High Temperature Flows in Metallurgical Melts

Contact person: Moritz Eickhoff

Areas of research

The knowledge of flows during refining and casting of e.g. steel, copper and aluminium in metallurgical reactors (converter, ladle, tundish and casting mould) is crucial for the optimization of the quality of semi-finished and final products. The options of flow measurements in metallurgical mels are very limited due to the high temperatures. Therefore flow and heat transfer phenomena have to be investigated using physical and numerical models.

Water models of metallurgical reactors
The kinematic viscosities of metal melts and water are in the same area of magnitude and for this reason their flow characteristics are almost equal. Therefore an investigation of melts using water models is possible. The IOB has different water model test stands available.

  • Tundish, casting mould, ladle and converter
  • Visualisation of fluid flow with laser light sheet technique
  • 3D measurement of turbulent fluid flow fields with DPIV and LDA Measurement of temperature and concentration fields with LIF
  • Retention time measurement and analysis of mixing processes
  • Determination of particle distribution and precipitation curves using Coulter Counter
  • Fluid flow optimisation by passive fluid flow manipulation
  • Measurement of water level movements with ultrasonic sensors
Water model of a strip caster (photographer: Martin Braun)

Numerical simulation
In parallel to flow investigations using physical models, numerical simulations using CFD are carried out. To improve the accuracy of the calculations, the simulations are first conducted for water flows and the boundary conditions are validated against very accurate laser optical measurements. Only after this validation step the simulations are conducted for multi-phase, non-isothermal metal melts.

  • Simulation of fluid flow of melts in metallurgical reactors (multi-phase, non-isothermal)
  • Simulation of mixing process during ladle changes
  • Electroslag Remelting (ESR) and Vacuum Arc Remelting (VAR)– magneto-hydrodynamic and thermotechnical phenomena
  • Simulation of fluid flow as well as combustion and pyrolysis in aluminium melting furnaces
  • 3D Simulation of the VAR process in non-axisymmetric geometries


Ongoing research projects

Development of a novel simulation-based control system for the resource-efficient heating of forged parts (AiF ZIM)

Metal crystallization on rotating cooling cylinders – Mechanisms and process model for the control of a high purification of metals using the example of aluminium (DFG)

Development of a process for resource-efficient recycling of printed circuit board scrap by microwave pyrolysis in rotary kilns (AiF ZIM)

Completed research projects