Optimisation of local heat transfer in the CC mould for casting challenging and innovative steel grades.


Research Fund for Coal and Steel

The project has received funding from the Research Fund for Coal and Steel under grant agreement No. 847269

Project Summary

Mould powder selection is a compromise between the conflicting requirements for controlling the rate of heat transfer and lubrication. OPTILOCALHT offers the opportunity to ‘uncouple’ these functions when casting crack-sensitive micro-alloyed and peritectic grades; as well as reducing the negative impact on infiltration and lubrication due to reactions between slag and Al and Ti present in innovative steel grades.

Four main approaches are proposed:

  • Easy to apply “intumescent coating” that increases interfacial resistance only on specific areas of the mould and is removed with the strand at the end of the sequence. This creates the possibility of mild cooling in the meniscus region whilst maintaining lubrication or permitting higher rates of heat transfer lower in the mould, to allow faster casting.
  • Electrical methods” that induce local changes in the crystalline structure of the slag film to produce the required local heat flux for optimal strand solidification and changes in wettability and viscosity to control flux consumption and lubrication.
  • Advanced numerical simulations to predict the ideal heat fluxes for given mould designs and casting process parameters.
  • Advanced High-Resolution temperature measurements based on an Industry 4.0 platform capable of online display and analysis of heat transfer data combined with caster performance records.

Small-scale laboratory trials, cold finger tests, pilot plant trials and industrial trials on bloom and billet casters will be supported by the development of new and fast techniques for the characterisation of slag film properties relevant to heat transfer. In addition, virtual and augmented reality, digital twinning and remote access will be used to provide new insights into the continuous casting process and to evaluate the performance of the coating and electrical methods in modifying local heat transfer to improve product quality.

Dates - 1st September 2019 – 30th June 2023

Sponsor - EU Research Fund for Coal and Steel (RFCS)

EU Contribution - €2,289,000

Overall Budget - €3,816,000


Materials Processing Institute (United Kingdom) - Coordinator

Swerim AB (Sweden)

Proximion AB (Sweden)

ArcelorMittal Maizières Research SA (France)

University of Warwick (United Kingdom)

Open University (United Kingdom)

Sidenor Investigacion Y Desarrollosa (Spain)