Finite element analysis applied to redesign of submerged entry nozzles for steelmaking

Helen Ewing, Alan Hendry, David Nash

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Abstract

The production of steel by continuous casting is facilitated by the use of refractory hollow-ware components. A critical component in this process is the submerged entry nozzle (SEN). The normal operating conditions of the SEN are arduous, involving large temperature gradients and exposure to mechanical forces arising from the flow of molten steel; experimental development of the components is challenging in so hazardous an environment. The effects of the thermal stress conditions in relation to a well-tried design were therefore simulated using a finite element analysis approach. It was concluded from analyses that failures of the type being experienced are caused by the large temperature gradient within the nozzle. The analyses pointed towards a
supported shoulder area of the nozzle being most vulnerable to failure and practical in-service experience confirmed this.
As a direct consequence of the investigation, design modifications, incorporating changes to both the internal geometry and to the nature of the intermediate support material, were implemented, thereby substantially reducing the stresses within the Al2O3/graphite ceramic liner. Industrial trials of this modified design established that the component reliability would be significantly improved and the design has now been implemented in series production.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)327-339
JournalProceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part L: Journal of Materials: Design and Applications
Volume225
Issue number4
Early online date25 Aug 2011
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2011

Keywords

  • Finite element
  • thermal stress
  • refractory
  • submerged
  • entry nozzle
  • continuous casting
  • steelmaking
  • design
  • alumina graphite

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