SUMMARY

Novel comprehensive simulators developed take steel design to new digital era. This means improved quality, increased productivity, cost efficiency and yield. Simulators also able new steel grade development decreasing time to market and and reducing the need for production trials with significant carbon dioxide emissions.

RESULT

Novel comprehensive simulators were constructed to describe different process stages in steel making industry – from liquid through solidification, cooling and solid stage to reheating.

  1. CastManager; calculates strand temperatures, cooling conditions and quality of steel based on casting machine construction and process parameters.
  2. SlabManager; tracks each slab after the cutting in casting machine and calculates slab temperatures, hydrogen removal and defect probabilities
  3. Solidification and microstructure model package (IDS); the simulation of solidification phenomena of steels from liquid state to room temperature including microstructure and material properties

With the developed simulators it is possible to “see inside” the products and find explanations and answers to important phenomena in each process stage. Simulators also decrease significantly the time needed to bring new or “new for the plant” products into production as all the critical process parameters can be determined beforehand with simulators without time consuming laboratory and production trials.

Multiphysical models with advanced mathematics and optimizing algorithms were used in the development work. The models have been developed in Finnish universities in cooperation with international universities and research facilities. They are based on the laws of physics and thereby can be used in wide range of applications. The models are accepted and validated by a large group of researchers worldwide.

MOTIVATION

Multiphysical models with advanced mathematics and optimizing algorithms were used in the development work. The models have been developed in Finnish universities in cooperation with international universities and research facilities. They are based on the laws of physics and thereby can be used in wide range of applications. The models are accepted and validated by a large group of researchers worldwide.

APPLICATIONS/
IMPACT

When understanding the phenomena and being able to control them in different process stages simulators can be used as powerful new tools to

  • process control
  • improve internal and external quality,
  • improve material properties and
  • design new products.

New simulators offer tools to analyze existing and new steel grades to enhance quality and cost efficiency

Improved quality decreases quality costs and increases productivity as products can be made “right at the first time”. It results in less defects and stricter control of material properties which mean improved quality, increased productivity, cost efficiency and yield. Improved inner quality has made possible to manufacture new special steels and new thickness ranges. Thanks to the developed simulators it is possible to simulate casting and slab handling processes afterwards if some defects are observed.

It will also open superb potential for development of new value-added products by applying simulation tools and by searching for optimal production methods and routes to achieve desired materials´ structure and properties. With enhanced material properties the products can be used in wider range of applications and with new products the steel mill can take market share from more expensive materials.The simulators make it also possible to take new steel grades in to the production very quickly without expensive and time consuming laboratory measurements to determine steel properties. This reduces the need for production trials with significant carbon dioxide emissions and decrease time to the market

One challenging goal is to apply the models in developing and manufacturing new advanced steel grades.

MAIN CONTACT

Seppo Louhenkilpi Aalto University
Mervi Leinonen, Ruukki Metals Oy
Ismo Rentola, Ruukki Metals Oy
Marko Petäjäjärvi, Outokumpu Stainless Oy

PROJECT PARTNERS

Aalto University, University of Oulu, Ruukki Metals Oy, Outokumpu Stainless Oy

Pictures courtesy of Ruukki