Glass - Back to the Future!

Presenting Author:
Adam Hunt

article posted 1 April 2016

Adam Hunt is an iCASE PhD student at Teesside University working in conjunction with Tata Steel in the area of mould powder for continuous casting of steel.
Adam moved to the North East to study Chemical and Process Engineering (BEng) at Newcastle University and graduated in 2008. Due to a passion for sustainability, he remained at Newcastle University to complete a masters in Clean Technology (MSc), which included a work placement for a local chemical company implementing an environmental management system. After graduating with distinction in 2009, Adam began work for a foundry as a Safety and Environmental Engineer, continuing to specialise in business management systems, such as ISO 14001, ISO 50001 and OHSAS 18001. An area of particular interest during this role was waste management, where he worked closely with Tarmac and local authorities in the reuse of foundry by-products.
Currently based at the Materials Processing Institute, Adam is working to reduce the environmental impact of mould powders used in continuous casting. He has become proficient with the various mould power characterisation techniques such as high temperature microscopy, viscometry, simultaneous thermal analysis and pilot plant testing. Adam has also worked on the development of a novel thermal conductivity measuring device for use with steelmaking and casting slags.

Developments in the use of fluoride-free glasses to control heat transfer in the continuous casting of peritectic grade steels

A. Hunt1* & B. Stewart1,2
1 Teesside University, Middlesbrough, UK
2 Materials Processing Institute, Middlesbrough, UK

When casting peritectic steel grades, control of heat transfer from the steel shell through a semi glassy slag is critical for minimising surface defects. Cuspidine (3CaO.2SiO2.CaF2) is the preferred crystal phase to control horizontal heat flux in the mould. However, the presence of fluoride creates environmental and operational problems. Research into control of heat transfer without fluoride is still to yield a fully effective substitute for peritectic steel grades.
This research has investigated whether horizontal heat flux in the mould can be controlled by manipulating the interface between the copper mould plate and the glassy slag film. Calculations estimate that the removal of fluoride will decrease the total thermal resistance between the mould and the steel strand by 28%. Results from laboratory trials show that interfacial thermal resistance can be increased by the techniques developed in this research. One technique in particular has been shown to meet and exceed the requirements to replace fluoride in terms of thermal resistance needs for peritectic steel grades. Further trials have been carried out on the most promising technique at the light pilot plant scale (copper finger) and on the 7-tonne pilot continuous caster at the Materials Processing Institute. The design and results of these trials and implications for industrial application are discussed.

Figure 1. Schematic of copper finger experiment

Figures 2 and 3. Copper finger in operation

Figure 4. Normanton pilot plant caster facilities at Materials Processing Institute