thank the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), the Canada Foundation for Innovation John Evans Leaders Fund (CFI JELF, Project No. 32826), and the McMaster Steel Research Centre (SRC) members for funding the research. Professor Keiji Nakajima (KTH Royal Institute of Technology) is also acknowledged by one of the authors (WM) for introducing the agglomeration experiment. Dr. Hongbin Yin (ArcelorMittal, Global R&D) is acknowledged by the authors for discussing the details of in situ observation experiments using CLSM. The Canadian Centre for Electron Microscopy (CCEM), McMaster University, is also acknowledged for the support of characterization.
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