In the continuous hot-dip galvanizing process of steel strips, the snout has been installed at the entering region of feeding strip into the molten zinc (Zn) pot. However, evaporated Zn particles in the snout cause ash imperfection on the galvanized steel strip surface. In order to resolve this problem, the flow field inside the snout, both on the deoxidization gas flow above the free surface and the molten Zn flow in the Zn pot, has been investigated experientially. For a 1/10 scale water model, flow visualization and PIV (Particle Image Velocimetry) velocity field measurements were carried out at the strip speed VS =1.5 m/s. Aluminum flakes (1 μm) and atomized olive oil (3 μm) were used as seeding particles to simulate the molten Zn flow and the deoxidization gas flow, respectively.
As a result, the liquid flow in the Zn pot is dominantly influenced by the up-rising flow in diagonal direction caused by the rotating sink roll. For gas flow in front of the strip inside the snout, the large-scale vortex formed by the downward moving strip is dominant. In the rear side of the strip, a counter-clockwise vortex is formed and some of the flow following by the moving strip impinges on the free surface of molten Zn. The liquid flow in front of the strip is governed by the up-rising flow entering the snout, caused by the rotating sink roll. The moving strip affects dominantly the liquid flow behind the strip inside the snout, and large amounts of liquid are entrained and followed the moving strip toward the sink roll. A thin boundary layer is formed on the front side due to the up-rising flow, however, a relatively thick boundary layer is formed in the rear side of the strip. Inside the snout, the deoxidization gas flow above the free surface is much faster than the liquid flow in the Zn pot. More ash imperfections are anticipated on the rear surface of the strip where larger influx flow moves toward the strip in the region near the free surface.