Simulating the Steelmaking and -Refining Process

Using Thermo-Calc Software’s Process Metallurgy Module

The Process Metallurgy Module (PMM) is a powerful addition to the Thermo-Calc Software suite. It comes together with the TCOX database and calculates isothermal or adiabatic equilibrium between multicomponent liquid or solid steel, slag, and refractory materials. Additionally, models to describe the reaction kinetics between liquid steel and slag have been implemented, allowing full kinetic simulations of real industrial steelmaking and -refining processes. Actual process parameters are used as input for the simulation, such as timing and amounts of additions (scrap, DRI, hot metal, ferro-alloy, flux, wire, and so on), timing and flow rates of gas, electric arc power, and power-on times. A few kinetic parameters that depend on size, geometry, and type of the steelmaking equipment must be fitted using experimental results from steel and slag sampling. The simulation then predicts the evolution of the steel and slag chemistry, evolution of thermophysical properties of the slag (such as viscosity, fraction liquid, basicity, the types and amounts of inclusions, temperature, off-gas amount, and composition), and more.

The PMM is a powerful tool for optimizing existing steelmaking and refining practices and developing recipes for new steel grades or alternative raw materials. Currently the functionality of the PMM is being implemented into TC-Python, which will allow automated setting up and running of process simulations. This will allow high trough-put parameter studies to find the optimal process window, or it would allow directly using steel plant level 2 data to run the Process simulation in parallel with day-to-day production, thereby realizing a digital twin of the steelmaking and -refining process.

In this webinar, an overview of the applications of Thermo-Calc to steelmaking and steel refining using the Process Metallurgy Module and the TCOX thermodynamic database for oxides and slags is given. Additionally, details of the most recent developments, and an outlook on what will soon be coming are discussed.

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