The Effect of Cooling Rate on the Microstructure Configuration of Continuously Cast Steel Slabs

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

Abstract

This research work is another step for increasing the efficiency and productivity of the steel making process by enhancing both quality and quantity of the steel produced by the Continuous Casting process. When steels cool from a high temperature, austenite transforms into other phase configurations according to the austenite composition and cooling rate. As result of phase transformation, the steel crystal structure and, consequently, both the shape and the lattice parameter of the unit cell, change. These changes may introduce dilatational strains into the microstructure, which result in the creation of residual stress concentration zones within the microstructure. These stress concentration zones are vulnerable regions to the formation of microcracks or growth of the flaws in these regions. The main objective of this dissertation is to develop a method to define the optimum cooling rate for cooling continuously as-cast steel on industrial level. An FEM algorithm developed with the ANSYS codes is introduced in this dissertation to simulate the cooling of as-cast steel from any temperature below the solidification temperature. The algorithm is capable of being customized to simulate the thermodynamic behavior of as-cast steel microstructure with any chemical composition and any casting geometry imposed to desired cooling method. The phase transformation simulations were based on the CCT diagram and, therefore, they were quasi-real models. The models predict, analytically, the generation of the stress concentration regions due to the thermodynamic strains during cooling a sample from the austenite temperature range with different cooling rates. Another series of FEM models presented in this dissertation and post non-destructive tests (NDT) ultrasonic image analysis tests suggested in this work, can be used in the discussion of the effect of the cooling rate on the altering of the soundness of the tested steel. A combination of the suggested FEM algorithm and post image processing of NDT ultrasonic images along with laboratory cooling experiments and microstructural analysis provide a guideline to find the cooling rate for each grade of steel in the casting steel industry. Results of JMATPRO software also are deployed to increase the accuracy of the experimental set up and to obtain the required input data to run the proposed numerical algorithm cooling simulation.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationPhD
Awarding Institution
  • University of Pittsburgh
Award date29 Jun 2009
Print ISBNs9781244088139
Publication statusPublished - 29 Jun 2009

Keywords

  • steel making process
  • continuous casting process
  • austenite
  • cooling rate

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