The Use of Fundamental Process Models in Studying Ladle Refining Operations
Pär G. Jönsson, Lage T. I. Jonsson
Existing fundamental models of ladle refining operations have been reviewed. No fundamental model that takes all the individual parts of ladle refining into account has been found in the open literature. Nor does a model exist which considers all refining in only one part of a refining step such as vacuum treatment. However, separate fundamental models for prediction regarding alloying, temperature, hydrogen, sulfur, reoxidation, and inclusion growth and removal do exist. In one case, a reoxidation model has also been combined with a sulfur-refining model. Predicted values from the separate models for alloying, temperature, sulfur and hydrogen have been found to agree well with corresponding measured data. The verification of the models for reoxidation and the growth and removal of inclusions is currently lacking and separate models for refining operations such as nitrogen or carbon removal need to be developed. Also, more complex models of parts of ladle refining such as vacuum treatment need to be developed, incorporating the sulfur, hydrogen, reoxidation and inclusion growth and removal models. The ultimate goal is, of course, one overall model that can predict desired parameter values for all steps of ladle refining. Even though such a model does not exist today, the usefulness of existing fundamental models is exemplified. This is to illustrate the potential of more complex and more realistic ladle models in process optimization.
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