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Heat Transfer Research
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ISSN Online: 2162-6561

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Heat Transfer Research

DOI: 10.1615/HeatTransRes.2016013742
pages 625-656

MODELING OF FLUID FLOW AND HEAT TRANSFER OF AA1050 ALUMINUM ALLOY IN A MODERN LOW-HEAD DIRECT-CHILL SLAB CASTER

Latifa Begum
Department of Mining and Materials Engineering, McGill University, M.H. Wong Building, 3610 University Street,Montreal, QC, H3A 0C5, Canada
Mainul Hasan
Department of Mining and Materials Engineering, McGill University, M.H. Wong Building, 3610 University Street,Montreal, QC, H3A 0C5, Canada

ABSTRACT

A low-head hot-top mold is modeled for the vertical direct-chill casting (DCC) process where the melt is assumed to have been delivered through the entire top cross section of the caster. The previously verified in-house 3D Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) code is extended to model an industrial-sized AA1050 slab for the above caster for steady-state operation. For the generalization of the predicted results, nondimensional parameters governing this problem were identified. To keep consistency with the industrial cooling strategy, a stepwise change of the cooling water temperature in the mold, in the impingement and in free streaming regions was considered. A series of parametric studies were conducted by varying the important DCC process parameters, namely the casting speed ranging from 60 to 180 mm/min, inlet melt superheat, ranging from 16°C to 64°C, as well as the effective heat transfer coefficient (HTC) at the metal–mold contact region, varying from 0.75 to 3.0 kW/(m2·K). The velocity field, the temperature distributions, and the local surface temperature profiles are presented and discussed. The sump depth and the mushy thickness at the ingot center are seen to increase linearly with the increasing casting speed, whereas the shell thickness at the exit of the mold decreases linearly with the casting speed. The thickness of the solid shell at the mold exit is increased by about 4% for the aforementioned increase in HTC. Correlations of the above-mentioned quantities with casting speed are reported to provide useful guidelines for vertical DCC design engineers and operators.


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