Rate of MgO Pickup in Alumina Inclusions in Aluminum-Killed Steel
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This work aims to clarify the rate and mechanism of MgO pickup by alumina inclusions and the effect of oxide impurities in MgO crucibles on this transformation. Two MgO crucibles from different batches from the same supplier were used in laboratory experiments with Al-killed steel. A kinetic model was developed, based on mass-transfer control in the liquid steel. Rate constants were fitted using inclusion analysis. The rate of magnesium transfer from the two types of crucibles was found to differ by a factor of 20; faster magnesium transfer was associated with formation of a slag layer on the inner surface of the crucible wall (rather than a solid spinel product layer). The kinetic model was also used to simulate industrial scale ladle refining (1) to illustrate the effects of total oxygen concentration and (2) to evaluate the contribution of steel-refractory reaction (in addition to steel-slag reaction) on the rate of MgO pickup in alumina inclusion. The rate of MgO pickup was higher with a lower inclusion concentration. For ladle desulfurization, the extent of MgO pickup in inclusions is directly linked to the extent of desulfurization; both reactions are controlled by the oxygen potential at the steel-slag interface.
Support of this work by the industrial members of the Center for Iron and Steelmaking Research is gratefully acknowledged. We also acknowledge use of the Materials Characterization Facility, Carnegie Mellon University, supported by Grant No. MCF-677785.
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