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S. JOO and R.I.L. GUTHRIE

Through solutions of appropriate forms of the Navier-Stokes equation, the intermixing of fluid

within gas-stirred ladles, with asymmetric single and multiporous plugs, can be modeled quite

satisfactorily. In this study, mixing behavior and mixing mechanisms are analyzed as a function

of porous plug location, tracer injection point, and ladle monitoring point. It is shown that off-

centered bubbling gives the most consistent results in terms of minimizing mixing times, since

angular momentum intermixes fluid across the width of a ladle. Comparisons between mathe-

matical and experimental data are presented.

bubbling, off-centered alloy/tracer additions, the

F O R high-quality steelmaking, gas bubbling in ladles

Ruhrstahl-Heraeus (RH) degassing process, etc.). How-

is used to obtain chemical and thermal homogenization,

ever, few studies on three-dimensional turbulent flows

as well as to accelerate the absorption of harmful non- in gas-stirred ladles have been reported to d a t e . 16'7'8]

metallic inclusions into an overlaying slag. The main point

The concept of mixing time, Zm, has commonly been

in gas stirring operations is to identify procedures and

used to represent the state of agitation in chemical and

equipment needed for achieving minimum mixing times

metallurgical processing vessels. Since Nakanishi et al. t91

and maximum recoveries of alloy additions at optimum

fLrst correlated mixing times to stimng energy input, many

gas flow rates. In order to reasonably predict these phe-

empirical relationships of the type % = ke-", have been

nomena, detailed information on flow patterns, fluid ve- reported, t9-141 assuming that mixing times are indepen-

locities, and turbulent properties is needed. These have

dent of the experimental conditions. However, in gen-

been the subject of study via ongoing physical and math-

eral, the values of k and n vary with respect to the

ematical models over the last decade.

experimental situations studied by investigators. The fact

Szekely et al. m were the first to attempt modeling the

that there are various empirical values for them reveals

hydrodynamic behavior of liquid metal in an argon-stirred

that the measured mixing times could be dependent on

ladle. Velocity and turbulence energy fields were pre-

experimental conditions, such as vessel geometry, tracer

dicted through the solution of the turbulent Navier-Stokes

injection point, monitoring point, gas bubbling location,

equations in conjunction with the k-W two-equation model

gas injection rate, and the existence of a slag layer.

of turbulence. However, the boundary conditions (e.g., Mazumdar t141observed that the measured mixing time

velocity and shear stress), adopted for an "interface" be-

depends on the points of tracer injection and monitoring.

tween the bulk fluid and the plume, proved unrealistic.

He further demonstrated that mixing in gas injection ladle

DebRoy and Majumdar [2] and Grevet et al.[3] recognized

metallurgy operations can be expected to be controlled

the role of buoyancy in the gas/liquid mixture and pro-

by a combination of eddy diffusion and bulk convection,

posed that the gas/liquid mixtures could be represented

both mechanisms contributing in roughly equal propor-

by a pseudo one-phase fluid of variable density. Sahai tions. Asai et al., [~~ Kim e t a l . , 113] and Dobson and

and Guthrie ta,Sj went on to develop mathematical and al-

Robertson tlS] reported that mixing times decreased as the

gebraic models to describe the interaction of a plume

plug's location became more off-centered. On the other

with its surrounding liquid, enabling plume dimensions, hand, Marujama et al. t161reported that rapid mixing was

voidage, and centerline velocities to be specified and the

achieved with gas injection at the midradius of the ves-

whole flow field analyzed. Their results matched pilot-

sel, where both wall effects and relative stagnation zones

scale water model results.

could be minimized.

These mathematical models were developed for axi-

The purpose of the present research was to study re-

symmetric gas stirring. In such systems, flows can be

alistic industrial situations in order to analyze mixing be-

described via the two-dimensional continuity and mo-

havior and mixing mechanisms as a function of porous

mentum equations, expressed in cylindrical polar coor-

plug location, tracer injection point, and ladle monitor-

dinates. While many flows within ladles can be idealized

ing point. For this, mathematical and physical models

by assuming axisymmetric conditions, a major feature

were used.

of industrial operations is their three-dimensional char-

S. JOO, formerly Postdoctoral Fellow, McGill Metals Processing

A. Governing Equations

Center, McGill University, is Senior Researcher with the Research

Institute of Industrial Science and Technology, Pohang, Korea. R.I.L. In order to describe fluid flow, turbulent properties,

GUTHRIE, Macdonald Professor, is Director of the McGill Metals

Processing Center, McGill University, Montreal, PQ, H3A 2A7,

and alloy/tracer dispersion in steelmaking ladles, the

Canada. relevant partial differential equations requiring (numer-

Manuscript submitted March 15, 1990. ical) solution are the equations of continuity,

momentum, and mass conservation, expressed in three- where

dimensional, incompressible, cylindrical, and ensemble-

averaged form as follows: Sw = -- '[- - - ~eff -- W

Oz r Or

Continuity Equation

(9 (9 1 (9 pv

+ ---

rO0

[f(0;0 )] + 2v

+ +- - [8]

rO0

Momentum Conservation Equation

Axial direction: In the present study, the k-e, model of turbulence pro-

posed by Jones and Launder u7] was used to determine

(9 the value of the local turbulent viscosity. In this model,

(gz (puu) + r1(9 [~-~1(9

(gr (rpvu) + . uv (pwu)

(9(

(gz

~Zeff(gTZ

u)

the governing transport equations for turbulence kinetic

energy, k, and its dissipation rate, e,, can be represented

by the following:

r1 (gr

(9 r/~eff~rr --70"--0tlt'l'effTO--O/ - - - - +(gZ

S.

Equation of Turbulent Kinetic Energy

[2]

where 0 1(9 o

-- (puk ) + 1 __0 (rpvk) +

- -- (pwk) - - -

dz r Or r-~O c)z \o',

Su = ~ ~eff -~- - - - - r/~eff

(gz r (gr lO(tx___!rO__._kk~ l O (/z, Ok xI

r Or \o'k ar/ - r a--ok~-r-O-o/ - G + ~:~e,=~

rd'O tx~" Pg [31

[91

G = #.l,,[t~z 7 + \Or/

Radial direction:

(ow 7)}

2

+~o +

~z (puv ) + -r --(gr( rpvv ) + -r --(90(pwv ) - --(gz tx~ff 2 2

. . . + Sv

r(gr r-6-O Or

I5]

+ (;:o ow w) }

+

Or

2

where [lO]

(gz r Or

+ --- O lO 10

r/~eff --Oz(pue, ) + -r --Or( rpve, ) + -r -~O (pwe, )

r (90

[6]

0 (i,x_..~O~zz) _ ___10 (I.X_.~r O-~r)

Oz r Or

0 1(9 1(9

(Er ) e,2

- - (puw ) + -r-Or

-- ( rpvw ) + -r --~O( pww ) The turbulent eddy viscosity, /z,, is given by

(gz

C ~,pk 2

/x, - - - [12]

(g Z ~1s e f f

_ _

r _(g_ r r / ~ e f f e,

1 O (jtLeff(9W~ lOP ommendation of Launder and Spalding, uol are given in

. . . . + Sw [71

rO0\ r 00/ r (90 Table I.

Table I. Constants Used for k-e boundaries, the wall shear stress and the energy dissi-

Two-Equation Model of Turbulence

pation rate were calculated using the wall function

Cl C2 C~, trk tr, methodY sJ The plume was assumed to be a vertical cyl-

inder of lower density liquid. At the free surface, the

1.44 1.92 0.09 1.0 1.3

boundary was assumed to be fiat, and normal velocity

components and normal gradients of all variables were

set equal to zero.

Dispersion of Alloy Additions/Tracer

D. Numerical Procedures

~(pC) +--Oz p u C - Fec, In this modeling program, finite difference forms of

the differential equations just presented (Eqs. [1] through

[14]) were discretized on the basis of the integral control

+ _B r pvC - Fe c volume approach and then solved using a semi-implicit

rOr finite difference procedure involving a line-by-line tri-

diagonal matrix algorithm approach in conjunction with

AV - - - pwC - - F e , C -- = 0 [13] the Gauss-Siedel method of numerical integration. The

rO0 r SIMPLE algorithm (Semi-Implicit Method for solving

Pressure-Linked Equations), introduced by Patankar and

The effective exchange coefficient, Fe,c, is defined by Spalding, t2~ was incorporated into the solution proce-

dure for both rectangular and cylindrical coordinates, in

order to solve the momentum-continuity equations by

Fe.c = / z + /z__.L [14]

or ort,C

deducing satisfactory pressure fields for their mutual

convergences toward stable numerical solutions.

where or and o',,c represent the laminar and turbulent For analysis of the gas-liquid region, the GALA t2~1

Schmidt number, respectively, and ort,c is assumed to procedure was incorporated into the SIMPLE algorithm.

have a value of unity. In this, the physical properties of the fluid mixture in a

cell in the two-phase region were averaged on a volu-

B. Treatment of Plume metric basis. This required that the conventional mass

continuity equation be replaced by a volume continuity

In the numerical solution procedures for this study,

equation, such that the volume of fluids entering a vol-

gas injection was treated as a pseudo one-phase flow

ume element equaled the total volume of fluids leaving.

phenomenon, in which the gas-liquid metal plume is

The numerical time step integration in the mass con-

characterized by a region of lower density steel. The gas

servation equation (namely, Eq. [ 13]) was approximated

voidage, a, within a rising gas-liquid plume was ac-

by a fully implicit marching integration procedure, while

counted for by introducing a buoyancy term, pLga, on

for the representation of total flux (i.e., convection +

the right side of Eq. [3] for Su, the source term for the

diffusion), a hybrid differencing scheme was adopted.

u-momentum equation. The gas voidage, a, can be cal-

Equation [13], though a linear differential equation,

culated by applying the principle of volume continuity

was solved iteratively, using a line-by-line solution

as follows:

scheme.

Ot = Q / T r r 2 v , p U p [15] Following grid independence studies, the domain was

divided into a uniform grid of 18 (axial) z 16 (radial) x

Sahai and Guthrie t41 have provided a simple algebraic 16 (angular) in the three polar directions. The compu-

equation to calculate the plume rising velocity, Up (valid tations were performed on a personal computer equipped

for 0.5 =< L I D <-_ 2), such that with a DSI (Definicon System Inc., Newbury Park, CA)

QI/3 L 1/4 micro coprocessor (68020 coprocessor system) which

Up = K Rl/---------y-- [16] magnified RAM size up to 8 megabytes and increased

clock speeds to 20 megahertz. About 600 to 1,000 it-

where the constant K is estimated as 4.17 in SI units. erations were needed to reach converged values of the

The density of the plume can then be obtained by velocity fields, the actual time taken amounting to about

12 to 18 hours.

p = ape + (1 -- a ) p r [17]

The approach is simple and correctly emphasizes the

importance of buoyancy vs shear forces in gas-driven re- III. EXPERIMENT

circulating flows. It has been confirmed through many A. Experimental Procedures

experiments to be an effective way of treating such

problems.tS,14~ Experimental work was carried out in a one-third scale

water model of a typical 100-tonne ladle. The model had

C. Boundary Conditions a bottom diameter of 0.864 m, a top diameter of 1.00 m,

and a filled height of 0.787 m. This corresponded to ac-

Impermeable and adiabatic conditions were assumed tual (internal) dimensions of 2.6, 3.0, and 2.36 m, re-

at all boundaries. All variables (i.e., u , v , w , k , e ) at solid spectively, for the McMaster Works ladle of Stelco Steel,

walls were set at zero. At the node adjacent to solid Canada. The ladle itself was housed in a much larger

rectangular tank, also filled with water to the same level, The 95 pet bulk mixing time criterion was then used as

and fitted with transparent sidewalls. Visual distortion a suitable standard mixing time. This is defined as that

of plumes caused by the curved sidewall of the ladle time when all the local concentrations of tracer addition

could thereby be eliminated (Figures 16 and 17). have reached 95 pct of the bulk well-mixed value. For

A series of porous plugs were inserted into the ladle's double bubbler configurations, tracer was injected into

bottom surface at center, one-third, half, and two-thirds the center, and mixing times were again measured at a

radii. Similar inserts were made so that the role of an- point near the bottom sidewall and a plume. These lo-

gular offset could be studied (i.e., 0 = 7r/4, ~'/2, 3 / 4 It, cations were chosen, since computations showed that their

and or) for twin porous plug bubbling. Before each ex- local concentrations tended to be reasonably represen-

periment, air hoses would be connected to the desired tative of the bulk, or well-mixed, concentration's ap-

plug(s) and mixing times/flows then studied. proach toward the 95 pct well-mixed value.

Figure 1 provides a schematic diagram of the equip- Mixing times were measured five to six times for a

ment used for measuring local mixing times. Thus, for given set of experimental conditions, the mean value then

single porous plug bubbling, a tracer (20 pet HCI solu- being reported as the measured mixing time. It is ap-

tion) would be injected into the surface of the plume zone, propriate to note that individual mixing times fell within

and changes in acid concentration at a point near the ---10 pet of the mean values reported here.

bottom sidewall (50 mm above base and 50 mrn from

sidewall) close to the plume would be monitored vs time. B. Experimental Results

Figure 2 shows how experimental mixing times de-

creased with gas flow rate. As seen, the mixing time

decreases exponentially with increasing gas flow rate.

This work on a single porous plug gas bubbler confirms

IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIU llllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll the relationship that mixing times decrease according to

the one-third power of the gas flow rate.

iOo o~ Figure 3 presents the data already shown in Figure 2,

',o o l in terms of mixing times vs radial placement of the plug,

i

L

0 0 0 l

J for various gas flow rates. As seen, mixing rates within

', PLUME [ the bulk of the liquid are increased and mixing times

WATER

,~0 0 ,, shortened, as the plug is moved away from the center

',i O 0 J'

',o ~ J

!Jo 0 JI

t

i CONDUCTI-

i~ ~ METER

',Of

CHART 80 O=

10 l/mit

ELECTRODE - ,~ RECORDER

/

POROUS 70

PLUG

measurements. 60

~K/Q = 20 I/min

L ~'A~./w~Q=3OI/min"

J

0 center

II 1/3R

80 9 1/2R E

9 2/3R

70

4(

A

~J 6 0

~ so 30

40

30 20

20

J

10 2~0 .. 3I0 4 0=

0.0 0.5 1.0

Q (liter~lmin.) r/R

Fig. 2 - - Variation in 95 pct m i x i n g t i m e s with gas flow rate for p l u g s Fig. 3 - - A plot o f m i x i n g t i m e vs radial position for a single p l u g for

p l a c e d at center, one-third, half, and two-thirds radius o f ladle base. various flow rates.

toward the half radius. Beyond a minimum mixing time, O 1/3R

reached at half radius, plugs set closer to the ladle side-

80

walls tended to give slightly longer mixing times for equal

flows of gas. Consequently, midradius bubbling gave a 70

reduction of 15 to 30 pct in mixing times over the range

of gas flow rates studied, compared to the mixing time 60

A

for center bubbling.

It is occasionally necessary to bubble an industrial ladle 5O

E

with two or more plugs, in order to achieve gentle but

rapid mixing, as well as to promote slag/metal inter- 40

mixing, and to avoid explosive degassing effects under

30

vacuum.

Figure 4 shows the effect of having two bubblers. Here, 20

experimental mixing times are plotted vs net flow of gas.

As seen, for two bubblers placed at midradius and dia- o ~b sb 3b 4b

metrically opposite each other (0 = 0 and 7r), the mixing

Q (liters/min.)

time for a net flow of 40 L / m i n is about 28 seconds, vs

33 seconds for the same flow through a single bubbler. Fig. 5 - - V a r i a t i o n in 95 pct mixing times with symmetrical changes

This represents a 15 to 20 pct reduction in mixing times in the radial positions of two opposing plugs (0 = 180 deg).

v s the optimum single bubbler configuration.

Figure 5 shows that two bubblers, placed diametri-

cally opposite each other, will exhibit minimum mixing injected through a single porous plug. In these modeling

times when operating at half radii. By moving both plugs predictions, the position of the porous plug was changed

out to two-thirds radii, mixing times are practically dou- from the center to two-thirds radius in order to investi-

bled at the higher flow rate ( i . e . , 40 L/min). gate the effect of plug location and tracer input location

on mixing time. Figures 7(a) through (f) provide de-

tailed two-dimensional flow fields in some selected ver-

IV. C O M P U T A T I O N A L

tical ((a) through (c)) and horizontal ((d) through (f))

RESULTS AND DISCUSSIONS

planes for half radius placement of the plug. There, ve-

In order to study mixing behavior during such gas stir- locity vectors in vertical planes through the plume (a),

ring operations in steelmaking ladles, computations were

performed to predict flow patterns, transient mixing pro-

cedures, and the final mixing time for a vertical, cylin- = 0.2 rn/sec.

drical ladle of equivalent scale to that studied, using the

METFLO code already described, in conjunction with

gas-liquid mixture models developed previously by Sahai

and Guthrie [4l and Mazumdar and Guthrie. [22]

A. Flow Patterns

sui'face flow fields when a gas flow of 30 N1/min is

O 8=nM

A 0 = n/2

8c

70

6O

E 50

+,i"

40

rs j

30

20

lb 2b 3b 4b

Q (literslmin.)

Fig. 4 - - V a r i a t i o n in 95 pct mixing times with gas flow rate for double- Fig. 6 - - ( a ) through (d) Computations illustrating flow patterns de-

plug arrangements, placed at midradius. The effect of the angle, 0, veloped by submerged gas injection through a single porous plug lo-

subtended between the two plugs, is illustrated. cated at center, one-third, half, and two-thirds radius, respectively.

--=. = 0.2 m/sec.

;,:...--//tit NU|i;;:

.... .#/ltlffff: ll~1~..;:

t "** ..o

Fig. 7 - - ( a ) through ( f ) Two-dimensional velocity vectors in some selected vertical and horizontal planes for half-radius placement of a single

plug.

at 45 deg to the plume (b), and at right angles to the B. Mixing Procedures

plume (c), have been provided. Similarly, horizontal

Using the numerical procedures already outlined, the

components of the fluid flow across the surface (d), at

combined effects of tracer addition point and bubbler lo-

midlevel (e), and along the bottom of the ladle (f), are

cation on mixing times were studied mathematically.

presented. The average recirculating flow speed was pre-

Figure 10(a) shows the four different locations chosen

dicted to be 0.1 m/s.

for tracer input with respect to the plume's eye for single-

The key features to note are the angular velocities which

plug bubbling. Figure 10(b) gives three different loca-

significantly affect tracer dispersion rates (as discussed

tions of tracer input chosen for twin-plug bubbling.

in Section IV-B). It can be seen that as the plug's po-

Thus, Figure 11 provides mixing times predicted for

sition is moved off center, the angular momentum of fluid

tracer input to a 1/3-scale water model of a 100-tonne

motion increases remarkably. Predicted mean speeds

ladle with single-plug bubbling. The marked squares

within the ladle vs change in porous plug location are

represent the experimentally measured mixing times for

presented in Table II. It can be seen that the mean an-

comparison with mathematical predictions. As seen, when

gular velocity increases and the mean axial and radial

the tracer was added exactly into the eye of the plume

velocities decrease as the plug is moved away from the

(case A), center gas bubbling proved to have the shortest

center.

bulk mixing time. This was followed by increases as the

Flow patterns for twin-plug injection are provided in

bubbler position approached the ladle sidewall. How-

Figure 8. There, diametrically opposed porous plugs were

ever, since the flow characteristics of real plumes in the

placed at one-third, half, and two-thirds radii, respec-

tively. Two-dimensional plots for selected planes are il-

lustrated in Figure 9 for plugs at half radius location and Table II. Predicted Mean Speeds of Axial,

diametrically opposed to each other. The mean speed for Radial, and Angular Directions in a 1/3 Scale

recirculating flow was predicted to be 0.09 m / s for such Water Model of a 100-Tonne Ladle for Various

cases, this being 10 pct less than that for single plug Plug Positions (Q = 30 NI/min, unit = m/s)

bubbling with the equivalent gas flow rate. The mean

speed in axial (u), radial (v), and angular (w) directions 1.1 Ivl Iwl Iu cl

was predicted to be 0.068, 0.020, and 0.028 m / s , re- Center 0.1094 0.0464 0.0000 0.1391

spectively. It can again be seen that the angular mo- 1/3 R 0.0687 0.0346 0.0311 0.1008

mentum of fluid motion increases as the plug's position 1/2 R 0.0658 0.0368 0.0421 0.1025

2/3 R 0.0529 0.0355 0.0533 0.1028

is moved off center.

= 0.2 m/sec. B A C E F G

Oo;/

\~

/~ c

(

q

~

oo

~q

oo

s,

c

of rising gas-liquid plume for (a) single porous plug bubbling and

(b) twin porous plug bubbling.

dependent, with vertical plume axes that tend to precess,

this "theoretical" experiment proved to be difficult to

reproduce in practice.

It is more realistic to suppose that the tracer will inev-

itably be added slightly off-center to a plume's eye

(case B). Predicted mixing times for off-center plume

additions were therefore studied, and these exhibit very

different characteristics vs center-plume additions. In this

case, the 95 pct bulk mixing times for center bubbling

were greatly extended, and moreover, an off-plume ad-

Fig. 8--Isometric views of flow vectors predicted for double porous

plug gas bubbling diametrically opposed at (a) one-third, (b) half, and dition close to a ladle sidewall (cases C and D) leads to

(c) two-thirds radii, respectively. much longer mixing times. For sidewall additions,

-~ = 0 . 2 m/sea

i,.,~,,..~ii6~.,,~,~,., ~

J~i6~d~#6~ ttttkkbtt~t~

0

.,0~r

n .......................

o~ l ~

~kkkk~"

~' ..........

. . . .

"~r

"'~gddilifl

Fig. 9 - - ( a ) through ( f ) Two-dimensional velocity components in some selected vertical and horizontal planes for diametrically opposed porous

plugs at half radii.

I?0 steel in ladles occurs by a combination of both convec-

''-..... ',\'\\ 0 Prediction tive transport and turbulent eddy diffusion, both mech-

lOG Experiment anisms contributing in roughly equal proportions.

'~""~ \'~\,. "(Case A/B7) Figures 12(a) and (b) illustrate the transient mixing pro-

cesses for center bubbling computed for case A and

8O case B tracer addition, respectively. The shaded region

represents the zone wherein 95 pct bulk mixing times

E O0 C~"""~".-...-..~

:'~\9-.. \\~....L~e

c ,..11

j are reached. Since center gas stirring has no angular mo-

mentum associated with it, angular mixing can only take

i place by eddy diffusion processes should the tracer not

Case A ~ be added precisely into the eye of the plume. As noted,

t

the consequence of missing the "bull's eye" (or center

of the up-welling plume) leads to tremendous increases

O0

I

0.5 1.0

in mixing times.

P e r contra, as the plug is moved away from the center

toward the sidewall, solute transport by angular mo-

r/R mentum increases, yielding faster mixing even though

the tracer is injected at the sidewall. Figures 13(a) and

Fig, l 1--Illustration of predicted 95 pct bulk mixing times in a

1/3-scale water model of a 100-tonne ladle for various plug positions

(b) illustrate the transient mixing processes for a plug

and tracer addition points. (Square marks represent measured mixing placed at half radius, when tracer was injected into the

times.) center plume (case A) and into liquid at the sidewall

(case C), respectively. As seen, for the center-plume ad-

dition, tracer is dispersed rapidly, reaching 95 pct bulk

95 pct mixing times for center bubbling proved to be the mixing at the left side and bottom of plume after

longest and decreased significantly as the plug was moved 24 seconds and then at the upper right sidewall to plume

toward the sidewall. Asai et al.,[l~ using physical models, after 30 seconds. The 95 pct bulk mixing time was pre-

studied mixing behavior under the conditions of case C. dicted to be 38 seconds for such a case. Dispersion char-

As discussed in previous research work, ttaj mixing of acteristics for the sidewall additions were seen to be similar

A tracer

120 10541.05 1.20 0.95 0.95

-7...... .- ~

A

bubbling

B tracer

0.50

bubblinq

(a) 20 seconds (b) 60 seconds (c) 110 seconds

Fig. 12--Illustration of transients in isoconcentrations following center-plume addition of a tracer (A), and tracer addition just off-center to the

gas/liquid plume (B), during center gas bubbling.

A tracer

1.05~ 1.50 o.95 i

1.05 ~ ~,

20~ 0.8CC ~,~f" / 0.95

"~b.95 -- -v '~../I

bubbling

(a) 10 seconds (b) 20 seconds (c) 30 seconds

I

tracer

_ _ -~-3~:._z.Z22- i.Gg--

1 O5

bubbling

Fig. 1 3 - - I l l u s t r a t i o n of transients in isoconcentrations following center-plume addition (A) and a sidewall addition (B) of a tracer for an off-

center porous plug placed at half radius.

but to take much longer (55 seconds) for complete 95 pct bulent viscosity as computed for off-center single-plug

bulk mixing. bubbling at half radius and for dual-plug bubbling dia-

In summary, since center gas bubbling has no angular metrically opposed bubblers at half radius. As seen, for

momentum, mixing is dominated by eddy diffusion, re- the dual-plug bubbling, the average turbulent viscosity

suiting in delayed mixing times for off-center plume ad- in the center vertical plane of the bubblers was in-

ditions. As the plug is moved away from the center toward creased. Furthermore, its predicted distributions were

the sidewall, momenta in the three polar directions be- relatively homogeneous across the ladle by comparison

come comparable. Owing to concurrent increases in an- with that for single-plug bubbling. In contrast, as already

gular momentum, mixing times become relatively noted, the predicted mean speed (of recirculation) was

insensitive to the tracer addition point. This can be in- reduced to 90 pct of that for single-plug bubbling at

terpreted for the industrial steelmaking ladle process such 40 L/min. This is consistent with the concept that greater

that off-center gas stirring is relatively insensitive to the shearing actions are generated in twin, or multiplug,

location of thermal and chemical segregation in ladle. bubbling vs single-plug bubbling, such that diffusive

Figures 14(a) through (c) illustrate tracer dispersion components are raised at the expense of convective com-

behavior for twinly opposed porous plugs, at half radii ponents of the intermixing process.

for a center-ladle addition (case E), a plume addition

(case F), and a sidewall addition (case G), respectively. C. Plume Distortion and Wall Effects

Mixing times were predicted to be 38 seconds for

case E, 58 seconds for case F, and 70 seconds for The results of the computations just described provide

case G. It is interesting to note that for the center-ladle a convincing argument for mixing times becoming shorter

addition, 95 pct bulk mixing levels are first reached in as the plug is moved away from the ladle's center. How-

the two plume zones, expanding the mixing area to each ever, since slippage and wall friction effects were not

sidewall, while for cases F and G, it is first reached at taken into account in the present computational model

the center of the vessel. It can be seen from Figures 12 for plugs located near the sidewall, the experimental ob-

through 14 that the last mixing point is dependent on the servation that mixing at two-thirds radius was again

tracer injection point and plug locations. somewhat delayed could not be properly predicted.

Figures 15(a) and (b) illustrate the distributions of tur- Figure 16 illustrates pictorially the characteristics of a

A tracer

/

_L _ 1.05 1.05

0.95

bubbling bubbling

(a) 10seconds (b) 20 seconds (c) 30 seconds

h.hhling bubbling

(a) 10 seconds (b) 20 seconds (c) 45 seconds

L

C tracer

bubbling bubbling

(a) 20 seconds (b) 40 seconds (c) 60 seconds

Fig. 14--=Illustration of transients in isoconcentrations following center-tank addition (A), a plume addition (B), and a sidewall addition (C), of

a tracer for double porous plug gas bubbling diametrically placed at half radii.

single plume rising through water, for plugs set at the procedure by Boysan and Johansen t8} can predict those

ladle's center, one-third, half, and two-thirds radii, re- conditions for which the plume is "bent" inward, or out-

spectively. One should note that the flow field can dis- ward, as a result of interactions with the bulk flow fields.

tort the plume from a vertical trajectory, the degree to There, a flow field is first deduced using the Eulerian

which the plume is "bent" being a function of crossflows scheme. Successive bubbles are then introduced into the

within the ladle. system, using a Lagrangian framework. This allows spa-

For a plug located at two-thirds radius, its associated tial variations in plume voidage to be computed as a

plume is distorted toward the sidewall, resulting in con- function of bulk flow patterns. Through successive it-

tact of the plume with the sidewall. This might cause a erations between Eulerian and Lagrangian frames of ref-

part of the buoyancy force of the bubbles to be lost by erence, therefore, plume geometries can be deduced as

slippage, together with an increase in drag force (shear part of the numerical solution procedures.

stress) up the sidewall. Furthermore, the large shear stress Figure 17 shows plume interactions for two plug ar-

on the wall will increase the potential for hydrodynamic rangements. As seen, when two plugs are closely placed,

erosion of the ladle's refractories. However, plume dis- the plumes coalesce, diminishing the effect of double

tortions were not observed with weak gas bubbling (i.e., gas bubbling. Similarly, when two plugs are located near

<10 L/rain in this water model system). the sidewalls, this will increase wall shear stresses and

An alternative, but more computationally demanding, the potential of hydrodynamic erosion of the refractories.

........... c,- ....

~--rl---s:~ ....... c( ..... ry-i

ILl\)\ i ! 4.0

'

, I

I/\ % \ JV /I

0.08._., I .- - ~ ~ o.I- ;:~' o.s ,: r -o-z

Fig. 15--Distribulions of computed turbulent viscosity (kg m ~ s -~) in a 1/3-scale water model o f 100-tonne ladle for (a) half-radius single-

plug bubbling and (b) half-radius dual-plug bubbling (Q = 30 N1/min).

Fig. 16--Photographs of model ladle illustrating the distortion of the plume during single-plug bubbling: (a) center, (b) 1/3 R, (c) 1/2 R, and

(d) 2/3 R (R = radius).

(a) 1/3 R

Fig. 17--Photographs of model ladle illustrating the distortion of the plume during double-plug bubbling: (a) l/3 R, (b) 1/2 R, and (c) 2/3 R

(R = radius).

It is therefore concluded that the placement of porous to steel reoxidation by entrained slag droplets and oxy-

plugs at half radius is an optimum location. There, the gen and nitrogen pickup from the free metal surface ex-

portion of momentum in each direction is of the same posed to the atmosphere in the "plume's eye."

order, and wall effects are minimized. Kim et al. tl31 proposed an empirical expression for

predicting the critical gas flow rate through a plug that

D. Industrial Applications causes liquid slag to start to be entrained into an under-

lying steel bath. It is given by (cgs units)

Proper stirring of the liquid steel is very important

during steelmaking processes. For instance, there are Qcr = 6.7 •

10_2H1.8, ( o ' A o ' ~ ~

\--ZI [18]

metallurgical reactions which require strong mixing of

metal and slag. Stirring for decarburization, desulfuriza-

tion, and dephosphorization belongs to this case. On the where Qcr (cm3/s) represents the critical flow rate, H

other hand, stirring for deoxidation, alloy homogeniza- (cm) the height of ladle, o" (dyne/cm) the interracial sur-

tion, or inclusion removal requires gentle mixing at the face tension, Ap (gr/cm 3) the density difference between

metal/slag interface and maintenance of an unbroken slag slag and metal, and Ps the slag density.

layer. The critical flow rate for slag/metal mixing expressed

For gas stirring in the teeming ladle, the need for gentle by Eq. [18] could be used as a criterion for the deter-

mixing can be intensified due to improper control of slag mination of gentle stirring. The analysis indicates the flow

carryover. The presence of a liquid slag layer on the metal rate should be quite low, typically 100 to 150 L/min for

surface can cause significant delay in mixing times, since a 150-tonne ladle, t23JThe critical flow rate for slag/metal

the breakage and deformation of the slag layer consume mixing is mainly related to slag layer breakup and slag

part of the stirring input energy. Moreover, strong tur- droplet entrainment caused by strong upward momentum

bulent flows at the slag/metal interface activate inter- of the plume. Therefore, if high flow rates with gentle

facial mass transfer and slag droplet entrainment, leading but fast mixing are needed, multiplug gas bubbling could

be appropriate as a technical solution, since it would dis- W time-averaged circumferential component of

tribute input stirring energy over the bath with a low plume velocity

velocity from each bubbler. Z axial coordinate

Greek Symbols

V. CONCLUSIONS

a volume fraction of gas in the gas/liquid

Mixing phenomena in steelmaking ladles have been plume

studied using mathematical and aqueous physical models E dissipation rate of turbulent kinetic energy

for a one-third scale of a 100-tonne ladle. It was con- Fe,C effective diffusivity of tracer

cluded that: 0 partial differential term

1. Flow patterns are strongly dependent on the number 0 circumferential coordinate

and positions of the bubblers. As the bubblers are laminar viscosity

moved off-center, angular momenta increase, reduc- /Zeff effective turbulent viscosity

ing mixing times significantly. /xt turbulent viscosity

2. Measured mixing times are sensitive to monitoring P density of fluid (water/molten steel)

point as well as to bubbler location. Ap density difference between metal and slag

3. When a porous plug bubbler is close to a ladle side- Pc density of gas

wall, flows will distort the plume toward that side- PL density of liquid

wall, increasing drag force on the wall. This increases Ps density of slag

the mixing time needed f0r alloy homogenization and o- laminar Schmidt number in Eq. [14] (v/D or

increases the potential for hydrodynamic erosion of tx/pD), where D = diffusivity interfacial

the ladle's refractories. tension in Eq. [18]

4. For double porous plug bubbling, more gentle flow ort turbulent Schmidt number (tx,/pD,)

and equivalent mixing times vs single off-center bub-

bling were predicted, using equal net flows of gas

into the ladle. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

5. A midradius placement of a porous plug represents

an optimum location for single-plug bubbling, while The authors deeply appreciate the support of NSERC

diametrically opposed, midradius placement of bub- and the Korean Ministry of Education for providing

blers is recommended for double-plug bubbling. research support funds for S. Joo.

6. The last point within the bulk of the liquid to become

mixed depends on the tracer addition point and plug

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