The Spontaneous Emulsification of Entrained Inclusions During Casting of High Aluminum Steels

Akalya Raviraj, Nadia Kourra, Mark A. Williams, Gert Abbel, Claire Davis, Wouter Tiekink, Seetharaman Sridhar, Stephen Spooner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Mold slag entrainment during the continuous casting process presents a late stage source of non-metallic inclusions (NMI) with a high likelihood of ending up in the final product. The reaction between the entrained slag phase and surrounding liquid steel in the continuous casting mold affects the inclusion morphology and properties. However, there is a lack of information on the kinetics of the NMI-steel reaction. A novel approach, utilizing controlled synthetic inclusion/metal samples, has been developed to study the reactions between free inclusion-slag droplets and steel. The technique combines High-Temperature Confocal Scanning Laser Microscopy (HT-CSLM), X-ray Computed Tomography (XCT) and advanced electron microscopy techniques offering rapid controlled heating performance and extensive characterization of the samples. This method offers the ability to observe the size, shape and composition of an unconstrained reacting inclusion and to investigate the interface between the materials with respect to reaction time. This study interrogates a low aluminum steel (0.04 wt pct) and a high aluminum steel (1 wt pct) in contact with an inclusion-slag phase with a starting composition aligned to a typical mold slag. It was found that the reaction between silica and aluminum across the interface of the two phases provided a driving force for spontaneous emulsification to occur. Products of such emulsification will have a significant effect on the inclusion size distribution and potentially the prevalence of inclusion retention in molten steels solidifying in the continuous caster (for example if emulsified buoyancy forces are reduced to near zero) and hence in the subsequent solid product.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1154-1163
Number of pages10
JournalMetallurgical and Materials Transactions B: Process Metallurgy and Materials Processing Science
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2021
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Metals and Alloys
  • Materials Chemistry


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