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Mathematical modeling of mould temperature


eld during continuous casting of steel
Yanmin Xie a,b, , Huping Yu b , Xueyu Ruan b , Baofeng Wang c , Yonglin Ma c
a
b
c

Institute of Engineering and Science, Southwest Jiao Tong University, Chengdu 610031, China
National Die and Mold CAD Engineering Research Center, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200030, China
Inner Mongolia University of Science & Technology, Baotou 014010, China

a r t i c l e

i n f o

a b s t r a c t

In this paper, the three-dimensional transient model of the mould temperature is estab-

Received 18 January 2005

lished and the temperature variation is analyzed with the consideration of different mould

Received in revised form

wall thickness and cooling water rates. For the numerical computation, a corresponding

28 July 2007

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Article history:

nite element method (FEM) program is developed with FORTRAN language, and 6-face and

Accepted 30 July 2007

8-node isoparameter elements are applied; the Newton method is used to solve the heat
equations. The experimental data have been used to validate the model. According to the
calculated temperature distribution, the appropriate mould wall thickness is 10 mm and
the different parts of the mould should be equipped with cooling water of different rates in

Keywords:
Mould
Continuous casting
Temperature eld

1.

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Billet

order to cool the mould efciently.

Introduction

The water-cooled mould performs very important functions


during continuous casting of steel. The mould extracts from
the billet the heat of superheat, latent heat of fusion and sensible heat from solid steel (Brimacombe et al., 1984). Next, the
heat is transferred to cooling water. A schematic drawing of
continuous casting machine is shown in Fig. 1 (Zanoni and
Zavanella, 2005). The mould produces a layer of solidied steel
with sufcient thickness and strength. Otherwise, there would
be a breakout and outow of liquid steel (Janik and Dyja, 2004).
Here, numerous research has been done by Brimacombe
and coworkers whose studies go from thermomechanical
mould analysis to the analysis and prediction of oscillation
marks (Samarasekera and Brimacombe, 1982; Takeuchi and

2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Finite element method (FEM)

Brimacombe, 1984). Research by Thomas and coworkers is


quite extensive in this eld (Kelly et al., 1988; Voller et al., 1990;
Thomas et al., 1995).
However, most of the above research is done on the billets.
The simulation of the mould is rarely reported. Here, the aim
of the article is to investigate the effect of different geometric and processing parameters on mould temperature. Most
of surface defects originates from the mould and spreads into
secondary cooling section. It is very signicant that the temperature variation of the mould and its inuencing factors are
analyzed theoretically and experimentally. Good temperature
uniformity is helpful to improve billet quality and turnout as
well as prolonging the longevity of the mould (Samarasekera
et al., 1982; Mahapatra, 1989; Brimacombe, 1991; Chandra et
al., 1993; Pinheiro Carlos, 1997). In the present investigation,

Corresponding author at: 133# Mailbox Southwest Jiao Tong University, The North First District 111 of The Second Ring Road, Chengdu
610031, China. Tel.: +86 28 87600770.
E-mail address: xie yanmin@163.com (Y. Xie).
0924-0136/$ see front matter 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
doi:10.1016/j.jmatprotec.2007.07.043

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Fig. 1 A schematic representation of a continuous casting


machine.

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the temperature eld is analyzed, and the appropriate mould


thickness and cooling speed are determined which will provide suitable windows for the process.

Mathematical model

2.1.

Basic assumptions

2.

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In order to simulate the heat conduction of the mould conveniently, the following assumptions are made in Eqs. (1)(9):

1. The arc mould is simplied to straight mould.


2. The material of mould copper is isotropic.
3. Some coefcients such as thermal conductivity, thermal
capacitance, and density are simplied to be constant.
4. The fact that heat conductivity is affected by the mould and
steel vibration has been ignored.
5. The cooling water is forced to be convective.

2.2.

Basic mathematical model

Based on of the above assumptions, a three-dimension geometrical model of the mould during continuous casting is
shown in Fig. 2, as well as the coordinate system (x,y,z). The
three-dimensional unsteady-state heat conduction equation
of the mould can be described as follows:

 T 
kx

 T 
ky

 T 
kz

= c

T
t

Fig. 2 (a) A schematic representation of the mould (one


fourth), where the plane ABCD is the upper surface of the
mould and EFGH is the bottom plane. ADHE and CBFG are
the symmetry planes, the lines AE and BF are the
symmetry centerline of the cooling face, DH and CG are that
of the hot face. DMNCGH is the hot surface, and MKN is the
corner region of the hot surface. (b) A random hexahedron
element for computation.
The mathematical model is developed based on the above
three-dimensional heat conduction equation. At the same
time, a nite difference technique is used.

2.3.
(1)

where T is the temperature ( C); t the time (s); x, y, z the


rectangular coordinates (m); kx , ky , kz the heat conductivity
(kW/(m C)); c the specic heat (kJ/(kg C));  is the density
(kg/m3 ).

Initial conditions of the mould

The initial temperature of the mould wall is assumed to be


uniform and be equal to ambient temperature, that is
T(x, y, z)t=0 = T0
where T0 is the ambient temperature.

(2)

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In the model, as for the symmetry in the mould, one fourth


of the mould is modeled. The initial conditions of the coordinate are as follow:
x 0,

y 0,

z0

2.4.

Boundary conditions of the mould

(3)

(i) Symmetry planes of the mould:


Because of the mould symmetry, heat is transferred
symmetrically at the symmetry planes. The boundary
conditions of the symmetry planes can be expressed as
follows:


T 
= 0;

x X=0

T 
 =0
y y=0

(4)

T 
= qS

x X=A

T 
= qS

y Y=A

(5)

(6)

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where qs is the effective value of the heat ux density


(kW/m2 ). The heat ux density extracted between the
mould and the billet can be described by
qs =

Fig. 3 The effective value of the heat ux between the


mould and the billet for austenitic stainless steel (kW/m2 ).

The following effective value of heat convection coefcient is specied in the model:

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where  is the heat conductivity coefcient of the mould.


(ii) Hot surface of the mould:
As the mould contacts with liquid steel, solid billet
and air at the hot surface of the mould, the conducted heat between the mould and the steel (Wang and
Samarasekera, 2001) is expressed as follows:

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The mould has cross and longitudinal sections with two symmetry axes. That is the reason that only one fourth is used
for analysis, thus making the calculation time is shorter. The
following boundary conditions are applicable to the model:

d
ds

(7)

T 
= hw (Tm Tw )

x X=A+B

T 
= hw (Tm Tw )

y Y=A+B

(8)

(9)

0.8  C  0.4
w w
kw

(10)

where A is the half of billet width (m); B the thickness of


the mould wall (m); Tw the initial temperature of cooling
water ( C); Tm the temperature of the mould ( C); hw the
heat convection coefcient between the cooling water and
the mould wall kW/(m2 C); kw the heat conductivity of
cooling water kW/(m C); Dw the equivalent diameter of
cooling water slot (m); Vw the speed of cooling water (m/s);
w the density of cooling water (kg/m3 ); w the viscosity
of cooling water (Pa s); Cw is the specic heat of cooling
water kJ/(kg C).
(iv) Upper and lower planes of the mould:
As the mould contacts with air at the upper and lower
planes of the mould, heat is transferred by radiation
(Zhang, 1995). The heat is expressed as follows:

where  is the heat ux (kW) and S is the area of contacted


surface between the mould and the billet (m2 ).
The variation of the heat ux is shown in Fig. 3. The heat
ux is gained by the INVERSE mode using the measured
temperature data (Wang and Samarasekera, 2001). It is
assumed to be constant during the casting. For numerical computation, it has been t into the temperature
program.
(iii) Cooling surface of the mould:
As the mould contacts with cooling water at the cooling
surface of the mould, heat is transferred by convection
between the outer surface of the mould and the cooling
water (Lu and Xiong, 1999). The transferred heat can be
expressed as follows:

hw Dw
Dw Vw w
= 0.023
kw
w

T 
4
4
 = b [(Tm + 273) (Te + 273) ]
z z=0

T 
4
4
= b [(Tm + 273) (Te + 273) ]

z z=780

(11)

(12)

where is the radiation ratio of the mould;  b the Stefan Boltzmann constant (5.67 1011 kW/(m2 K4 )); Te the
environment temperature ( C); Tm is the temperature of
the mould ( C).

2.5.

General equation in nite element analysis

Finally, the heat conduction expressed in Eq. (1) can be


described by the following:

[K] +

1
[N]
t

{T}t = {P}t +

1
[N]{T}t t
t

(13)

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Table 1 Mould parameters and process conditions


CuCrP
780 mm
6 mm
135 mm
10 mm, 13 mm, 15 mm
Austenitic stainless steel
150 mm 150 mm
2.40 m/min
4 mm
1510 C
7 m/s, 10 m/s, 12 m/s
25 C

where [N] is the shape function, [K] is the stiffness


matrix.
In order to gain the above discrete equation, the backward
difference method is used. By iterating the discrete nite element equation, the temperature of the mould is obtained.

3.

Validation of the models

Fig. 4 Average temperature prole and S.D. of measured


temperature on the mould wall hot surface symmetry
centerline for an austenitic stainless steel. The casting
speed is 2.40 m/min (C, Mn, S, and Cr are ingredients of the
steel).

4.

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Regarding the symmetry, one forth of the mould is modeled, and a nite-element method program is developed to
calculate the temperature eld of the mould with FORTRAN
language; the Newton method is used to solve the equation. In order to reduce the size of the factor matrix, the
one-dimension variable-bandwidth technique is employed.
Eight-node hexahedron-isoparameter elements are used to
calculate the mould. The mould wall is divided into ve layer
elements. The total elements are 21,840 and the total nodes
are 27,318.
The temperature model is validated under the process conditions that the cooling water rate is 10 m/s and the mould
wall thickness is 10 mm. The process parameters are listed in
Table 1. The measured values of the symmetry centerline on
the hot surface are in Fig. 4. The calculated temperatures and
the measured temperatures of key spots on the hot symmetry
centerline are listed in Table 2.
In Table 2, the calculated temperatures are found to be
consistent with the measured ones. The model is valid.

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Mould material
Mould length (mm)
Mould corner radius (mm)
Meniscus height (mm)
Mould thickness (mm)
Casting steel material
Billet sizes
Casting speed
Water slot width
Poured temperature
Cooling water speed
Mould initial temperature

Simulation and analysis

The following analysis is done on the condition that casting


speed is 2.40 m/min.
(i) The temperature variation of the cross-section (xy):

Table 2 Comparison between calculated temperatures


and measured values on the hot surface symmetry
centerline
Temperature

Calculated temperature ( C)
Measured temperature ( C)
Relative error (%)

Position
Top

Meniscus

Bottom

61.984
60.0

212.411
194.0

134.554
125.0

3.2

8.7

7.1

The mould temperature on the cross-section is uneven.


The temperature of the hot surface is high. The temperature decreases from the hot surface to the cooling surface
and reaches its lowest point on cooling surface, as seen
in Fig. 5a, which is the temperature distribution of 10 mm
mould wall thickness (MWT) at the bottom. At the same
time, the temperature of the symmetry center is high and
that of the corner is lower.
(ii) The temperature variation of the longitudinal section (yz):
The mould temperature on the longitudinal section is
uneven too. The temperature of the top is lower. The temperature begins to ascend near the liquid steel level. The
highest temperature occurs about 3550 mm below the
meniscus. This can be attributed to two-dimensional heat
conduction in the upper part of the mould and no air gap.
The temperature is lower at the bottom and uctuates in
the middle. The temperature uctuation can be attributed
to the air gap in the middle as shown in Fig. 6a, which represents the temperature distribution of 10 mm MWT on
the symmetry plane.
(iii) The temperature variation of different MWT with the
cooling water rate at 10 m/s:
The temperature of the overall hot surface increases
with the increasing of the mould thickness, as can
be seen in Fig. 7. The temperature of 15 mm MWT is
greater than that of 13 and 10 mm MWT on the hot surface symmetry centerline. The highest temperature of
15 mm MWT is 239.646 C on the hot surface, and the
one of 10 mm MWT is 212.411 C. However, the temperature of the cooling surface decreases as the thickness
increases, as is shown in Fig. 8. The temperature of
15 mm MWT is lower than the ones of 13 mm MWT and
10 mm MWT on the cooling surface. The highest tem-

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Fig. 5 Temperature eld of the mould cross-section (xy) at the bottom ( C).

For 10, 13 and 15 mm MWT, the temperature variation is the same down the height of the mould.
These variations of different MWT are reected in
Figs. 5b and c and 6b and c.
(iv) Temperature variation with cooling water rate:
The mould temperature descends as the cooling water
rate increases, as shown in Fig. 9. On the hot surface,

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perature of 15 mm MWT is 115.144 C on the cooling


surface, and the one of 10 mm MWT is 125.742 C. This
is because of heat resistance. Heat resistance increases
as the mould thickness increases. Once heat resistance
becomes greater, the heat that is transferred to the cool
surface is less, and the temperature is lower on the cooling
surface.

Fig. 6 Temperature eld of mould symmetry plane (yz) with cooling water at 10 m/s ( C).

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5.

Summary and conclusions

1. The mould temperature is uneven in the horizontal and


vertical directions. In the vertical direction, the highest
temperature occurs at 170185 mm under the top of the
mould. The temperature uctuates in the middle and is
lower at the bottom. On the cross-section, the temperature decreases gradually from the symmetry center to the
corner, the temperature of the corner is the lowest and
decreases gradually from the hot surface to the cooling
surface.
2. The temperature of the hot surface and the surrounding
area increases as the mould thickness increases. However,
the temperature of the cooling surface and the surrounding
area decreases as the thickness increases.
3. Via comparison and validation, the appropriate thickness
of the mould is 10 mm. The temperature of the mould
decreases along with the increase of the cooling water rate.
The different parts of the mould should be equipped with
cooling water of different rates in order to cool the mould
efciently.

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Fig. 7 Temperature eld of the different thicknesses of


mould wall on the hot surface symmetry centerline with
the cooling water at 10 m/s ( C).

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In this work, the usefulness of three-dimensional numerical temperature eld analysis for continuous casting process
is presented. A set of transient difference equations are
solved by using classical control theory in order to identify
and rigorously study the effects of relevant parameters on
the thermal exchange of the mould. Experimental data have
proven that the models are in accord with real situations
of mould heat exchange. Some conclusions obtained are as
follows:

Fig. 8 Temperature eld of different thicknesses of mould


wall on the cooling surface symmetry centerline with the
cooling water at 10 m/s ( C).

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the highest temperature is 245.162 C when the water


rate is 7 m/s; 212.411 C when the water rate is 10 m/s
and 198.643 C when water rate is 12 m/s. The appropriate water rate needed to cool the mould efciently is
1012 m/s.

Fig. 9 Temperature eld of the hot surface symmetry


centerline as the cooling water rate varies and the mould
thickness is 10 mm ( C).

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